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Camellias

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About Camellias

Camellias are classic beauties with lovely evergreen foliage and magnificent blooms during fall or winter! They’re somewhat synonymous with Gardenias and Azaleas as being Southern landscaping staples. In fact, just these three species were champions of keeping southern gardens and landscapes beautiful in every season! Azaleas bloomed in spring, Gardenias followed with blooms in summer, Camellia sasanqua after that in Fall, and lastly Camellia japonicas in winter. Things have changed in the gardening world since then, but one thing hasn’t. Camellias are just as varied and stunning as ever. 

Plantsbymail.com’s collection includes numerous varieties from the Southern Living Plant Collection, as well as many other types of Sasquana and Japonica varieties.

Why Should I Plant Camellias?

They’re an elegant addition to any garden and add additional landscape interest at a time when other plants are hunkering down for winter.

Many Camellia varieties make for dense and colorful Privacy Screens

There are numerous Camellia sasanqua and japonica selections that are perfect for screens thanks to their dense foliage and evergreen nature. Additionally, unlike many privacy hedges or screens, a row of these beauties will produce gorgeous blooms!  Tall-growing selections like the Alabama Beauty Camellia and October Magic Inspiration Camellia really shine in this sort of a setting.

There are hundreds of different Camellia colors and growth habits to choose from

There’s a Camellia for basically every landscape requirement. There are dwarf varieties that reach only 3 feet tall and larger varieties that reach upwards of 15 feet tall. Their blooms come in red, pink, white, bicolor, double-form, single-form, formal, ruffled, and more! Chances are that you’ll have an easy time falling in love with one or a few.

Camellias are consistent landscape elements

Their dark and glossy leaves are some of the most consistent foliage that you can plant in your landscape. In favorable conditions, your plants will stay gorgeous and evergreen in every season.

What type of Camellia should I plant?

There are two main groups of popular Camellias: Japonica and Sasanqua. There are of course additional varieties, such as Sinensis and Vernalis. However, Sasanqua and Japonica incorporate the vast majority of the varieties on the market today. There are even hybrid varieties which we will cover as well.

About Camellia Sasanqua

  • Tend to bloom in late fall to early winter
  • Smaller leaves than Japonica varieties
  • Heights range from 2-12′ tall depending on species
  • Generally smaller blooms than Japonicas
  • Can be sensitive to long periods of time in sub-freezing temperatures
  • More dense, shrubby foliage. Perfect for mixed garden beds, foundation plantings, and hedges/screens.

About Camellia Japonica

  • Tend to bloom in Winter to early Spring (with the exception of the Early Wonder Camellia, a new variety that blooms in fall)
  • Larger leaves than Sasanquas
  • Heights range from 6-12+’ tall depending on species and growing conditions
  • Larger blooms than Sasanquas
  • Often slightly harder than Sasanqua varieties
  • More tree-like stiff, upright growth. Make for great corner foundation plantings, specimens, and property lines

Regarding Hybrid Varieties

There are several Japonica & Sasanqua hybrids currently on the market. These varieties tend to have somewhat twisted/curved branches. They make for truly unique specimens, fantastic foundation plantings, and mind-blowing mixed garden bed elements. Two of our hybrids include the Christmas Carol Camellia and Egao Corkscrew Camellia. We can’t rave enough about these beauties, they’re truly something unusual for your garden and landscape.

Where Should I Plant Camellias?

Camellias thrive in partial sun. Some like a little more sun, some like a little less. They often get a reputation as being shade plants, but we recommend staying away from 100% heavy shade. They need some sun to perform properly.

Japonica varieties generally are more shade-friendly and most varieties do well with 1-2 hours of direct sun or lightly filtered sun for half of the day. Many sasanqua varieties will do well in these conditions as well.

Some sasanqua varieties, such as the selections from the October Magic series, can even handle all-day full sun! However, this isn’t recommended in areas with harsh summer sun, such as USDA Zones 8b and upwards. When grown in these conditions, your plant will likely experience more foliage stress and some discoloration by the end of summer. However, it will bloom like crazy thanks to the extra sun.

All camellias prefer slightly acidic soil with good drainage and regular moisture (not consistently soggy, which can lead to root rot over time).

When Should I Plant Camellias?

Spring or Fall are both good times to plant. However, in spring, you should wait until the threat of frost has passed for the year. In fall, you’re generally okay to plant as long as you have a month until your first expected freeze of the year. This will give your plant time to adjust to its new setting before freezing weather becomes regular.

If you live in a zone that essentially never goes below freezing, you can plant almost all-year-long. However, you may need to provide extra care during summer to ensure that your new plant gets the water it needs to keep up with the heat.

How Do I Plant Camellias?

First, determine the planting location by considering the requirements of your variety. Then, dig a hole 3 times as wide as the root ball of your plant. Then, mix your native soil with some good quality garden soil or composted manure. Backfill the hole with the soil mixture. Apply 3-4 inches of mulch around the base of your plant to help protect the roots from extreme temperature fluctuation. Afterward, water your new planting 2-3 times per week for the first growing season.

Why Buy Camellias Online from PlantsbyMail.com?

We love our Camellias and we know you will too. When you place an order, we carefully select a healthy, quality specimen and securely ship it to your front door. If you aren’t happy with your plant(s), let us know and we’ll do whatever we can to make it right.

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