3 useful tips for Camellia

October 9, 2015

3 useful tips for Camellia

Camellias love shade and produce a stunning array of bloom colours making it a versatile addition to your garden. Follow these tips to keep your Camellias ship shape.

3 useful tips for Camellia

1. Camellia basics

Durable and long-lived, common Camellia produces the most magnificent flowers of all. These are usually grafted plants, growing on the hardier rootstocks of related plants. They love the shade and grow into pyramidal bushes 6 to 7.5 metres tall, bloom from fall to spring, and are hardy cold climates.

Glossy evergreen leaves complement the rose-shaped flowers that come in white, pink or red as well as bicolour combinations – so plenty of choice for your yard.

Camellias bloom from fall to spring, depending on your climate and the cultivar. They’re great for planting around your house foundation because they like protection from the wind.

If you live in a more temperate climate like British Columbia, the shrubs can be grown as a hedge or screen.

2. How to grow Camellia

These tips will help you grow Camellia with great results:

  • Before setting out a container-grown plant, dig a planting hole three times the width of the container and mix in a 10-centimetre-deep layer of compost or peat moss. Also add garden sulphur, if needed, to create an acidic soil with a pH of 4.5 to 6.0.
  • Set the plant high in the hole so that the top of the root ball is five centimetres above the soil line. As the soil settles, the plant will sink, ending up only slightly raised. Keep the soil over the roots mulched year-round with an eight-centimetre-thick layer of shredded bark or pine needles.
  • When properly planted, camellias need little fertilizer or pruning. In freezing zones, grow camellias in pots and bring them into a chilly room, such as a porch or garage, as temperatures approach freezing.
  • When they bloom, bring them indoors or cut the flowers for arrangements.
  • Camellias are relatively pest-free, but sap-sucking scale insects, which look like small, immobile, oval bumps, sometimes colonize stems and leaves. To smother and kill scale, spray commercial horticultural oil in late winter according to label directions. Squirrels, which are very hard to control, may eat flower buds.

You should protect the new hardy camellias from winter wind, as well as from morning sun, which can damage flower buds that have been frosted and need to thaw gradually.

3. Types of Camellia

Good choices among the thousands of cultivars include:

  • Crimson 'Alexander Hunter'.
  • Pink 'Debutante', white 'Purity'.
  • Red marbled 'Donckelaeri'.
  • Bright red 'Crimson King'.
  • Rose 'Hugh Evans'.
  • Pink-tinged white 'Narumi-gata'.
  • Medium pink 'Winter's Charm'.
  • Light blush pink 'Winter's Star'.

Easy Camellia in your yard

With a range of colours to choose from and a hardy nature suitable for Canadian yards, Camellia is an ideal choice for your design. With the right care, you’ll have thriving Camellia for many years to come.

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