Love Those Camellias

Years ago when I lived in Indiana, I purchased two small camellias. They were very pretty and I had great hopes for them. I grew them in pots and then moved them into my greenhouse for winter due to the zone being wrong for them. They did well for several years, but then I lost both of them.


When we purchased our new home in North Carolina, I was happy to have several mature camellias  growing in our landscape. Each year around November, December and January they bloom. It is wonderful to have something blooming during that time of the year.

Camellias are shade loving, small shrubs or trees. They come in a wide variety of bloom colors. I have white and pink, but just added yellow and red and I would like to continue to add more to my Japanese garden. Depending on the variety, they bloom in early spring or late fall and winter. Camellias are long lived and have glossy green foliage that stays on the plant. They grow in zones 7 to 10, but there are a few camellias for zone 6. They need slightly acidic soil that is well drained and they need good watering till they are well established. They prefer morning sun and dabbled afternoon sun. If you live in zones 8 to 10, plant in the fall and if you live in zones 6 to 7 plant in the spring. Prune after your camellia blooms. Beware they can have some illness issues like petal blight, leaf gall, bud drop, dieback or tea scale. I currently have one with tea scale and I will need to spray it with a horticultural oil. Even with these few illness issues, they are worth having.

The next big project in my garden will be adding drip irrigation for the rose beds, adding the train track to the train garden and adding a small greenhouse for seed propagation. You may want to check back for updates on these fun projects.

Happy Gardening!