The Debutante Camellia is a slow-growing flowering shrub that is native to China. The shrub is desired in home landscapes because of its winter flowering and attractive foliage. Debutante Camellia is susceptible to frost and should be covered for protection when there is a danger of freezing. The shrub can be planted as a hedge or staggered through the garden to create eye-catching color.
The Debutante Camellia is an multi-stemmed evergreen shrub that is hardy to plant in USDA growing zones 6 through 9. The shrub has glossy green foliage leaves that remain green year round and grows up to 20 feet in height. Debutante Camellia produces attractive 5-inch diameter rose-like flowers in the colors of pink, red, orange, yellow and lavender during the winter and spring seasons.
The Debutante Camellia plant grows best when planted in a well-draining, nutrient rich soil such as a sandy loam or clay loam. Choose a planting area that has partial shade or full morning sunlight as direct sunlight for long periods of time can cause stem and leaf burn to the plant. The plant prefers an acidic soil which should be tested prior to planting to verify it has a pH of 4.5 to 6.5. Ground rock sulfur can be added to the soil to lower the pH if needed.
Care and Maintenance
The Debutante Camellia plant prefers a moist soil and should be watered when the weekly rainfall is less than 1 inch. The moisture level should be monitored more frequently during periods of drought or if planted in a sandy soil. Mulch can be applied around the base of the plant to assist with moisture retention. Debutante Camellia plants should be fertilized each spring after planting with a complete, all-purpose fertilizer. Do not use a high nitrogen fertilizer as this will promote heavy foliage growth at the expense of flower production.
The Debutante Camellia shrub can be propagated to create new plants by taking semi-hardwood cuttings in late summer. The cuttings should be taken from disease and damage free stems and placed in a moist rooting medium. Grow the cuttings in a warm location with indirect sunlight until roots are formed.
The Debutante Camellia has few problems with pests or disease. Any insects that appear on the leaves should be removed by spraying the plant with a sharp stream of water. Prevent insect problems once they are removed by spraying the plant with an insecticidal soap.