Camellias are brilliant, low-maintenance evergreen shrubs that work well in most gardens. However, you need to plant camellias in the right place to help them thrive. This article will discuss where to plant camellias and the best locations in your garden or patio.
What Conditions Do Camellias Like?
Camellia plants are native to parts of eastern and southern Asia, such as China, Japan, Korea, and Indonesia. Camellias inhabit several tropical and subtropical climates, from the Himalayan mountains to woodlands and forests. Above all, camellias do best in warm, sheltered conditions.
Camellias grow best in USDA Zones 7 to 10, although some varieties are hardy down to Zone 6. Most camellias can survive temperatures as low as 10ºF (-12ºC) as long as they are protected from cold winds. Camellias prefer slightly humid conditions and struggle in dry climates.
Most camellias need partial shade, although some can grow in full shade. Varieties derived from Camellia sasanqua grow best in full sun. Camellias should receive morning sunlight while being protected from the intense afternoon sun.
Camellias need a sheltered location in a garden. This protects them from cold or strong winds that could damage their slow-growing flower buds.
How Tall and Wide Do Camellias Grow?
Most camellias grow somewhere between 6 and 15 feet tall and approximately 6 to 10 feet wide. Some species, such as Camellia reticulata, can grow up to 50 feet high as small trees. Several dwarf camellia cultivars are now available that grow between 2 and 6 feet tall.
What Soil Conditions Do Camellias Need?
Camellias are fine with most things but need the correct soil. Camellias require acidic, rich soils that are well-draining but still retain some moisture. They prefer to be consistently moist rather than dry or waterlogged.
In addition, they need soils that have a pH range between 5.0 and 6.5. Clay, loam, and peat soils suit camellias best. However, if your existing soil isn’t suitable for camellias, amend it using ericaceous compost. You can also add acidic mulches such as pine needles or sulfur.
Where to Plant Camellias in Your Garden
Plant camellias in a sheltered part of your garden to protect them against afternoon sunlight and cold or strong winds. Ensure that your camellia gets some morning sun followed by partial shade for the rest of the day.
Ideally, camellias should be planted in rich, acidic soils with a pH level between 5.0 and 6.5. However, if necessary, you can improve the soil using ericaceous compost.
Give camellias approximately 5 feet of space away from structures or other plants if possible. This promotes good airflow, reducing the risk of your camellia suffering from diseases. If you’re creating a camellia hedge, place each section approximately 3 feet apart.
Can Camellias Grow in Pots?
Camellias grow very well in pots, which means that even a small garden can accommodate a camellia shrub. Growing camellias in containers is a good idea if you live in a cooler climate. You can protect potted camellias from cold temperatures by bringing them indoors or wrapping them in fleece.
If you’re growing a camellia in a pot, fill the container with ericaceous compost. This provides the right amount of acidity and nutrition. Water the camellia whenever the top 2 to 4 inches of soil feel dry. In hot conditions, potted camellias dry out faster than those in the ground, so you’ll have to water them more frequently.
Where to Plant Camellias FAQs:
Where is the Best Place to Plant Camellias?
The best place to plant camellias is in a sheltered spot that receives partial shade. Camellias also need acidic soils but can also be grown in pots.
Can You Plant Camellias Close to a House?
Camellias don’t have invasive roots, so they shouldn’t interfere with house foundations. Plant camellias around 5 feet away from a house to achieve the best results.
What is the Best Time to Plant Camellias
If you live in a warm climate, plant camellias in the fall. This gives them time to establish over winter before blooming next year. In cooler climates, plant camellias in spring.
The best location to plant your camellias is a sheltered spot that gets partial shade for most of the day. Plant your camellia in fertile, acidic soil that holds moisture but still drains well. If your soil isn’t suitable, amend it using ericaceous compost. Camellias can also thrive in containers, especially in colder climate zones.
For more, see our in-depth guide on the meaning and symbolism of camellias and discover our favorite types of red, white, and pink camellia flowers.
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.
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