The camellia is a plant that grows to be about four to five feet in height, so it makes a lovely back section that adds height to a garden.
It grows best in warmer hardiness zones such as six to 10, and it can create pink, red, or white blooms to add color to your garden during the colder seasons of the year.
In total, there are over 250 different species of the camellia plant, so you have plenty of easy to care for options to select from for your garden.
In this growing guide, we cover tips on growing beautiful camellia plants.
Light and Temperature Requirements
When it comes to sunlight, the camellia plant can grow in partial sun or shade. It does need at least indirect sun to grow, but it will do best with direct sunlight in the morning and shade in the afternoon when it’s hottest outside.
When growing this plant, the temperature should be between 45 and 61 degrees Fahrenheit. This is ideal for the buds to form for the blooms, and warmer temperatures could hinder the blooming process. Temperatures that drop too low will also stop the plant from growing.
As the plant grows, the canopy that forms will help protect it from the sun and harsh weather that may occur during the year.
Soil and Fertilizer Requirements
A camellia plant needs to grow in soil that drains well. It should be slightly acidic with a pH that is between 5.5 and 6.5. If the soil is too alkaline, yellow leaves will appear on the plant. Clay and sandy soil are great options for this plant.
To fertilize the plant, find good fertilizer for acid-loving plants growth. There are camellia and azalea food options available at most garden centers. Fertilize the plant every other month during the spring and the summer. Also, make sure that you stop feeding the plant in August when it starts to go dormant for the winter.
When it comes to water, this plant will not need to receive a lot of it. In fact, as it ages, it will not need much more water than it gets in nature.
If it is a dry season, make sure that you test the dryness of the water before giving it water. Too much water can cause root rot and hinder the growth of the plant.
Growing Camellia from a Seed
Camellia is a simple plant to grow from seeds. You should place the seed in a mixture of peat moss and perlite for the best chance of growth.
Moisten the soil without letting it be too wet, then place the seed on top with the eyes facing down before you cover the seed with more soil.
Cover the plant with plastic to keep the humidity inside, and place it in a location where it will get plenty of indirect sunlight to grow.
As the plant takes root and grows, make sure the soil stays moist.
Growing Camellia from a Cutting
To do this method, you will need to take a cutting from an existing plant during late spring or early summer.
The cutting will need to be separated about six leaf nodules past the tip of the stem, at this point, make a diagonal cut on the stem and remove the lower leaves from the cutting.
Place the cutting in a container with a combination of sand and peat moss. Moisten the soil, and add a bit of rooting hormone to the container to help the cutting take root.
Cover the cutting using a plastic bag; this will create a greenhouse effect so that the plant can take root and grow.
Set the plant in an area that is roughly 75 degrees Fahrenheit and gets plenty of indirect sunlight. The cutting may take about three months to take root.
When the blooming period for the camellia is through, the plant will need to be trimmed to promote new growth. Also, make sure to remove dead stems so that they do not hinder further growth.
Cutting lower branches will promote upright growth, but all that will need to be trimmed is the lanky areas to make them fuller. Never prune this plant in the late summer because it will reduce the number of blooms that you see that year.