How to grow camellias in a garden

Camellia's come in a range of single to double blooms and a variety of colours ranging from deep pinks and reds through to pretty light pink, cream and white. Camellias with exposed stamens are adored by bees and camellia flowers can also attract birds.

  1. Choose a well drained spot in the garden that receives the amount of sun appropriate for your chosen variety. Enrich the soil with Yates Dynamic Lifter Soil Improver & Plant Fertiliser.  In areas with heavy or clay soil, to help improve soil structure and drainage, add gypsum and mix in well.
  2. Dig the planting hole twice as wide and to the same depth as the root-ball. Remove the shrub from the container, gently tease the roots.
  3. Position in hole and backfill with soil, gently firming down. Form a raised or doughnut shaped ring of soil around the outer edge of the plant's root zone. This helps keep water where it's needed.  Always water in well after planting to settle the soil around the roots and keep the soil moist for several weeks while the new plant establishes..
  4. Mulch around the base with organic mulch like bark chips, sugarcane or pea straw, keeping it away from the trunk.
  5. Water deeply, two to three times a week, depending on weather conditions.
  6. Feed every 6 weeks with Yates Thrive Natural Roses & Flowers Organic Based Pelletised Plant Food during the growing and flowering seasons to encourage healthy green leaf growth, strong root development and lots of beautiful flowers.




How to grow camellias in a pot

  1. Choose a pot at least 400mm wide. Position in a spot appropriate to the chosen variety and fill with quality potting mix, such as Yates Potting Mix with Dynamic Lifter.
  2. Add a small amount of pre-hydrated Yates Waterwise Water Storage Crystals to the mix. These will help hold extra moisture.
  3. Remove the shrub from the container, gently tease the roots.
  4. Position in hole and backfill with potting mix, gently firming down. Water in well.
  5. Once planted, keep the plant well watered but don’t let the water sit in a saucer at the base of the pot.
  6. Feed each week with potassium rich Yates Thrive Roses & Flowers Liquid Plant Food to encourage healthy green leaf growth, strong root development and lots of beautiful flowers.

Growing Tips

Camellias are remarkably drought tolerant but the plants will perform at their best if water stress is kept to a minimum.

Watch out for sunburn. Even the sun-hardiest camellia can burn on an extra-hot day, which can lead to leaf fungal problems. You can provide your plant with some additional protection during this period by applying Yates Droughtshield to the leaves.

Camellias make their major spurt of growth after flowering, so it’s best to feed when the last flowers are coming to an end.

Camellias have shallow root systems that can dry out readily during summer so, after fertilising, spread a layer of mulch around the base to retain moisture.

If your soil is alkaline you can reduce the pH (make it more acidic) with applications of Yates Soil Acidifier Liquid Sulfur.


There are three types of Camellias that are grown and available in Australia:

Japonica Camellia (C. japonica)

This Camellia can grow up to 4 to 5 metres in height and has deep green larger leaves that produce an array of flowers (double, single) in late autumn to early spring.

Sasanqua Camellia (C. sasanqua) 

Widely used as a hedging plant but can grow and form into a small tree from 2-8 metres in height. Single or double flowers are produced from mid summer to mid-winter.

Tea Plant (C.sinesis)

Grown for the leaf tips rather than the flower form. Small shrub that can grow to around 2 metres in height.  Small white flowers appear in autumn to spring. New  leaves and buds are harvested to use as tea (white,  green and black). 

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