Camellias are beautiful Spring Flowering or sometimes winter flowering shrubs. Each spring they put on an incredible show of blooms.To some gardeners they seem quite rarified but they are not difficult shrubs to grow. Planting camellias is easy as long as you bear in mind they have certain needs if they are to thrive and produce the fabulous displays in Spring that Camellia lovers are waiting and hoping for.
The Right Soil For Camellias To Thrive
In the wild, Camellias are to be found growing in the margins of woodland in fairly protected habitat. The soil in these woodland settings benefits from a natural mulch, derived from fallen leaves and the breakdown of twigs and branches from accommodating neighbouring trees making a perfect cocktail of minerals required for the Camellias healthy growth. It is a commonly held myth that Camellias need acidic soil to grow, in fact they need neutral to slightly acid soil, so somewhere in the middle of the pH range – around 5.5 – 6.5 is perfect. Soil that is either too acidic or too alkali will prevent the plant from growing optimally.
Of course not every garden naturally possesses these exact conditions, but with the help of modern growing techniques, it is with very little effort that the perfect conditions for growing.
Camellias can be re-created in your very own garden or patio as Camellias will quite happily live in a container environment.
The first thing to decide is the best position for the plant – a sheltered spot near to a wall where the plant will be protected from cold winds is ideal. Camellias should never been grown against an East facing wall – the hot sun on a frosty morning will damage the plant.
Note: Camellias don’t like cold winds or extremely cold temperatures
If you’re planting camellias directly into the ground, remove the shrub from its pot and soak the roots in a bucket of water before you start, make sure you dig a hole at least twice the size of the plant’s rootball. Camellias need good drainage – they like to be moist but hate to have their feet in water constantly, put plenty of course grit and organic mulch in the bottom of the hole and once you plant the shrub fill in around the outside with Ericaceous soil. Give the shrub a feed of Camellia liquid feed once a month through the growing season.
If you’re planting camellias in a pot – please make sure there is plenty of drainage – firstly holes in the bottom covered with crocks so they don’t get blocked and plenty of drainage grit at the base, mix water retention pellets in with the Ericaceous soil and a handful of slow release fertiliser suitable for Camellias. Finish off with a layer of grit to help retain moisture in the container. Make sure you keep container-grown Camellias well watered but don’t waterlog them.
Special Times of the Year:
Make sure your Camellia has plenty of water throughout the growing season – April to October – they should never be allowed to dry out.
Take special care that at the end of the summer and autumn Camellias need to be well fed and watered – they are laying down the foundation for their spectacular display in Spring.
Coming up to and during flowering in the Spring, the plant is under enormous pressure – feeding and watering is very important at this time to avoid the plant becoming stressed – give a weekly feed of Camellia liquid feed around this time.
Once the flowering period has passed you can trim the shrub in to shape and dead head any remaining dead flowers.
The team at Paramount Plants have years of experience in growing Camellias.
Our huge selection includes mature and often rare examples of tree Camellias and full standard trees, large bushes suitable for using Camellias for hedging and a beautiful range of smaller Camellia shrubs – so there’s something for everyone’s taste and budget.
Thinking of buying a Camellia?
Plant Phone Line 020 8367 8809 8AM-8PM or email us at [email protected]
Paramount Plants & Gardens Ltd
131 Theobalds Park Road
London EN2 9BH
Tel: +44 (0)20 8367 8809