Lady at nursery says camellias not hardy here...true or false?

rachel77(7 TX)July 14, 2005

I've been wanting a camellia for my front porch (which is pretty shady with just an eensy bit of morning sun--maybe two/three hours). So, I called around and all of the nurseries have them but one. The lady at the one that didn't have them had a big fat cow and told me camellias are just too hard to keep in this area, that the other nurseries will have them, but they'll die if I don't baby them, etc. She seemed pretty passionate about this. I'm in northeast Texas, near Oklahoma. What do you guys think?

Thanks for your input!

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Hi there,
best time to look for is early-spring, lowe's and home depot have them. buy mature plants you don't have to baby them, like one that is in 5-10 gal-pots.

    Bookmark   July 16, 2005 at 2:38PM
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Sounds like she wanted you to buy something else.... from her nursery stock.

All you have to do is check the labels and you should see that many camellias can grow in zones 6 and 7.

Here is an easy way to get a list of specific varities. Go to and check their Plant Catalog (see the link below). From their main webpage, click on 'About Our Plants'. Then click on 'Plant Catalog'. Then set 'Search by' to CAMELLIAS and set 'Your Cold Zone' to 7. Then click the green Search Button.

Oklahoma State U recommends any camellias available in local nurseries; see

Camellias do require a few things...
1. Sun: Partial shade; dappled sun; bright shade.
2. Water: they like moist soil. Do not forget to provide some water during dry winters.
3. Soil: acidic soil. Once or twice a year, I will apply some soil acidifier to my azaleas, hydrangeas and camellias to lower my Ph (this makes the soil more acidic). It's usually a liquid available in most nurseries.

The so-called problem: bad winters may not faze the plants but may kill the flower buds. Solution? Plant Camellia Sasanquas. Most sasanquas bloom before the really cold weather arrives so choose those. I have quite a few japonicas as well and these bloom later so they are at some risk.

However, my attitude is, if winter ever causes problems with the japonica flower buds, well, so be it; I will get flowers the following year so no biggie. I would rather plant some & enjoy the japonica late blooms (when winter permits) than not plant some japonicas because of the possibility of bud damage.

So shop around and choose something you like!

Here is a link that might be useful: Monrovia's Website

    Bookmark   July 28, 2005 at 4:15PM
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Click on the link below.

Here is a link that might be useful: American Camellia Society

    Bookmark   July 28, 2005 at 4:28PM
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gurley157fs(zone 7/8sc)

I had to spend 6 months in San Angelo TX a couple of years ago. While I was there I thought it would be fun to see if I could find varieties of camellia that I could not get in S.C..
Not a single nursery in San Angelo had them - one nursery man said that in the spring you could get them at Lowes, HD and other major chain stores. He explained that some years ago so many camellias were dying that they just stopped carrying them but he felt that it was probably due to the water quality in that area.

I would check around to see if your nieghbors are growing them - or maybe some local parks - if they can grow them then so can you.

    Bookmark   July 30, 2005 at 9:44PM
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rachel77(7 TX)

Thanks for your advice, everyone! I was in the Dallas area this weekend and took the plunge and bought a Nuccio's Gem. He's pretty big. He'll be on a shady spot on my porch where I can baby him. Cross your fingers for me, everyone!

    Bookmark   July 31, 2005 at 10:42PM
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