Camellias are one of the most popular houseplants. They have been used for centuries in Japan and China. Today they are grown all over the world. There are many varieties of camellias available today, but there is only one variety that is considered to be the best, and it’s not even native to North America! That would be the Japanese Cameleon (Hirundo rustica). These beautiful plants grow well in almost any climate. You may think that they’re just decorative, but they actually provide a great deal of useful services such as:
They make wonderful houseplants because their leaves are so pretty. They also attract butterflies and hummingbirds which makes them very attractive to your garden.
The Japanese Cameleon is easy to care for and will produce large amounts of flowers each year. It’s a slow growing plant, so you’ll need at least two plants if you want to get the full benefit from it.
They’re drought tolerant and require little water. If you don’t water them often enough, they can become leggy and droop down when watering time comes around.
You can easily prune them back if they start getting too big or out of control. Just cut off the top inch or two every few years until they reach their desired size.
How To Grow Camellias In Your Garden?
Unfortunately, most varieties of camellias don’t grow well in the south. They need cool, moist leaves to thrive. If you live in an area that gets frost at night, then you should definitely try growing them. They’re deciduous so they lose their leaves during the winter months and appear to be dead, but don’t worry! They’ll suddenly sprout beautiful flowers in the spring like clockwork. They can also survive light frosts, but no hard freezes!
If you live in zones 7-9 and want to grow them outdoors, then you need to plant them in a shady area that doesn’t get direct sunlight. If you’re growing them in pots, you should place them in a shady spot as well.
They can also be grown indoors anywhere.
Hardy camellias are easy to grow from seed pods, but they take at least 2 years to bloom so most people just buy a plant or start with a cutting.
You’ll need to plant your camellia in well-draining soil. You can add sand or pebbles to regular soil if it doesn’t drain well.
Keep the soil moist, but not soggy since they don’t like waterlogged roots. Fertilize during the spring and summer with a slow-release fertilizer.
Most varieties grow to be between 6-12 feet tall, so you’ll need to give them plenty of room to grow. They can also grow quite wide, so make sure there’s enough space for the roots as well.
Camellias are deciduous, so they don’t produce leaves during the winter months! They typically bloom in the spring when the days get longer and temperatures start to warm up.
Most varieties flower when they’re between 1-3 years old, but this can vary from each plant.
Sources & references used in this article:
Seeking cold-hardy camellias by AS Aiello – Arnoldia, 2009 – arnoldia.arboretum.harvard.edu
Teaoil camellia-eastern” olive” for the world by L Stack, JM Ruter – … -IHC2006: International Symposium on Asian Plants …, 2006 – actahort.org
WHAT’S CHILLIN’WITH NORTHERN CAMELLIAS© by B Yinger – … of the International Plant Propagators Society-2013 …, 2013 – actahort.org
Camellia as an oilseed crop by C Breeding
BUYING PLANTS by D Zhang, J Yu, Y Chen, R Zhang – SNA Research Conference, 2007
Camellias at a Glance by RV Rice