Camellia Plant Care – How Camellia Plants are Making the Garden a Better Place

Camellia Plant Care - How Camellia Plants are Making the Garden a Better Place

Camellia is an evergreen flowering shrub that is native to southeastern Asia, Japan, China, Vietnam, and Indonesia. These plants have leaves in simple, thick glossy structure. Flowers are usually large with 5-9 petals in clusters and available in white, pink, red and yellow colors. The Plant grows to a height of 6-15 feet tall with width 5-7 feet.

Camellias are old-fashioned flowers but mostly seen in flower gardens. These flowering plants bring beauty to your garden with its wide variety of fragrant flowers. Leaves of camellia plants are used to prepare tea, produces seed oil which is used in cooking and some other varieties of camellia are used as ornamental plants.

In this article, we shared the complete information about the growth factors of camellia plants, camellia plant problems and solution for plant problems using organic or natural methods are listed below…

Camellia Plant Varieties

Camellias are grown as ornamental plants for their beautiful flowers. there are more than 3000 plant varieties to grow with double or semi-double flowers. Here is the table that completely illustrates the popular camellia varieties, its flowering type, and color.

Camellia- Camellia Japonica- Camellia Sinensis

S. No Variety Color Flowering
1 Cornish snow White Single
2 Cornish spring Pink Single
3 Freedom bell Red Semi-double
4 Royalty Light red Semi-double
5 Spring festival Pink Semi-double
6 Tom Knudsen Deep red Double paenoy
7 Tristrem carlyon Rose pink Double paenoy

How to Grow Camellia from Seeds?

Here is the step by step procedure to grow camellia plants from seeds in pots…..

  • Select a seed variety to grow them in pots.
  • Prepare a potting mix rich soil.
  • Provide sufficient water and sunlight to the plants.
  • Plants require balanced N-P-K fertilizers to thrive quickly and to deter pest and disease problem.
  • Harvest beautiful fragrant flowers during spring (growing) season.

Selecting Camellia Variety & Desired Pots

Before start growing camellia plants in your home, purchase camellia seeds from a nursery or online. Mostly prefer camellia sinensis, reticulata variety to grow easily in the pot indoors.

Choose large pots or container of size 8-12 inches for growing camellia plants. Use clay or ceramic pot that has holes at the bottom to ensure drainage levels. Now soak the seeds in water for 12 hours to speed up the germination process.

Use Well-drain Soil

Camellia plants prefer acidic soil with pH between 5.0 & 5.5. These plants grow well using a well-drain fertile soil or a mix of peat moss & sandy soil. You can also add mulches such as dead leaves or ripen fruits & vegetables at the base of the plant to maintain soil moisture levels.

Water & Sunlight  

Water the seeds sufficiently in small amounts. When the seedling develops and matures you can increase the amount of water supply to the plants. Do not overwater as the plant cannot survive and may cause root rot.

Provide sunlight to the plants for a minimum of 6-8 hours a day to absorb nutrients from the soil. Maintain the optimum temperature of 70-75 F when you grow the plant indoors.


Prune the camellia plants from time to time to grow new buds in the spring season.  Pruning at other seasons will not help the plant to establish but eliminates the buds. Removing dead leaves, stems will improve the overall health of the plant and reduces the chances of diseases to the plants.

Nutrient Deficiency Symptoms

S. No Element Deficiency Symptom
1 Nitrogen Slow growth, leaves become pale
2 Phosphorus Reduces leaf production, leaves turn blue color
3 Potassium Purplish brown patches at the base of petioles
4 Magnesium Reduced height, leaves turn yellowish brown color

Common Pests & Diseases in Camellia 

Pests Diseases
Aphids Root rot
Scales Yellow leaf mottle
Spider mites Flower blight
Thrips Leaf Gall
Caterpillars Botrytis
Weevils Powdery mildew

Fertilizing Camellias

They don’t need too much of fertilizers as too much of nitrogen can burn the leaves and drop off. Apply fertilizers to the camellias plants during the season. Use a slow-release balanced N-P-K fertilizer in the ratio of 8-8-8 near the roots. You can also use organic fertilizers such as compost, manure, cottonseed meal, fish emulsions and eggshells (contains more of calcium) to boost the plant growth and flowering in every season.


Harvest the beautiful fragrant flowers in bulk during its growing season. Cut the flower stem at the bottom keeping long and place the flowers immediately after cutting in a bucket full of water.  Harvest beautiful fragrant flowers early morning or evening to avoid from overheating at afternoon times. 

Camellia Plant Care - How Camellia Plants are Making the Garden a Better Place

How to Grow Camellias from Cuttings?

Camellia is also grown for its beautiful flowers in cool months throughout the year. Most of these species can be grown from rooted cuttings. Here is the step by step procedure to grow camellia plants from stem cuttings….

  • Take a healthy stem cutting from camellia shrub in late spring and early summer season.
  • Trim off the lower leaves of the stem using blades or shears.
  • Now place the cuttings in a jar of water and change water for every 2-3 days.
  • Shift it to the window location to receive sunlight for a minimum of 6 hours a day.
  • Within 2-3 weeks root establishes and you can transplant it to outdoors.
  • Place the cuttings in a well-drain soil and water at regular intervals.
  • Within months time flowers bloom and are ready to harvest.

    How do you Care for Camellias?

  • Camellia plants will not thrive if the soil pH is above 7.0.
  • Repotting the camellia plants after every 2-3 years from planting.
  • Avoid overwatering camellia plants as it may result in the plant to root rot.
  • Use Neem oil or insecticidal soaps and other natural methods to deter pests.
  • Make sure the pot or container has holes at the bottom for proper drainage.
  • The camellia plant should receive sunlight for a minimum of 6-8 hours a day.
  • Follow the instructions and warning labels before applying fertilizers on plants.
  • Spacing should be 15-20 inches apart between the seeds when planted outdoors

How long does camellia plant grow?

When you start growing camellias from stem cuttings or seeds, the seedlings may take 6-8 years (camellias often called as slow-growing plants) to bloom flowers with unpredictable quality and growth. The best time to bloom flowers in the spring and late summer season.

What are the good companions for camellias?

Camellias grow well with the companions like azaleas, rhododendrons, magnolia, Daphne, forsythia, honeysuckle bush, witch hazel, epimedium plant, lily, Virginia, pulmonaria, Korean forsythia, crocus, cyclamen, bleeding heart, primrose, creeping viburnum, pansies, sedum, ferns, aster, forest grass, and anemone. You can also grow along with lavender, rosemary, thyme, peonies, dianthus, black-eyed Susan, and Penstemon. These plants improve the growth of camellias by deterring pests and supplying nutrients to the plants.

Do camellias like full sun or shade?

Camellias are woody shrubs that thrive in pots with full sun and shades which protects the plant from winds. Place camellia plants in sunlight for 8 hours a day to bloom beautiful fragrant flowers quickly.

Why are the flowers on my camellia plants turning yellow?

Camellia flower blight is the serious problem that can cause the flowers to turn the brown color. Symptoms include small, brown leaves and with irregularly shaped spots on flower petals. It is mostly seen in the spring season when there is a moisture and may also be caused by the fungus.

For more information refer:  Why are my plants turning yellow?

When do camellia plants bloom?

Camellia plants have large leaves and flowers that have small blossoms. All of these camellia varieties bloom in spring or summer season. Though you provide fertilizers and right conditions in different seasons, the camellia plant cannot bloom flowers apart from its growing season.

Are camellia plants poisonous to your pets?

Camellia plants are not toxic to your pets like cats, dogs, and horses. However, when consumed the plant material suffers from gastrointestinal problems like vomiting and diarrhea.  Also keep them away as your loving pets can’t bear the smell of fertilizers when applied to the plants.

Camellia Plant Care - How Camellia Plants are Making the Garden a Better Place

Start growing these beautiful camellia plants in your garden that brings beauty to your outdoor garden. If you have amazing ideas about growing camellias, please share your experience with us.

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