An outdoor landscape with camellia shrubs will add color to your home and property during the winter months. Besides having those pretty flowers the camellia is an evergreen shrub with shiny green leaves that are very attractively even when the shrub is not in full bloom.
If your live in the warm climate areas, Jauary is the time you will find them in the nurseries and home and garden centers; they will probably be blooming and this is the time to plant them around your outdoor landscape. Once you see the color and shape of the blooms should help you decide which ones to purchase and will have a good idea as to where to plant them. Planting camellias while they are blooming is the best time before the new growth appears.
Most of the camellia varieties should be planted where they will receive filtered sun, except for the camellia sasanqua which endures the full sun. If your outdoor landscape is shy of partial shade you can plant them in containers that can be moved around your patio or deck. Their planting area should also be protected from strong winds. Too much sun can cause them to suffer from scald, which means the leaves look very yellow instead of the shiny deep green. They can also be planted in the shaded areas of tall trees. They will liven up any shaded corner and make beautiful hedges.
The camellia flower colors are available in of white, pink, red, or a combo of colors. The flowers of the camellia shrub have a lasting quality even after they have been cut off and taken inside for display. Most camellia shrubs can live for roughly a century or maybe more. Some can grow to a height of about twenty-five feet. If you do not wish to have one that tall you can prune to any size needed, but the shrub does grow very slowly.
Camellias need a well drained slightly acidic soil for best growth. Once they are well established they are easily maintained. Always keep the soil moist but never soggy. When new growth starts to appear you can feed them camellia food. Always remember to follow the feeding directions and do not overfeed them.
There are vew diseases of the camellia but most of them will not happen in dry climates. The main disease is die-back caused by a fungus, if this happens prune away all the branches that have been infected. You need to prune them back until you reach clean wood. Another disease is a root rot, called phytophthora cinnamomi, which usually attacks camellia japonica. Having good drainage for your plant will help to prevent this from happening. Camellia sasanquas and the newer ‘winter-hardy’ camellias are immune to this disease.
When planting camellias in your outdoor landscape be sure plant them at least eight feet apart unless you are planting a hedge. Camellias planted as hedges only need to be about six feet apart. The ‘winter-hardy’ camellias to quite well planted as hedges. The camellia is well known for its attractive late fall and winter blossoms with its bright green shiny leaves; they are perfect for almost any garden in the winter.