Camellia for full sun

samonehopkinsMay 29, 2007

I want to put a Camellia in a protected area of my yard (brick wall on 2 sides) but it gets full sun most of the day. I live in the DC area (zone 7). It will not be bothered by strong winds, just full sun. My mother in NC has several camellias in full sun and they do very well and it is hotter there than here. When I go to the garden centers, they tell me no camellia will do well in full sun. I do not know the name of my mother's camellia's and neither does she. Any suggestions?

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luis_pr(7b/8a Hurst, TX)

Generally speaking, most camellias grow and produce better flowers in partial shade. Plants located in full sun often are less dormant during warm periods in winter and may suffer winter injury/damage if cold weather follows the warm weather. Plants leaves in full sun may suffer from sunscald or they may appear yellow/bronze rather than deep green that camellias are known for. This does not mean that you cannot plant them in full sun. You can but they will thrive better in partly shaded conditions.

You stand a better chance of success in full sun when you live in the northern half of the country where -for example- hydrangeas can also be grown in full sun. Virginia is right on the threshold.

I suggest that you contact the Virginia Chapter of the American Camellia Society and ask them for recommended varieties (their website lists some). Their email address is and their website is

While they also recommend part shade for camellias there, I would try one of their selections in the location that you have. If you notice the leaves bronzing, the sun is too much for them so transplant it to a shadier location. If the plant does not suffer from sunscald then you now have a good specimen for that place.


Here is a link that might be useful: Virginia Chapter of the A. C. S.

    Bookmark   May 30, 2007 at 7:38AM
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