Camellia plants are known for their evergreen leaves and delicate flowers that bloom in the winter and spring. However, since there are over 200 species of camellia and even more varieties, you can find quite a few differences within this genus. Keep reading to learn about some of the fastest growing types of camellias.
The term camellia is used to refer to a wide variety of plants in the Camellia genus. This genus belongs to the tea family, Theaceae.
Although there are about 220 camellia species, all are native to regions in Asia, including China, Japan, Indonesia, and Nepal.
The plants have evergreen leaves and grow as large shrubs or small trees. The plants also produce gorgeous flowers, which can range in color from white to yellow to pink.
The cold hardiness of camellias varies between species and varieties. Some varieties can only be grown in USDA hardiness zones 8–10, while others can be grown in areas as cold as zone 5.
Most camellias grow rather quickly—it’s common for the plants to rise one foot each year. However, some species and varieties grow much more rapidly than others.
The Fastest Growing Camellias
If you’re interested in growing camellias that grow quickly, you’ll want to pay attention to both the species and variety. However, remember that these different types of camellias can look quite different, so you’ll want to look at their appearance and attributes before you plant them.
Mt. Noko Camellia (Camellia transnokoensis)
The Mt. Noko camellia is native to regions in Taiwan, including the slopes of Mt. Noko. It can easily grow up to two feet per year.
In its native range, Camellia transnokoensis often grows as a small tree reaching over 20 feet tall. However, when it’s cultivated in other areas, it frequently maxes out around ten feet tall.
The plant produces white flower buds that sport patches of dark pink. The buds give way to pure white flowers that are dotted with yellow anthers. The flowers appear in the late winter or early spring.
Sasanqua Camellia (Camellia sasanqua) ‘Plantation Pink’
The sasanqua camellia contains many different varieties. While some grow relatively slowly, others are quick growers.
Camellia sasanqua ‘Plantation Pink’ is one of the faster growing varieties and can easily grow over a foot each year. Its flowers have bright pink petals and yellow stamens.
How to Help Camellia Plants Grow Quickly
No matter what type of camellia you plant, you can take a few measures to help it grow quickly.
Pick a Camellia That Is Well-Suited to Your Area
First, pick a species and variety well-suited for your area and exact location. Some camellias cannot tolerate cold, while others will suffer in high heat and humidity.
You should also look at the sunlight in the area you wish to plant your camellia. Some camellia plants require at least six hours of light to thrive and produce flowers, while others will perform better in shady conditions.
Check the Soil
The majority of camellia species grow best in well-draining yet moist soil. Adding compost or other forms of organic matter to the soil can improve both drainage and water-holding capacity.
You should also ensure the soil pH is slightly acidic, between 5.5–6.5. You can apply sulfur to the soil if you need to lower the pH.
Provide the Proper Care
Since camellia plants like moist soil, you will likely need to water them regularly. During hot summer weather, this may mean watering multiple times a week.
Since young plants have shallow root systems, it’s essential to water them regularly.
You should also fertilize your camellia plants once in the early spring and again in the early summer. A fertilizer designed for flowering plants will support plant growth as well as the production of flowers.
Fastest Growing Camellias FAQs:
How Fast Do Camellias Grow?
The growth of camellias depends on the species and the variety. However, most camellias grow between 6–18 inches per year.
How Can I Make My Camellia Grow Faster?
The proper environment and care will help your camellia grow quickly. Ensure you provide your plant with lots of water and sun, protection from harsh light, and regular fertilizer. You should also select a camellia that is well-suited for your environment.
Do Japanese Camellia Grow Quickly?
The popular Japanese camellia is one of the slower growing camellia species. This plant typically grows between 6–12 inches each year.
Briana holds a B.S. in Plant Sciences from Penn State University. She manages a small market garden where she grows vegetables and herbs. She also enjoys growing flowers and houseplants at home.