Landscaping With Camellia Plants


Camellias have dark green, glossy leaves and beautiful rose-shaped large flowers in shades of pink, white and yellow. It's an evergreen perennial that is, for the most part, frost-tender. The scented varieties are more frost-tender than the others. There are some species that will tolerate some cold.


Step 1

Check to make sure the camellia you're considering planting will do well in your geographic area. They prefer acidic, well-drained soil in a mild, humid climate. They won't do well in hot, dry areas or winters with hard freezes.

Step 2

Locate camellias in shade. Camellias grow to 12 feet high but will burn in direct sunlight.

Step 3

Test the soil with a soil kit available at plant nurseries or home improvement stores. Camellias prefer acid soil. If your soil borders on being alkaline, adding elemental sulfur, sphagnum moss, iron sulfate, aluminum sulfate or acidifying nitrogen to help bring the soil to the acid side. Exactly how much to add depends on your soil and the additive you choose. If the soil is very alkaline, a pH of over 8, consider planting the camellia in a container where you can control the acidity of the soil more easily.

Step 4

Plant the camellia so the trunk is well above the soil line. The roots should be covered with a few inches of soil. Fertilize once a year in the spring. Water on a consistent, regular basis--exactly how much depends on the weather and rainfall.

Landscaping Uses

Step 1

Plant camellias as a border under tall trees that provide dappled shade. Camellias tolerate morning sun, so a border on the east side is suitable.

Step 2

Use camellias as specimen plants in a shade garden.

Step 3

Plant camellias as a foundation planting on the north side of the house where they're sheltered from the hot sun.

Tips and Warnings

  • Changing a very alkaline soil to acidic is difficult.


  • "At Home in the Garden"; Becke Davis; 2001
  • Iowa State University: How to Change Your Soil's pH
  • Backyard Gardener: Camellias
Keywords: grow camellias, evergreen camellias, planting camellias

About this Author

Katie Rosehill holds an MBA from Arizona State University. She began her writing career soon after college and has written website content and e-books. Her articles have appeared on, eHow, and GolfLinks. Favorite topics include personal finance - that MBA does come in handy sometimes - weddings and gardening.