Camellias – November Plant of the Month

Evergreen Camellia

Camellias are one of our favorite plants and the Fall Blooming Camellia (Camellia sasanqua) is a beautiful addition to any shady garden. These gorgeous, evergreens feature shiny dark green leaves that showcase beautiful late fall/early winter flowers. Those flowers come in a wide variety of flower forms and they can be different shades of pink, red, white, and yellow. For more information about Camellia flower forms, click here.

Most Camellias can reach a mature size of 10-15 feet tall and 5-7 feet wide, though smaller varieties can average 4-8 feet tall and 3-4 feet wide. That being said, the Camellia is a slow-growing plant (averaging less than 6 inches of growth per year) and can easily be maintained at a smaller size with yearly pruning.

Due to their large mature size and dense foliage, Camellias make great screening shrubs. This is especially useful for low-light areas where standard screening plants can struggle. However, it’s important to remember that they are slow-growing. If you’re looking to achieve a faster screen, use larger shrubs to start with.

Care and Planting

All Camellias prefer part shade, ideally morning sun and shade in the afternoon when the sun is hottest. They also do well in dappled shade all day. While Camellias can tolerate full shade, they will not bloom as profusely. Camellias don’t do well in full sun.

Camellias prefer well-draining soil and do not like wet feet. They are fairly drought-tolerant once established. If your Camellia is receiving too much sun, it will need more water during the hotter parts of the year.

While they’re young, they can be grown in containers. Use a well-draining potting soil like Coast of Maine. Once they’ve outgrown their container, plant them in the ground.

Prune Fall Blooming Camellias in late winter, after they have finished flowering. This is also the best time to trim them back if you’re looking to keep them small.

Fertilize your Camellia in spring when new leaves start to develop and again in later summer/early fall. Use an acidic fertilizer like HollyTone.

Our Favorite Varieties of Fall Blooming Camellias

Camellia Dazzler
October Magic Dawn
October Magic Ivory
Shishi Gashira