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Incredible Camellias

Camellias are showy and fragrant broadleaf evergreen shrubs in the Tea family. The two species of Camellias available at Painters both bloom in late fall and winter, making it a star in the landscape while many other ornamental plants are entering dormancy.

Japanese Camellia (Camellia japonica)

This species of camellia probably has the most cultivar selections of any broadleaf evergreen tree or shrub – up to 30,000 worldwide! Japanese Camellias grow in a dense pyramidal shape with leathery lustrous green leaves. Since Camellias are evergreens, the leaves provide a great backdrop for the 3-5” blooms. The blooms range in color from white to red, with many shades and bloom forms in between. The blooms are frost sensitive and will turn to mush on cold nights. This plant looks best scattered along a landscape or woodland edge.

  • USDA Growing Zones: 7-9/10

  • Bloom Time: November/December; some in April

  • Height: 10-15 feet

  • Spread: 6-10 feet

  • Sun Exposure: Partial shade

  • Soil Needs: moisture retentive acidic soil

Tips: The right plant in the right place: Plant in partial shade (pine shade preferred), in moisture retentive acidic soil. Protect from sweeping winds. If you are in a colder area of WNC (zone 6-7), then you may want to plant near a warm building for additional protection and warmth.

Varieties Available for Fall 2022: White Perfection – beautiful double white blooms in spring (April).

Camellia sasanqua

Less formal in habit than Japanese Camellias as it has a more loose, rounded shape with arching branches. C. sasanqua has a finer texture and more reliable blooms since the flowers open a bit earlier than C. japonica. Flowers are usually single, not double, and range in colors from white, pink and red. Some start blooming as early as September and often last into December. C. sasanqua is more sun tolerant than C. japonica and can handle full sun to part shade. Very adaptable in various soil types and can grow in clay, loam or sandy soils. If you have heavy clay soils prone to wet conditions, choose a Camellia sasanqua variety because it's more resistant to Phytophthora root rot!

  • USDA Growing Zones: 7-9/10

  • Bloom Time: September-December

  • Height: 6-10 feet

  • Spread: 6-10 feet

  • Sun Exposure: Full sun-partial shade

  • Soil Needs: Adaptable - clay, sandy, or loamy

Varieties Available for Fall 2022: Winter's Star - single, violet-pink blooms in fall; Yuletide - large, bright-red single blooms in fall/winter

Wabisuke Camellia (Camellia x wabiske)

A compact, hybrid camellia popular in Japan due to smaller bloom sizes, which were typically preferred in Japanese tea ceremonies. More similar in care and growing preferences to C. japonica. A rare camellia!

  • USDA Growing Zones: 7-9

  • Bloom Time: November-March

  • Height: 6-10 feet

  • Spread: 6-8 feet

  • Sun Exposure: Morning Sun with Afternoon Shade or Filtered Sun, All Day Filtered Sun

  • Soil Needs: Moist But Well Drained

Varieties Available for Fall 2022: Sagamio Wabisuke – semi-double bloom, pale purplish-pink with darker colored margin. Blooms from November-March. Name translates to "pure and never ending love." This camellia is currently loaded with buds!www

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