Camellias are colorful evergreen shrubs that flower primarily in the cooler months. Bursts of pink, white, yellow and red will help brighten up the doldrums of late winter. Another perk of adding a camellia to your garden: they are easy to maintain.
Choose Your Camellia
When searching for camellias, select healthy, full-branched shrubs. Be sure to avoid those that have heavy insect infestations or discoloring on the stems.
When searching for the perfect planting site, find a spot that is well-drained and that is free of tangles of roots from other trees and shrubs. Plant your camellia from the late fall through the early spring. Make sure plants are at least five feet apart when putting them in the ground. Plant in an area that gets part sun (about three hours per day).
Water well immediately after planting and soak the soil once a week during extremely dry weather. The soil should be wet to a depth of about 16 inches. Consider mulching the surface to keep moisture in.
Remove dead limbs to avoid the potential infection of your camellia plant by disease or insects. When pruning your camellia, make sure your shears are sharpened to facilitate a clean cut. Most pruning should be taken care of over the winter months.
Pests to Look Out For
Common diseases of Camellias include root rot, flower blight and dieback. The shrub can also be susceptible to various insects like aphids, spider mites, beetles, grasshoppers and caterpillars.