Camellias bloom from early autumn to late spring, they are prized and admired as ornamental shrubs all over the world for their relatively carefree growth habit, their variety in flower shape, colour and size and their handsome evergreen foliage. There are many thousands named cultivars and varieties varying in form from upright and densely bushy to low and spreading. Some Camellias can grow to around 6 or 7 m, but more often from groundcovers to between 1 to 3 m. They can spread between 1 to 3 m. There are many fragrant Camellias. Camellias are used as specimen plants, focal point, borders, formal hedges, screens and even as a container plants. Many types of Camellias can be trained into standards.
There are Camellias to suit every kind of specification.
Camellias require little care, they are exceptionally hardy and once established, can produce some amazing results without almost any attention.
Camellia sasanquas come from Southern Japan where they are seen as a shrub, in some area growing down to the shorelines. They are resistant to salt spray and are fairly drought resistant. They tolerate regular clipping and are not affected by many pests and diseases. Their root system will not damage pipes, paths, fences and foundations.
Camellia sasanquas will survive and live much longer than most Australian native plants and do not grow out of shape.
Some Camellias, in Japan, are known to be more than 500 years old
All Camellias in Dan's Collectionare created especially to suit Australian conditions.
Camellias can be planted all year round. Late winter is the ultimate time to plant.
The C. hiemalis and C.vernalis species may be grouped with C. sasanqua as they have similar growing and flowering qualities.
C. sasanqua grow best in full sunlight they are the most adaptable and hardiest of the Camellia species thriving in full sun and semi shade. They will survive in high temperatures, tolerate more wind, frost, and cold, than other species
C. japonica and reticulatas grow best in dappled sunlight. They produce more showy flower display
Planting in the landscape
- Dig a hole at least 20 cm wider diameter than the root ball.
- Excavate a circular ring around the centre mound on which the root ball will be placed. Camellias don't like wet feet.
- Tease out the roots, to help them become established once planted. Place the root ball on the central mound.
- Backfill the hole with a mixture of native soil and an organic compound. The compound will improve the soil quality by providing additional nutrients to the plant.
- Build a small ridge out of soil all along the perimeter of the planting hole to create a water rim. This will help retain adequate moisture where the roots need it.
- Cover the soil with mulch, best keep away from trunk, do not plant deeper than existing level planting. Water well,
- If you're not sure how well the soil drains, dig a hole about a 30-40 cm deep and fill with water. Let it drain, and fill it again. If the water stays at the same level for several hours the second time, the soil has poor drainage.
- It will be necessary to provide drainage.
- More camellias die from over watering, wet feet or from being planted too deeply than from any other cause.
Camellias prefer a slightly acidic soil. Pine bark mulch or pine straw and needles increase the acidity of the soil as they break down.
Planting in containers
Camellias are very hardy and can be enjoyed as container plants on patios and balconies.
They make good houseplants and can be moved indoors or outdoors depending on the temperature.
Container grown Camellias require moist, well-drained soil. Use a rich, high-quality potting soil that has had peat moss added. Be sure the soil doesn't dry out between waterings. On the other hand, camellias won't tolerate standing water in the saucer, so water only until the soil is moist.
Care & maintenance
Regular water is essential in the beginning. Water new plants every day for the first couple of months, and then gradually reduce the amount of water as they become established.
As a rule and under normal conditions Camellias do not need any watering when they are established.
Fertilization should be done a few months after planting, using granular Camellia fertiliser.
Re fertilize each year in August and again in February. If your plants show symptoms of iron deficiency (yellowing)add Chelate of Iron
Test the soil to determine if any nutrients need to be added. PH range should be between 5–6.
Camellias do not need pruning, but can be pruned and clipped to shape as required.
Best time is when new growth begins after flowering has finished
Camellias can be pruned hard to force or to restore bushiness.
There are very few known problems with Camellias in Australia, They are easy to grow and are relatively pest and disease free, but can be vulnerable to pest and disease problems in some situations.
Plants that are stressed, under watered, over watered, under fertilized, over fertilized, in soil with poor drainage, or have improper pH levels, can suffer from scale insects, spider mites, Root rot, Dieback and canker,
Use a chemical spray to control some, but better still, correct the conditions and maintain plants to be healthy.
Disclaimer - This information is a guide only, it is given in good faith and is to be accepted as such by any user of this information, it does not, for any reason, place any legal obligation on Dancraft Nurseries