Care & Cultivation Guide: Camellias

Camellias have attractive glossy green foliage and exotic flowers and are among the elite of evergreen shrubs. In northern England they’ll flower during late winter and early spring when grown outside or several weeks earlier, depending on the cultivar, when grown in a container under glass. Large plants often carry hundreds of flowers. Colours include showy red, pink, white or yellow(ish).

PLANTING: A partially shaded position is best, but they can also be grown successfully and often flower more freely when planted in full sun, although mulching is vital, or buds may drop. Avoid a position that gets early morning sun as the flowers may be damaged following an overnight frost. They are ideal for growing in pots and containers, using an ericaceous (lime-free) compost and may also be grown in an unheated cold conservatory during the winter.

SOIL: A moist, but well-drained, LIME-FREE, humus-rich soil is required. When planting, incorporate Composted Bark or composted leaf mould around the plant and into the soil to maintain a mulch of it (5-7cm deep).

CARE: Camellias are generally trouble-free. If the leaves start to look yellow use an Ericaceous Plant Food. This can also be used as a feed during the active growing period. Water well during the summer months, as the flower buds form. In autumn, pot-grown plants, can be brought into a cold greenhouse or conservatory to help protect them. Ensure the compost kept moist. If camellia leaf spot is found, then spray with a systemic fungicide. Pruning is best done immediately after flowering – this will have the biggest impact on flowering the following year.

Every effort has been made to ensure the accuracy of the information given both on our lists and labels. However, some details may vary according to special or geographical circumstances. Varieties offered are subject to availability.

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