Camellia is a genus of about 250 species in the Theaceae family. There are thousands of named varieties of Cameliia. They come from the south and eat of Asia. In Asia it is grown mainly as a tea crop from the type Camellia Sinensis. Camellias can live for a long time, over 100 years in some cases. Camellia japonica and sasanqua and hybrids of the two are the most popular types of Camellias grown as flowering shrubs in the UK. A popular hybrid Camellia is Camellia x williamsii. It is a cross between camellia japonica and camellia saluenensis. Williamsii is one of the hardiest camellias and some varieties have a very attractive double bloom. They tend to be more upright than the standard japonicas

How to grow Camellia

Here we are just looking at the popular Camellia shrubs grown in many UK gardens. Plant in a sheltered partial shade position. They like a slightly acid soil but will tolerate neutral conditions. Camellias are frost hardy but do not like strong winds. Flowers can be damaged if planted in an easterly facing aspect. Water with rainwater if possible

Botanical name

Camellia genus belongs to the Theaceae family

Type of plant

Camellias are evergreen shrubs

Size when fully grown

Varies, up to 5m in height

When they flower

January to April

Where to plant

Plant in a position of partial shade

Soil type

Acid ph5.8-ph6.5

Temperature tolerance

They can tolerate lows of -10C. Zones 6-10

After care

Do not require dead heading to promote new flowers. Also do not really need feeding. Prune after flowering to prevent getting too big. camellias cannot take long periods of dry weather so keep watered in drought conditions

When to plant

After frosts have finished

Pests and diseases

Camellia petal blight can be a problem. Remove any infected flowers immediately the problem appears. Sooty mould can also be a problem. Caused by the secretions of scale insects feeding on the leaves, it can be wiped off and the plant treated with vitax bug killer

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