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.
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.
Camellias, as well as azaleas and rhododendrons, prefer a slightly acidic soil (soil with a pH of less than 7). If your soil is alkaline, apply some Yates Soil Acidifier Liquid Sulfur to reduce the pH of the soil.
If you’ve had problems with camellia bud balling in the past, where buds form but go brown and don’t open, an application of liquid magnesium might help. Yates Leaf Greener Magnesium Chelate is a concentrated source of fast acting magnesium that can help correct magnesium deficiency in camellias.
There are three types of Camellias that are grown and available in Australia:
Japonica Camellia (C. japonica)
Japonicas have stunning single or double flowers borne above attractive glossy green foliage. Bring their beautiful blooms inside and float them a shallow bowl of water.
Sasanqua Camellia (C. sasanqua)
While often used as a hedging plant, sasanquas can also be left to grow into small feature trees. Where space is an issue, consider dwarf forms or espaliering against a wall.
Tea Plant (C.sinesis)
Grown for the leaf tips rather than the flowers, the new leaves and buds can be harvested and dried for tea (white, green and black). Tea plants can be grown into an attractive hedge or used as a screening plant.
Reticulata (C. reticulata)
These plants are a real show stopper! Reticulatas are mainly grown for their large voluptuous flowers that appear from late winter to mid spring. Due to their open growth habit, they’re best grown as feature trees in the garden.