Camellia Plant Size: Understanding How Tall and Wide They Can Grow

Camellias can bring color and beauty to any garden, even in winter when little else is blooming. However, before adding a camellia to your garden, it’s a good idea to find out how large these plants can get. In this article, we’ll find out how tall and wide camellias grow, and the typical camellia plant size once mature.

Camellia Plant Size_ Understanding How Tall and Wide They Can Grow

How Tall and Wide Do Camellias Grow?

Mature pink camellia flowers in bloom

Most camellias in gardens will grow between 6 and 15 feet tall and approximately 6 to 10 feet wide. They mainly grow as evergreen shrubs, but some species will grow as small trees. The largest varieties can reach up to approximately 50 feet tall.

Many cultivars have been crafted into dwarf camellia varieties designed for pots or small gardens. These only reach between 2 and 6 feet tall on average. An excellent example of a dwarf camellia variety is Camellia sasanqua ‘Dwarf Shishi’.

Most species grow reasonably slowly and can take decades to reach their full height and width. Camellia shrubs also produce large, showy flower heads that can be up to 6 inches wide, depending on the variety. However, some won’t flower at their best until they’re several years old.

Which Camellias Are the Tallest and Shortest?

Low growing pink camellia plants in bloom

The tallest species is Camellia reticulata, which grows as a tree rather than a shrub. These evergreen trees regularly reach 50 feet in height. Camellia reticulata is native to southwestern parts of China.

The most petite types of shrubs are the dwarf cultivars. These include Camellia sasanqua ‘Dwarf Sishi’. In most cases, these small camellias reach approximately 3 feet tall in most cases but can grow up to 5 feet tall. Dwarf camellias grow well in containers and are perfect if you don’t have much space to work with.

Factors Contributing to the Size of Camellias

A vibrant red camellia flower blooms on the branch

Although they grow pretty slowly, providing the right conditions helps them develop quickly. Here are a few factors that affect the camellia plant size:

Growing Conditions

Camellias flower from new growth, which begins to form after flowering finishes. The new flower buds take months to develop, leaving them vulnerable to cold winds. That’s why they need sheltered spots that protect them from strong winds that could damage the young flower buds.

Sunlight

Most camellias require shady conditions, although cultivars derived from Camellia sasanqua can tolerate full sun. Most thrive in partial shade with some morning sunlight. Growing your camellia in these locations helps it grow at its best.

Soil

Camellias need moist, slightly acidic soils that are still fertile and well-draining. The soil pH needs to be between 5.5 and 6.5. Ericaceous compost provides the right amount of acidity along with plenty of nutrients.

Spacing

Camellias won’t be able to reach their full size if they don’t have enough space. If you want a large plant, give it approximately 5 feet of space away from other plants. If you want to restrict a camellia’s size, grow it in a container.

Giving your plant plenty of space improves airflow around the plant, which reduces the risk of diseases. It also prevents pests and diseases from being transferred onto your camellia from other plants.

Pruning

Camellias only need to be pruned once a year after they finish flowering. This allows you to shape your plant as desired. However, pruning too frequently will stunt your plant’s growth.

They start slowly producing flower buds for the next year immediately after flowering. If you prune several months later, you’ll cut off the developing buds, setting the plant back by months.

Camellia Growth Expectations FAQs:

How Much Space Does a Camellia Need?

Camellias benefit from plenty of space around them. They need approximately 5 feet of space between them and other plants. If you’re growing a camellia hedge, leave approximately 3 feet of space between each plant.

How Large Do Camellia Bushes Get?

Camellia bushes grow between 6 and 15 feet high in most cases. They also spread between 6 and 10 feet wide, depending on the variety.

Where is the Best Position to Plant a Camellia?

Camellia shrubs do best in sheltered areas that provide partial shade, although some species prefer full sun. All varieties need protection from cold winds.

Camellia Plant Size: Wrapping Up

Most camellias grow between 6 and 15 feet tall, but the largest camellia trees can reach up to 50 feet tall. They also grow approximately 6 to 10 feet wide, depending on the variety. Most camellias grow fairly slowly, taking several decades to reach their full size.

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