Camellia is an evergreen shrub cold hardy in U.S. Department of Agriculture growing zones 6 though 9 and capable of reaching 15 feet tall and 8 feet in diameter. The blooms of the camellia shrub may be white, red or shades of pink with yellow centers. In colder zones, the sturdy green leaves of the camellia shrub may be dusted with snow when the shrub blooms in late winter. In some climates, the camellia shrub also blooms in autumn. Plant camellias anytime from autumn to spring as long as the ground is not frozen.
Locate a partial shade, well-drained planting location in the landscape. Avoid a western location if sun strikes that area. Camellia prefers a pH level of 5.0 to 6.5, but can be grown in most soil types.
Dig a hole twice as wide as the potted camellia’s container. The additional width will loosen soil for easier root penetration. The depth of the hole should be one and one-half times as deep as the root ball is tall.
Mix equal amounts of organic matter, like compost, with some of the soil removed for the hole and return the mixture to the bottom one-third of the hole.
Lay the camellia container on its side. Pound the palm of your hand on the sides of the container, if needed, to pull the shrub from the container.
Place the camellia shrub in the center of the hole. The soil level at the top of the root ball should be about 1 inch higher than the surrounding ground level. Adjust the amount of soil in the bottom of the hole if necessary.
Use the shovel or your hands to toss soil back in the hole to fill it halfway. Water around the root ball, which will settle the soil. Finish returning soil to the hole, water again, and add more soil if needed to level the area.
Spread 2 to 4 inches of mulch, like pine chips, to help block weed growth and retain moisture. Start about 2 inches from the trunk of the camellia and spread the mulch the width of the hole.
Water regularly for the first two years if there is no rainfall, which may mean watering ever seven to 10 days, spring to autumn. During the third year, rainfall should be sufficient to water the camellia shrub.