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​Tips for Planting Camellias

Select a Location for Your Camellias

When planting Camellias check the care tag to find the appropriate amount of sunlight for your variety. Traditionally, Camellias will grow best with partial filtered shade or morning sun with afternoon shade. The soil in the ideal location should drain well, if not, plan to dig the hole for your new camellia 3-4 times larger than the pot and using a well-drained garden soil to backfill the hole to make sure that plant is receiving adequate drainage. Poor drainage can lead to root rot and disease.

Groundwork: Soil Prep

To make sure your new camellia is going to thrive, you want to make sure that you will be planting in slightly acidic soil. The ideal PH range is from 6.0 to 6.5, but lower PH’s can potentially be tolerated.

We recommend using a well-drained garden soil mixed in with your native soil (If you have nice soil in your location) to back fill the hole when planting. You can also consider adding compost, peat moss, and manure which can help improve your soils’ fertility and drainage.

When to Plant Your Camellias

Fall through early spring are considered the ideal time to plant camellias, but they can be planted throughout the year as long as adequate care is provided for the new plants. Be sure, though, to avoid to planting when harsh freezing conditions are expected.

Planting Steps

  • Water your Camellia thoroughly before starting
  • Begin by digging the hole 2-x times larger than the root ball
  • Remove the plant from the container and tease the root ball loosening the roots
  • You want the top of the root ball to be slightly above the soil level(approx. 1/4-1/2 inch)
  • Fill in around the plant with your mixture of well-drained garden soil and organic matter of choice
  • Add mulch to help regulated moisture
  • Water 2-3 times per week until established, then once a week as needed in dry conditions
  • Fertilize with a well-balanced fertilizer that is formulated for acid-loving plants to keep your Camellias well-fed (repeat annually or biannually)

Pruning

Camellias should be pruned and shaped after their blooming season in late winter-early spring. Pruning will help keep the desired shape and form and encourage more fullness

Some of Our Favorite Camellias

More Useful Information on Planting and Camellias

Testing Soil Composition

American Camellia Society

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