About Camellias Camellias are evergreen blooming shrubs categorized by bloom times. Sasanquas (Camellia sasanqua) bloom early to mid-season, Japonicas (Camellia japonica) from mid to late season, and Hybrids can be either. Plant a variety for blooms from November through June. (Blooming periods can vary for warmer or cooler locations.)
Early: October to December Midseason: January to March Late: April to May
Few camellias are “fast growers,” (they typically reach 6-12’ tall x wide in 10 to 15 years), the sasanqua varieties & some of the hybrids do grow more quickly than the japonicas. But, the flowers of the japonicas are longer lasting, so its a bit of a tradeoff. Your best way to decide which to plant as a hedge is to figure out conditions in summer & choose accordingly as sasanqua varieties can tolerate some sun.
Garden Uses: Be sure to keep Camellias in viewing distance in patio beds, containers or decorating the foundation plantings around your house. They do great as an espalier to cover walls and fences. If set back in a woodland setting, plant in mass and complement with low growing perennials. A wonderful specimen as an addition in Asian gardens believed to bring wealth if planted at the entrance to your home, as are other red flowering plants.
Double Bloomed Camellias pair best with other formal garden classics such as Boxwood hedges, topiaries, as well as other broad-leaved evergreens. To stay true to its Asian heritage, plant with Azalea, Heavenly Bamboo, Japanese Maple, Ferns, Dogwood and Rhododendron. For those shady beds close to your outdoor patios, create a patriotic garden with this beautiful red Camellia by adding white and blue blooming plants such as Astilbe, Hydrangea, Flax Lily and Clematis.
Single Blooms-Plant close to your outdoor living area with Rhododendrons, Azaleas and Iris. In a more natural woodland setting, combine with the airy foliage of Bamboo, Heavenly Bamboo and Lily of the Valley. Early blooming deciduous trees like Cherry and Dogwood offer the needed filtered shade and ground hugging perennials such as Hosta, Coral Bells, and Helleborus offer interest and color throughout all layers of the garden.
Care Information: Provide well-drained soil, rich in organic matter. Keep roots cool with a thick layer of mulch. Water deeply and regularly during the first growing season to establish an extensive root system; reduce frequency, once established. Full shade to partial sun, varies with variety. Prune to shape and feed with an acid fertilizer after flowering. Pruning time: early spring to early summer. Water regularly, when top 3 in. of soil is dry, some need more water requirements.
History: Camellias are native to eastern and southern Asia. C. japonica was imported into the Philippines but is native to China, Japan, Korea and Taiwan. The genus Camellia was named by Carolus Linnaeus who named it for a Jesuit missionary Georg Kamel, who cultivated an important garden of local medicinal plants on the Philippine Island of Luzon in the 17th century. Red camellias are a symbol of wealth and white Camellias signify loveliness. Camellias represent longevity and faithfulness and have long been a primary floral component in Asian weddings.
Christmas Camellias a.k.a. sasanqua varieties of Camellia are native to the coastal forests of southern Japan. Introduced by Dutch traders into Europe in 1869. The Japanese use the leaves of sasanqua to make tea & the seeds are pressed into tea seed oil for use as a lubricant and in cooking and cosmetics.
The following are some of the Camellias we offer at Zenith:
Bob Hope Camellia Camellia japonica 'Bob Hope' USDA Hardiness Zone: 8 - 10. Large, deep red, semi-double flowers with yellow stamens and beautiful ruffled petals adorn glossy, dark green foliage. A prized camellia for milder regions. Mid-season bloomer. Evergreen. Moderate growing to 6 to 8 ft. tall and wide; larger with age. Filtered sun. Winter Bloomer. Introduced by Nuccio's Nurseries of Altadens, California in 1972. Its parentage is unknown.
Debutante Camellia Camellia japonica 'Debutante' USDA Hardiness Zone: 8 - 10. Abundant, large, light pink, peony-style blooms are a delightful contrast to the glossy, dark green leaves. Perfect for milder regions, and one of the earliest to bloom. Mass in foundation plantings or use as an accent in lightly shaded beds or patio containers. Evergreen. Slowly reaches 6 to 8 ft. tall and wide; larger with age. Full shade to filtered sun. Blooms: Winter to Early Spring. Debutante was released in the early 1900's by Gerbings Azalea Nursery, its parentage is unknown.
Kumasaka Camellia Camellia japonica 'Kumasaka' Hardiness Zone: 8 - 10 . Spectacular, bright, rose pink, double blooms are displayed against glossy, dark green foliage. Colorful accent for the shade. A prized plant for the milder regions of the U.S. Mid to late season bloomer. Evergreen. Filtered sun Needs regular watering - weekly, or more often in extreme heat. Moderate growing 6 to 8 ft. tall and wide, larger with age. Blooms: Winter through mid-spring. This old world variety dates back to 1695. It was exported to Europe two hundred years later in 1895.
Nuccio's Bella Rossa Camellia USDA Hardiness Zone: 8 - 10.An abundance of formal, four-inch, crimson red blooms open slowly over a long period for an especially long bloom season. Even young plants show an extra heavy bud set. Looks right at home in Asian gardens when massed or as a specimen in a container. Glossy, dark green foliage makes this a prized plant for the milder regions. Evergreen. Reaches 6 to 8 feet tall and wide in 10 years; up to 20 ft. tall with age. Blooms: Late Winter to Mid-Spring Full shade to partial sun. With more than 100 new Camellia varieties to their credit, Nuccio's Nurseries in California introduced Nuccio's Bella Rossa in 2000.
Nuccio's Pearl Camellia Camellia japonica 'Nuccio's Pearl' USDA Hardiness Zone: 8 - 10.Spectacular, fully double blooms with pure white petals edged with an orchid pink blush. Flowers make a dazzling contrast against the glossy, dark green foliage. Adds an elegant, formal appearance to any garden. A mid-season bloomer. Evergreen. Filtered sun. Slowly reaches 6 to 8 ft. tall and wide; larger with age. Blooms in winter. Nuccio's Pearl was a chance seedling that originated at Nuccio's Nurseries in Altadena, California in 1973.
Pearl Maxwell Camellia Camellia japonica 'Pearl Maxwell' USDA Hardiness Zone: 8 - 10. Spectacular, soft, shell pink, formal double blooms in mid- to late winter. Flowers create a dazzling contrast against the glossy, dark green foliage. A prized plant of the milder regions of the U.S. Evergreen. Filtered sun. Moderate growing to 6 to 8 ft. tall and wide; larger with age. Blooms: Winter to Early Spring.
Swan Lake™ Camellia Camellia japonica 'Monke' USDA Hardiness Zone: 8 - 10.Very large, snow white, semi-double, peony-like blooms contrast beautifully against the glossy, dark green foliage. Excellent as an evergreen specimen in a woodland garden, as a privacy screen, or in a container. Cut flowers are lovely floating in a bowl of water. A prized mid-to late season bloomer for milder regions. Filtered sun Moderate growing to 6 to 8 ft. tall and wide; larger with age. Blooms: Winter through Mid-Spring. Swan Lake was a seedling developed in the late 1950's and introduced by Monrovia in 1969.
Tom Knudsen Camellia Camellia japonica 'Tom Knudsen' USDA Hardiness Zone: 8 - 10. Spectacular, dark red, formal blooms accented by deep red veining. The stunning early to mid-season flowers create a dazzling contrast to the glossy, dark green foliage. A prized plant for milder regions. A wonderful flowering evergreen for use in woodland borders, foundation plantings, or as a hedge plant. Filtered sun Moderate growing to 6 to 8 ft. tall and wide; slowly larger with age. Blooms: Fall through Winter. Tom Knudsen was a chance seedling found in 1956 by Frank Maitland of Sylmar, CA.
Apple Blossom Camellia Camellia sasanqua 'Apple Blossom' USDA Hardiness Zone: 7 - 10 A versatile camellia displaying profuse pink-edged white blooms with yellow stamens. Dense, glossy dark green foliage makes a perfect hedge, screen or espalier specimen. Early to mid season bloomer. Evergreen. Filtered sun, Needs regular watering - weekly, or more often in extreme heat. Moderate growing 10 ft. tall and wide. Apple Blossom was originally imported from the Yokohama Nursery Company to W. Wylams of California.
Chansonette Camellia Camellia sasanqua 'Chansonette' USDA Hardiness Zone: 7 - 10. A versatile flowering shrub, displaying profuse, brilliant pink, double blooms and glossy dark green leaves with a short, pendulous habit. Flowers are perfect for cutting. An excellent choice for a colorful low hedge, espalier, or groundcover. A mid-season bloomer. Evergreen. Filtered sun Moderate growing; reaches 2 to 3 ft. tall, 8 ft. wide. Chansonette is a seedling of Shishi Gashira originated by Marjorie Washburne of Port Arthur, TX.
Kanjiro Camellia Camellia sasanqua 'Kanjiro' USDA Hardiness Zone: 7 - 10. A truly stunning cerise pink semi-double bloom edged in red with golden stamens and a slight fragrance. Truly outstanding cut flower. Dense semi-weeping habit and glossy, dark green foliage produces an exceptional evergreen for foundation planting and backgrounds. A mid-season bloomer. Filtered sun Moderate growing; reaches 8 to 10 ft. tall and wide. Blooms: Fall through Winter. Kanjiro originated in Japan in 1954 of unknown parentage.
Marge Miller™ Camellia Camellia sasanqua 'Marge Miller' USDA Hardiness Zone: 7 - 10. This Australian introduction is the first prostrate camellia in the world, a natural for groundcover, or spilling over walls and out of hanging baskets, and often trained trained into cascading upright forms. Full, soft pink early season blooms are backed by glossy deep green foliage. Evergreen. Filtered sun Reaches 1 ft. tall, 3 to 4 ft. wide; to 4 ft. tall when staked into upright form. Blooms: Fall through Winter
Pink-A-Boo® Camellia Camellia sasanqua 'Mondel' Plant USDA Hardiness Zone: 7 - 10. Perfect for adding color to the winter garden, Pink-A-Boo Camellia offers wonderfully fragrant, deep pink blooms centered with bright yellow stamens. The long lasting flowers are stunning in in floral arrangements or floated in a shallow bowl so that the fragrance can be enjoyed indoors. An excellent choice for a colorful evergreen hedge, espalier, or border shrub. Presented by Nicholas Staddon of Monrovia. This stunning sport from the extremely popular red Yuletide Camellia has large, wonderfully fragrant, deep pink blooms with bright yellow stamens - making a beautiful addition to the cool season garden. Filtered sun Reaches 8 to 10 ft. tall and wide in 12 years; larger with age. Blooms in winter.
Setsugekka Camellia Camellia sasanqua 'Setsugekka' USDA Hardiness Zone: 7 - 10. Large, perfectly formed, semi-double, white flowers with ruffled edges and a bright center of golden stamens. The dense, semi-weeping habit and glossy, dark green foliage create an exceptional evergreen foundation planting or espalier. A mid-season bloomer. Filtered sun Moderate growing; reaches 8 to 10 ft. tall and wide. Blooms: Fall through Winter Setsugekka originated in Japan by Jisuke Minagawa.
Shishi Gashira Camellia Camellia sasanqua 'Shishi Gashira' USDA Hardiness Zone: 7 - 10. A profusion of hot pink, semi-double blooms with golden yellow centers and glossy, dark green foliage. Flowers are perfect for cutting. Use as a colorful low hedge, espalier or high profile groundcover. An early to mid-season bloomer. Evergreen. Filtered sun. Moderate growing; reaches 4 to 5 ft. tall, 6 to 8 ft. wide. Blooms: Fall through Winter. Shishi Gashira originated in Ikeda City, Japan.
Yuletide Camellia Camellia sasanqua 'Yuletide' USDA Hardiness Zone: 7 - 10. Single, brilliant red blooms centered with bright yellow stamens make an elegant statement in the winter garden. The glossy, dark green foliage creates a handsome natural hedge, foundation shrub or espalier specimen. A mid-season bloomer. Evergreen. Filtered sun Moderate growing; reaches 8 to 10 ft. tall & wide. Blooms: Fall through Winter. Yuletide is a chance seedling of Kanjiro and originated at Nuccio's Nurseries in Altadena, CA.
Buttermint Camellia Camellia x 'Buttermint' USDA Hardiness Zone: 7 - 10. Beautiful, pale, buttery yellow, semi-double blooms adorn this mid-to late season bloomer. Its glossy, dark green leaves and lightly fragrant, ruffled flowers are plentiful enough to cut and bring indoors. This showy evergreen is perfect for brightening up a shady woodland garden. Filtered sun Quickly reaches 6 ft. tall, 4 ft. wide. Blooms: Winter to Early Spring Buttermint is a hybrid of C. kissi which is native to India, Nepal, Burma and Southern China and originated at Nuccio's Nurseries in Altadena, CA.
Fairy Blush Camellia Camellia x 'Fairy Blush' USDA Hardiness Zone: 7 - 10. Deep pink buds open to reveal dainty, single, apple blossom colored blooms. The delicate fragrance of the blooms as well as the plant's smaller growth habit make this an ideal camellia for a small courtyard or patio. A mid- to late season bloomer. Evergreen. Filtered sun. Moderate growing; reaches 4 to 5 ft. tall and wide. Blooms in winter. Fairy Blush' is a hybrid of C. lutchuensis, originated by M.C. Jury of Jury Nursery, North Taranaki, New Zealand.