Camellias are showy plants, offering long lasting blooms
during the late fall and winter, lasting well into the spring. Their large flowers brighten up your
landscape during those winter months when little else is blooming. The blooms are profuse and cover the entire
bush making it the superstar of any landscape.
There are numerous species of Camellias but the most popular varieties grown are Camellia Sasasanqua and Camellia Japonica. These 2 varieties have similarities in their flower color but bloom at different times of the season. Camellia Sasanqua will bloom from late Fall through early January and Camellia Japonica will bloom January through early Spring.
Camellias are known as a shade loving plants, but the
Sasanqua can handle some sun. It’s smaller
than the Japonica in overall size (6’ tall and wide to 10’ tall and 6’ wide)
and has smaller leaves and flowers.
Blooms are 3” – 4” in diameter, are sweet smelling and usually have
ruffled edges with a burst of yellow color in their center.
Japonicas prefer shade and are taller (12’+ for old mature
plants) than Sasanquas. Their flowers
boast more petals, are often 5” wide and are stunning. A single bush can have well over 100 flowers
for weeks, blooming consistently from January through early spring.
Both varieties offer striation or multicolored blooms, but
most camellias bloom in one of three colors – white, pink or red, – in many
shades from the palest shell pink to rose pink to bright red.
These slow growing evergreens are relatively care-free. They should only require pruning after they
finish blooming. Fertilize at the same
time and again in mid-summer. Camellias
are prone to Scale and treating yearly with a horticultural spray or drench
will help control these pests.
Consider adding camellias to your landscape if you haven’t
already. By planting both varieties you
can enjoy the “Queen of winter flowers” from late fall through Spring.