Camellias

Beloved by western and southern gardeners because of its large beautiful flowers in spring and winter, the common camellia, Camellia Japonica, is a broad-leafed evergreen shrub. Camellias are extremely effective standing independently or planted in groups. They blend well with other broad-leafed evergreens, and therefore are frequently mixed in tree borders. Camellias commonly grow 6 to 12 feet tall, but may reach 20 feet in older age. They are occasionally single trunked and branching nicely up from the ground, the result is generally a roundish, densely-foliage mass that is nearly as broad as it is tall. From October to May, depending on the cultivar, the plants are a mass of colour, which range from white through every shade of pink crimson. Individual blossoms measure from 2 1/2 to 5 inches in diameter and may be single, semi double, or doublesided. They’re especially appealing cut and floated in a shallow dish.

They are accessible as containerized plants on the local nursery. They transplant readily into any kind of soil that is high in organic matter and also somewhat acidic. Water when soil is dry 3 to 4 inches deep. These plants are shallow-rooted, so don’t cultivate around the roots.

C. sasanqua, the Sasanqua Camellia, is hardy to Zone 8, and blooms earlier, from autumn to early winterthan does the frequent camellia. This camellia is quite versatile, with flowers which range from white to pink scarlet. It is accessible as low-growing, sprawling shrub that’s useful as ground cover and espalier, and in addition as an upright shrub ideal for hedges or screens.