How to Plant a Camellia


Camellias are evergreen shrubs with large colorful blooms that flower during what otherwise is a drab time of year: winter until spring. They can be planted any time of year but will become better established more quickly if they are planted in the fall or spring. More than 2,300 camellia cultivars are available, with Camellia japonica, Camellia sasanqua and Camellia oleifera some of the most popular.

Step 1

Choose a spot in partial sun to plant your camellias. Mature camellias can tolerate lots of sun, but young camellias need some afternoon protection.

Step 2

Dig out a hole that is about two to three times as large as the camellia's nursery container.

Step 3

Break apart any large clumps of soil and remove large rocks. Mix in approximately 25 percent organic matter, such as peat moss or compost from your compost pile.

Step 4

Dig a circle around your planting hole that is about 12 to 18 inches deep and 3 feet in diameter. This will cut any tree or shrub roots that may absorb the water and nutrients your camellia needs to thrive.

Step 5

Backfill the hole partially so you plant the camellia at the same depth as it was planted in the container. Backfill the remaining soil and pack it down lightly with your hands.

Step 6

Water the camellia with 1 inch of water under its entire canopy. Add 2 to 3 inches of mulch (such as bark mulch) to keep the soil from drying out quickly.

Things You'll Need

  • Shovel
  • Organic matter
  • Water
  • Mulch


  • Clemson University: Camellia
Keywords: plant camellias, grow camellias, garden camellias

About this Author

Melissa Lewis has been a professional writer since 2005. Her work has appeared in various online publications. A former elementary classroom teacher and media specialist, Lewis is also a script writer, with a movie script, "Homecoming," she co-wrote currently in production. She holds a Bachelor of Arts in psychology.