Tips on Growing Camellias
Camellias are a must have for every garden, adding colour and beauty to the landscape! These beautiful, showy flowers are amongst the first flowers to bloom, typically blooming from late winter to early spring. These evergreen shrubs are reliable and hardy; they can be used as hedges, borders, specimen plants, topiaries and ground covers. Camellia japonica is the most popular species, but camellias come in many varieties in assorted sizes, colours and forms. The flowers are the main attraction, but the dark green glossy foliage is just as spectacular!
In addition to being a stunning garden plant, camellias make lovely container plants, especially smaller varieties. They are quite easy to grow and don't require much maintenance.
Here are some tips on growing camellias:
- Spring is the best time to plant new camellias, which will give the new plant enough time to establish its roots. Mulch to keep soil moist and roots cool. Water regularly during the first year.
- Planting more than one species will give your garden year round colour
- Generally speaking, camellias do best in partial shade, especially young plants. Keep it shelter from rain and frosts.
- Plant in fertile, well-drained, slightly acidic soil. Be sure to mix in lots of compost or manure into the soil, as it will help with the drainage. Do not plant in waterlogged areas.
- Water moderately. Deep watering once a month in the summer will help develop more drought tolerant roots.
- Camellias need a couple of inches of mulching to keep soil moist and temperatures constant
- If growing in containers, make sure container has a sufficient drainage hole.
- Fertilize and prune during the spring, right after the the plant has finished flowering and new growth has emerged.
- Prune after blooming has ended. Pruning will create healthier and bushier plants. Remove dead branches and thin out dense areas to give flowers room to grow properly.