Plant Profiles

Camellia: A Gardener’s Guide and Plant Profile

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Perfect for your winter-blooming garden, learn all about the beautiful, easy-to-grow Camellia plant in this gardener’s guide.

Camellia plant with a pink flower on the evergreen shrub in Spoken Garden's "Camellia Plant Profile"

You are looking for a way to liven up your winter garden.

It is boring, lacking color, and needs a boost. What about planting a Camellia plant?

Many varieties of Camellia have been bred to bloom in the winter, their leaves are used for tea, and they will look beautiful in your garden.

If you already have a Camellia, you’re in the right place because we’ll teach you how to properly care for it!

 

Quick and Dirty: Fast Plant Care Facts (main profile further below)

Sun ExposureMost prefer partial to full shade, but some older plants can take full sunlight with their roots completely shaded from the sun. Protect all plants from hot, strong sun and drying winds.
Water NeedsModerate to regular watering.
Soil NeedsWell drained, high in organic matter. Mulch 2-inches thick to keep roots cool and moist.
Cold-Hardiness ZonesUSDA hardiness zones 7 to 10, with some hardy down to zone 6.
Bloom Time Winter into Spring, depending on species and cultivar.
Flower ColorsRose, White, Pink, Burgundy, Orange, Cream, mixed colors, Purple, Yellow, and many different hues and shades of all these colors.
Mature Height/WidthRange from 3ft up to 20+ ft
Plant SpacingDepends on species and cultivar needs.

 

Become a Plant Profile Club member here, if you want more camellia plant care information than this!

 

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Read our Camellia plant post below to learn:

Fully open flower of Camellia japonica called Pink Perfection showing one very bright pink flower.

Camellia japonica ‘Pink Perfection’

In a hurry? Pin it for later!!

 

 

 

Camellias: Why We’re Featuring This Plant

First, Camellias are known as a winter bloomer, but they can bloom anywhere from fall through spring season depending on the climate and variety of plant.

The Camellia is a widely used and indispensable foundation plant in landscapes around the world for mostly shaded areas and for winter flower interest.

In addition, they are a well-rounded, well-traveled plant. With their possible cultivation dating back 5,000 years, this plant has an interesting history and today has “blossomed” into a highly regarded plant around the world.

Plus, they can live hundreds of years if properly cared for!

Finally, we’re featuring the Camellia because of their economic significance. Native to the eastern and southern parts of Asia, Camellias have been selectively bred for years to produce the perfect tea leaves, and who doesn’t love a good cup of tea?

 

You can find more of camellia care needs, when it flowers, its uses, and more by becoming a Plant Profile Club member.



Camellia Flower: History and Uses

Camellia Family

Camellias are in the Theaceae family. Also known as the “Tea Family,” this family includes flowering plants, shrubs, and trees.

Originally from parts of Asia, there are over 200 different species of Camellia today with a total number of varieties believed to be as high as 20,000. Wow.

Other genera in the family include Franklinia, Stewartia, and Cleyara, to name a few.

 

Camellia History

Camellia has an interesting history tracing back thousands of years.

Named by Carl Linneaus after the Jesuit botanist priest, Joseph Kamel, Camellias serve a valuable role in the economic market as the “tea plant.”

Research indicates that the Ancient Chinese first started cultivating Camellias around 2700 BC.

Around 1700 B.C., tea, produced from the C. sinensis variety, first became popular in China during the reign of Emperor Nung.

Eventually, during the period of trade between the late 1600-mid 1700s, the East India Company brought tea from China to Europe where it became very popular and highly sought after.

By the early 1900s, the plant made its way to America and other parts of the world and the rest is history.

Today, most Camellias are grown and used for ornamental purposes but many varieties are used in cooking, cosmetics, hair care, as tea oil, and in Chinese herbal medicine.

If you want to read more about the history of Camellias, check out American Camellia Society.

 

Where do Camellias Grow Best?

Camellias grow their best in mostly shaded locations with well draining soil that is slightly acidic with regular watering, either by rain or by you.

They like to have their roots not directly exposed to the sun or heat, and to be protected from high winds, as these plants can get top heavy over time and can be blown over rather easily if not properly maintained and tended to.

They do their best in soils high in organic matter and really like at least 2-inches of mulch covering their immediate roots to keep those roots cool and insulated.

 

Camellia Tea

Did you know that one specific species of Camellia is the main source for your tea?

Green package with white writing saying jasmine black tea by Ahmad Tea company, London.

Jasmine Black Tea.

The species Camellia sinensis, specifically the varieties sinensis and assamica are the main source for Camellia leaf tea around the world.

Packed loosely Earl Grey black tea with package next to loose leaves.

Wild Earl Grey Black Tea, packed loose.

These two Camellia varieties are responsible for:

    • Black Tea,
    • Yellow Tea,
    • White Tea,
    • Green Tea,
    • Oolong Tea, and
    • Dark Tea

 

To make each one of these teas, the leaves are processed differently to get that specific flavor or, as the tea experts say, oxidation. 

Many generations of selective breeding have occurred to make the perfect tea leaves.

 

 Camellia Care

 

You can find more of camellia care needs, when it flowers, its uses, and more by becoming a Plant Profile Club member.

 

 

 Camellia Plants For Sale

Want to buy your own Camellia plants after learning all about their characteristics?

Check these out!

 

Full open bloom of a Camellia japonica plant with one bright pink flower.

Camellia japonica ‘Pink Perfection’

One fully open Camellia Leslie Ann flower with bright pink-edged with white center petals.

Camellia ‘Leslie Ann’

one live plant in a one gallon pot with long branches and green leaves you can use to grow and then brew your own tea.

Camellia sinensis. Grow your own plant for its leaves and brew your own tea!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Or, do you need to shop for other garden plants for this spring?

Click here for the most up to date deals and plants on Amazon!

Camellia Plant Conclusion

Today, Camellias are highly valued and economically significant for their leaves.

A wonderful addition to any garden, Camellia plants have been specially bred to bloom anywhere from winter through fall season depending on the variety.

Imagine planting several varieties of Camellia in your yard and you could have color year-round!

With just a bit of regular maintenance necessary, their bright colors and lengthy history, Camellias are a perfect winter bloomer and complement to any garden season after season.

 

Well, that’s all for now.

Thanks for reading and we hope we inspired you or educated you in some way with our Camellia plant profile.

 

Want to learn about other plants in your garden? Check out some of our other plant profiles:

See you in the garden!

~ Sean and Allison

 

P.S. Find us on Pinterest, Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram so you don’t miss a thing!

 

Camellia References Used: 

 

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Camellia Plant Profile by Spoken Garden

Click the graphic above to save “Camellia Plant Profile” to Pinterest for later!

 




Perfect for your winter-blooming garden, learn all about the beautiful, easy-to-grow Camellia plant in this gardener’s guide.

 

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About spokengarden

HELLO AND WELCOME! We are Sean and Allison of Spoken Garden. With combined backgrounds in horticulture, gardening, landscape, and teaching, we hope to educate and inspire you.

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