How to Garden Camellia


Camellia is a flowering, evergreen shrub. Camellias flower in late spring and early summer, with large multipetaled blooms in a wide range of colors. Usually purchased as a bedding plant from nurseries, camellia is also sometimes propagated via cuttings. Camellias can be grown in most areas of the United States, though they do require winter protection in areas with hard freezes. Gardening camellia properly allows the shrub a long life and ensures that it produces many vibrant blooms each year.

Step 1

Choose an area of the garden that is partially shaded year-round. Plant in a well-drained area that doesn't retain water at any time of year. Work a 3-inch layer of compost into the soil to aid drainage and soil nutrition.

Step 2

Dig a hole as deep as the root ball and twice as wide. Remove the camellia from the container and set the root ball into the hole.

Step 3

Fill in the hole around the roots, firming the soil with your hands. Water immediately after planting to collapse any air pockets in the soil. Water until the soil is moist but not soaking wet.

Step 4

Mulch around each plant with a 3-inch layer of organic mulch to preserve soil moisture. Water once a week, providing enough moisture to moisten the soil to a 15-inch depth.

Step 5

Fertilize camellias every two months from when they begin actively growing in spring until July. Use 1 tbsp. general-purpose fertilizer per plant.

Step 6

Prune camellias in early summer. Use disinfected shears to remove small, non-flowering branches to aid air circulation. Pinch off growing tips to encourage fullness.

Things You'll Need

  • Compost
  • Shovel
  • Mulch
  • Fertilizer
  • Pruning shears


  • University of Georgia Extension: Camellia Culture
Keywords: gardening camellia, camellia care, perennial flowers

About this Author

Jenny Harrington is a freelance writer of more than five years' experience. Her work has appeared in "Dollar Stretcher" and various blogs. Previously, she owned her own business for four years, selling handmade items online, wholesale and via the crafts fair circuit. Her specialties are small business, crafting, decorating and gardening.