Plant of the Week: The Camellia

April 11, 2011 — 1 Comment


Close up of Flower


I did not get a chance to list my plant of the week last week, so here it is a little late. I try and focus on plants that are doing well in my yard. Today I am switching it up and highlighting one in my neighbor’s yard. She has a beautiful Camellia growing near her front steps. It is quite large (6′ tall) and has been there for several years now. It is in a part shade location on the northwest side of the house.  We are at the northern edge of where Camellia’s grow so you have to be careful to pick the right variety (and may get some winter burn). But if you get it right, you get such a beautiful show (normally only available to our southern friends)!

Camellia Japonica
(Japanese Camellia)

Type: Perennial Evergreen Shrub (Zones 6b/7a-10)
Light Requirements: Part Sun to Part Shade
Moisture/Soil: Average moisture with acidic soil. Protect shallow roots with mulch.
Blooms: Early/Mid spring.  Blooms last for several weeks. (in our climate, blooms in winter in the south)
Leaves: Dark Green glossy leaves.
Size: Height: 6-10+’  Width: 5′-8′
Additional Info: Can suffer from wind burn. Ideally plant in a protected area. Should plant in the spring to give it time to acclimate.

Pros: They are beautiful and have nice evergreen foliage.

Cons: You have to be careful to situate these in a suitable location.

Origin: Native to Eastern Asia.

Varieties: There are many varieties to choose from in a number of different colors. Ones that tend to do well in colder climates include Camellia Japonica ‘kumasaka’, Camellia sasanqua ‘Kanjiro’ , Camellia japonica ‘Spring’s Promise’ (good to Zone 6), Camellia x ‘Winter’s Snowman’ (good to one 6).

P.S. Anyone have any other recommendations for our 7a/6b climate?

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