All About Camellia Japonica
When we moved to the PNW, we were lucky enough to inherit a yard with these beautiful flowering trees. I couldn’t figure out what they were! We have two in our yard. One of the trees produces these amazing, massive sized deep pink blooms with yellow centers. Their leaves are a deep, glossy evergreen color. It’s such a gorgeous sight to see in early spring. After a ton of research – I finally figured out that they are Camellia Japonica. I had never heard of these before when we lived on the east coast! But I see them everywhere here.
If you happen to live in Alabama – then I’m sure you know all about these! Camellias happen to be the state flower for Alabama.
There are tons of different varieties of Camellia. They are all so beautiful. Here are some other characteristics:
- They grow between 6 and 15 feet tall.
- They are considered slow growing – about one foot per year.
- They are hardy in zones 7-10.
- There are over 300 different species!
- The flowers range from small to medium to large and it’s colors can range from white, to light pink, to yellow, to red and deep hot pink.
- They are evergreen – so they won’t lose their leaves in winter. This makes it a great choice to add some “interest” to your yard year round.
Our other Camellia is a smaller variety with white and pink colored flowers. How pretty is this?
Caring for Camellia Japonica
Caring for these beauties couldn’t be easier! We did inherit them when they were older and more established, so I can’t speak from experience with starting one as a baby. Our plant nursery here said it’s best to plant them in the fall. Keep them well hydrated until they become more established.
Here are a few tips though to keeping them happy:
- They like partial shade. Too much sun will burn their leaves. Too little sun and they won’t really flower as much.
- They dislike being in too wet soil (they hate “wet feet” as the gardeners say.) It’s best to plant them in well draining soil.
- You can prune them after they finish blooming, late spring or mid summer. Or you can just let them be free as we have done!
We haven’t fertilized ours at all either. In the summer, we do cover the area with a layer of mulch. It just looks better that way and it keeps the moisture in the ground a bit longer for them.
The other wonderful thing about these flowering trees is that they make amazing cut flowers. I like to cut a bunch with their greens attached and set them up around the house. It’s a great way to decorate for Spring.
By the way, you can totally make that wood bead garland in the picture there!
So there you go! If you are in zones 7 through 10 – you definitely want to check our Camellia Japonica and the other varieties. There are actually some varieties that will grow hardy to zone 6 too.
Have a great week everyone!