Camellia plants come from the tea family (Theaceae) and are used to produce tea leaves. However, it’s their fantastic flowers that make these shrubs truly spectacular. Camellia flowers come in various beautiful pastel colors and different flower forms. In this article, we’ll find out when camellias are in bloom.
When Are Camellias in Bloom?
Camellias are in bloom from fall until late spring, depending on the exact variety. Most camellia varieties are categorized either as early, mid, or late-season camellias.
Early-season camellias like Camellia sasanqua bloom in the fall. Mid-season camellias flower during the winter, while late-season camellias like Camellia japonica and Camellia reticulata bloom in the spring.
Camellia flowers come in gorgeous colors, including pink, red, white, and yellow. Camellia varieties used to produce tea leaves, such as Camellia sinensis, always have white flowers. These flowers also come in six primary forms that affect their size and shape. These six forms are:
- Formal double
- Anemone form
- Peony form (also known as informal double)
- Rose form double
Camellia shrubs produce their flowers on new growth. As soon as flowering finishes, the plant prepares to produce new buds in mid-summer. Once the new buds emerge, it takes months before they’re ready to bloom. This is why camellias shouldn’t be pruned more than once per year.
How Long Do Camellia Blooms Last?
Individual camellia shrubs can bloom for several months at a time. Some camellia varieties have exceptionally long blooming seasons that last from November until April. Once each flower is spent, it’ll gradually lose its petals.
Early-season camellia flowers begin blooming in October and last until December. Mid-season camellias start flowering in January and continue until March. Late-season camellias begin to bloom in March and can last until May.
How to Care for Camellias for Maximum Blooms
Providing the proper care puts your camellias in an excellent position to produce their best blooms. While camellia shrubs seem challenging to grow, they’re actually fairly straightforward as long as you meet their basic needs. Here are the main areas of camellia care to focus on;
Getting the right soil conditions is crucial to enjoying great camellia blooms. Camellia shrubs need fertile, acidic soils that stay moist but still drain well. Camellias require the pH range of the soil to stay between 5.0 and 6.5. Ericaceous compost is ideal for camellias, especially when growing them in pots.
While camellia shrubs require moist soils, they don’t like becoming waterlogged. When planting a new camellia shrub, water it regularly for the first year and a half to help it become established. Then, water whenever the top 4 inches of soil feel dry. Water your camellia more frequently during hot summers.
Most camellia shrubs prefer growing in partial or full shade, although Camellia sasanqua varieties grow well in full sun. Position your camellia in a sheltered location that receives morning sun. This protects your camellia from cold winds and intense afternoon sunlight.
To help your camellia produce beautiful blooms, fertilize it once when flowering finishes. This supplies plenty of nutrition to fuel the development of next year’s flower buds. Use a single dose of ericaceous fertilizer.
Pruning isn’t necessary for camellias because they grow slowly. But if you want to shape the plant, prune it once right after flowering finishes. Never prune camellias after mid-summer because you’ll remove the developing flower buds.
Camellia Blooming Season FAQs:
What Month Do Camellias Flower?
Camellias can flower in any month from October until May, depending on the exact variety. Early-season camellias bloom in the fall from October until December. Mid-season camellias bloom from January until March, while late-season camellias flower between March and May.
Do Camellias Flower Twice a Year?
Camellias don’t flower twice a year because they take a while to develop new flower buds. After flowering finishes, camellias start producing new buds in mid-summer. It can take months for the new flower buds to bloom.
Do Camellias Flower in the First Year?
Most camellias won’t flower in their first year but will bloom within a couple of years. However, some camellia varieties take up to or over five years to produce their first flowers.
Different camellias varieties bloom at different times of the year. Early-season camellias such as Camellia sasanqua bloom in the fall from October until December. Mid-season camellias flower during winter from January until March. Late-season camellias like Camellia japonica bloom in the spring, lasting from March until May.
Edd is a budding content writer and gardener living in the United Kingdom. He has a bachelor's degree in Creative and Professional Writing and has written for several gardening publications online. He is passionate about nature and sustainability with a focus on gardening and wildlife.