Tuesday, February 01, 2011

Southern Beauties - Camellias

Camellia japonicas and camellia sasanquas are popular flowers in the Southeast. There are over 3,000 named varieties of these lovely native Asian shrubs.  Sited correctly, camellias are hardy and easy care flowers for your landscape.

Blooming from early December through spring, camellias thrive in shade and partial sun locations. Plant camellias in moist, acidic soils.  Lakefront properties with cypresses, large oaks, and pine trees are ideal sites.  A yard with years of organic material from leaf litter is also a good location. Feed every three months with acidic fertilizer. Mature height of camellias depends on the variety.  They can grow four to fifteen feet in height and width, so make sure your camellia selection will not be crowded too close to other shrubs or too close to your house so that it has to be pruned often.  If you do need to cut back your camellia, prune after they bloom to prevent cutting off forming buds in late summer.

We're fortunate in Central Florida to have the third largest camellia collection in America at  Leu Gardens in Winter Park.  This is a great time to visit Leu Gardens and see the beautiful flowers in bloom.

University of Florida/IFAS Camellia Publication

Camellia Disease and Pest Problems:

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