How to Care for the Camellia Plant


Gardeners wanting to add a splash of color to their winter landscape will benefit from planting camellias. Camellias produce single and double blooms during the winter season.They also bloom in late fall and early spring in white, pink and dark red colors. Over 2,300 cultivators of camellias exist in the United States as of 2010. Reputable garden centers and nurseries are the best places to purchase camellias for the home garden.

Step 1

Space camellia plants 5 feet apart, and plant them in holes twice as wide as the root ball. Spread a 3- to 4-inch layer of mulch around the camellias to protect their roots.

Step 2

Provide the camellia plants with 1 inch of water per week. Do not water if the camellia has received more than 1 inch of rain during the week. A rain gauge helps measure the amount of water camellias received from rain.

Step 3

Fertilize camellia plants with a slow-release, nitrogen fertilizer after the first year of growth. June and September are ideal months for fertilizing camellias.

Step 4

Prune camellias in late winter. Dead head (or pinch) dying blooms away from the plant as needed throughout the growing season. Remove any dead or weak limbs from the camellias.

Step 5

Inspect camellias for signs of pest invasion. Ants and spider mites love to feed off of camellia plants. Consider using a chemical spray, available at garden centers, to get rid of these pests.

Step 6

Inspect camellias for signs of disease, including Camellia Dieback and Canker. Signs of this disease include yellow leaves and gray blotches on the bark and stem. Use an appropriate fungicide to protect new leaves and branch growth.

Tips and Warnings

  • Use caution when using chemical sprays, as they are hazardous to humans and animals. Planting camellias too deep into the soil may cause them to die.

Things You'll Need

  • Soil
  • Water
  • Fertilizer


  • Clemson University Extension Service: Camellia Diseases & Insect Pests
  • North Carolina State University Extension: Camellia
  • American Camellia Society: Planting Camellias

Who Can Help

  • Texas AgriLife Extension Service: Camellias
  • Alabama Cooperative Extension: The Culture of Camellias: The State Flower of Alabama
  • Oregon State University Extension: Winter is Camellia season
Keywords: camellia care, planting camellia, plant camellias

About this Author

Brandii Lacey holds a Bachelor of Science in communications from Appalachian State University. She has been writing articles for 12 years, starting her career at The Mountain Times. Her passion for gardening began at age 5, after successfully planting and caring for her first geranium. She continues to grow herbs, vegetables and a variety of flowers today.