Plant Camellias Now for Dazzling Winter Blooms

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Camellias are the jewels of the winter garden, adding a tidal wave of color to shady spots. Camellias bloom for months in shades of white, pink, red and even striped. These flowering shrubs feature glossy, evergreen leaves that bring life to winter landscapes.

Give camellias the conditions they need and they’ll reward you beautifully.

How to Plant a Camellia:

  1. Choose the right spot. Camellias do best in part shade, out of the hot afternoon sun, in well-drained soil. They need shelter from winter winds and extreme temperatures. The best place is under the shade of tall trees or on the north side of your house.
  2. Choose the right plant for the spot. Sizes range from low and spreading to tall and tree-like.
  3. Dig a wide, shallow hole at least 2’ wider than the root ball. Remove weeds, tree roots and stones.
  4. Place plant in hole and cover with soil up to the base of the trunk. Planting too deeply can kill a camellia.
  5. Build a shallow saucer of soil with a 3” lip around the perimeter of the hole to contain water.
  6. Water the plant in the saucer. Gently tamp soil down to eliminate air pockets.
  7. Top with 2”-3” of mulch. Do not mound mulch around the trunk in a volcano shape, which can kill your shrub.
  8. Give the plant a good soaking at least once a week if conditions are dry.
  9. In a few weeks, feed according to directions with a fertilizer made for camellias.

Tip:

Camellias prefer acidic soil. A soil test can tell you what your soil pH is, and how to amend it, if necessary.

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