Camellias are large evergreen shrubs that can bloom pink, red or white flowers during late fall, winter and early spring months. There are more than 2,300 varieties of camellias and according to the North Carolina State University, Camellia japonica and Camellia sasanqua are examples of more cold hardy varieties, tolerant of temperatures as cold as 10 and 5 degrees F, respectively. Camellias prefer acidic and moist soil conditions and make excellent additions a home garden or yard.
Plant camellias in an area where they are protected from the early morning and afternoon sun. Some varieties, such as reticulatas, can tolerate more sun than others, such as elegans. According to the North Carolina State University, in general, red varieties tolerate more sun than white or pink varieties. In addition, avoid areas where sudden drops of temperatures and high winds are more likely.
Plant camellias as a border or large screen, such as to shade a patio or window, or as an ornamental shrub in your landscape. Camellias that are 100 years old can reach up to 25 feet, but they are more likely to reach only about 6 to 12 feet tall and 6 to 10 feet wide.
Plant camellias any time, but the best time is in the spring or fall, according to Clemson University. However, it is usually best to avoid transplanting plants during summer heat.
Grow camellias where you can enjoy their fragrance. Camellias can bloom from mid-fall until early spring so plant them near where you open your windows on a warm day or along the walk from your driveway to your home, for example.
Add a 2- to 3-inch layer of mulch, such as bark mulch, to keep weeds from growing, to help retain moisture and maintain consistent soil temperatures.