It’s Camellia Time
January 28th, 2006
Continue to buy, plant, and transplant camellias now, while they’re still in bloom and before they start to grow. Most people choose camellias simply by picking out something that looks pretty. It’s better to select them for your climate zone and ease of growing. Some are slow growers, others vigorous. Some are good in warmer climates but many varieties need extremes of temperature in order to open their blooms.
Many people who have just moved from a milder area to an area with more variation (or vice versa) try to grow their favorite camellias from their old home and are disappointed. Your best bet is to buy your camellias at a local nursery that knows the area. As a general rule, singles and semi doubles do best in milder areas, though many formal doubles will open. Anemone-form and peony-form camellias usually won’t open in milder climates, because the winters are too warm.
If you live in a very cold climate, plant one of these beauties in a nice ceramic or clay pot. They work well in containers and are easy to bring inside to a nice bright spot and enjoy the beautiful bloom that is sure to brighten even the most dreary winter day.
Don’t forget, Camellias like a very humusy, acidic soil. Use a peat moss or a specialty camellia or azalea planting mix to insure success.