can camellias be grown in central Texas?

junglejenny(8 TX)March 17, 2005

I don't see many around here, but they are starting to appear in our nurseries. . . I know they like amended soil (and I'm willing to do that) but can they take the heat (or the cold)? Our temps here in Austin range from about 30 to 105 throughout the year--we usually don't get snow, but sometimes an icestorm will come through. If it is possible to grow them here, are there any kinds that would do better than others?

Thanks for any help--I LOVE these plants, and would love to have one.

Jenny from Texas

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forrestal(Gulf Coast z8b)

It's more of a challenge in Austin than further east in Texas but yes, you can grow them. I will e-mail you the contact information for a person there who has been growing them a long time, who can better advise you.

    Bookmark   March 20, 2005 at 8:31PM
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Good luck..they are worth the effort...

The 'queen of the winter garden'!

    Bookmark   March 20, 2005 at 9:25PM
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forrestal(Gulf Coast z8b)

This may be helpful, a discussion thread about growing camellias in Austin TX, from the ACS Bulletin Board.

Here is a link that might be useful: ACS Bulletin Board re Austin, TX

    Bookmark   March 25, 2005 at 6:21PM
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I know this message is from a couple years ago, but I am about to plant two camellias here in Austin. (My husband is from North Carolina and he loves them.) I never see them here so I'm wondering how they do here... if I should give them extra summer shade. I'd really like to give them a good start. I clicked on the link above but it is no longer a valid link...

    Bookmark   March 31, 2007 at 11:41AM
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Try sending a GardenWeb Email to junglejenny or forrestAL. The notes above indicate that they exchanged emails so they may still have the ACS Bulletin Board Information in their personal emails. I just checked and confirmed that it was not there, at leat with the search parameters I used.

    Bookmark   July 22, 2007 at 1:22PM
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I'm in north austin with a Kramers Camellia (double red blooms) in my front bed that so far, so good. (year two in the ground) Hearing that they aren't typical has me worried now.

It survived the weird freeze we got, and in the heat seems to sit quietly so long as I keep it watered.

My soil is HIGHLY supplemented, I bring in at least 3-5 bags of compost, yearly in addition to mulch and both spray and pellet fertilizer. The complex we're in gave us six inches of sandy rocky useless over concrete like gravel over limestone. Yay Texas. Of course my good dirt seems to sink into oblivion by the end of the season.

It seems to be doing alright, bloomed in roughly february this last year, and has added about 1-2" per branch.

It seems to be tolerating a mostly sunny spot pretty well, the only other alternative was a spot that had NO(!!!!) sun whatsoever and is an utter marsh anyways.

    Bookmark   August 22, 2007 at 8:17AM
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I'm resurrecting this post again...

mandi_sl, I wonder how your camellia is doing?

One of the two I planted died last year, from a lack of water while I was on a long holiday. I ended up having to move the other--too much sun in its first spot and the leaves were scalded. But it is doing fine now. New leaves came out in June which were chlorotic looking but an application of iron seemed to help. Mine added about 2" per branch as well. This summer has been really hard on all my plants, even trees, so I have to water the camellia deeply about once a week.

The kind I'm growing is "October Affair"--very pretty blooms!

Seeing as how this is my first and only camellia, I'm wondering if its slow growth is typical.

    Bookmark   August 16, 2008 at 9:44PM
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NoVaPlantGuy_Z7b_8a(Alexandria, VA 7B/8A)

Well, I would think since you are in a zone 8 they would be fine where you are. I know there are quite a few in my neighborhood, and were a cold 8A here. The ones that I see here are fairly large small tree types. I would think if they do ok here they should do just fine there.

    Bookmark   August 21, 2008 at 11:10PM
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Yes, its growth is typical. All of mine grow 1 to 2 inches a year here in North Texas. There are some faster growing camellias but slow is very much why they cost so much at nurseries. Try buying some large specimens and you go into hundreds of dollars easy.

    Bookmark   August 22, 2008 at 1:10PM
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a crook - that claimed to be a landscaper - planted MANY Camellias on the sunny side of my house morning sun till 2pm and front, afternoon sun 2pm until 7pm. And they burned. Very upset & broke

    Bookmark   August 13, 2011 at 2:15PM
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Oh no. I would recommend sun only until about 11am (summer 11am mind you, not winter 11am) or under a tree where they get dappled sun. Lost of shade needed in the afternoons because the leaves cannot deal well with the harsh sun and 100+ degree temperatures. A better location would be on the east side of the house or east side of a shade tree. They can take full sun here during the winter but not after late May (some leaves may temporarily turn yellow-green for a few weeks and recover). If they are still alive, you could transplant them, move them into containers/pots or put something that provides shades (think: outside table umbrellas).

    Bookmark   August 13, 2011 at 6:54PM
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I live in Plano TX zone 8 and have 5 camelias on north side of house. I have one I left in the 3 gallon pot on porch getting dappled sun beside the gardenia tree. All are doing scalding due to not in direct texas sun. They do tend to like water and dappled morning sun best. I have a friend that planted in full Texas morning sun and it has scorched.This is year 2 and growth is slow but healthy with new growth showing.

Good luck...

    Bookmark   August 12, 2014 at 2:46PM
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Sasanquas can usually handle the summer sun but japonicas, ehhh, will probably complain if you give them afternoon sun in the summer.


    Bookmark   September 14, 2014 at 9:00PM
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