Camellia suggestions

mickey_ncSeptember 8, 2008

This is my first post and I'm a garden neophyte so bear with me. Trying to decide on which camellia's to plant for a shaded area in my North Carolina back yard. The location is in a natural area at the beginning of a wooded lot so nothing will be behind the plants other than the wooded area. Would like a fall flowering plant and need help deciding which would be the most stunning. I have room for 4 plants which will be 4 to 6 feet apart. Any suggestions??

As a side note I'm also looking for other semi shade plants to be placed in front of the camellia's. I have 30 feet of space from the camellia's to my yard so plenty of room to add multiple species and would like to step them down from back to front so all will be in full view. 40 feet from side to side. Any suggestions would be appreciated.


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I find that this is usually a matter of personal taste so you need to make the choices. For example, some people only like certain colors. And then camellia blossoms come in various forms and some people prefer certains ones only (they blossom types are called single, double, anemone, peony, formal double and semi double. Then you have to choose between early flowering (sasanquas) or late flowering (japonicas).

I suggest you start by going to various websites and nurseries (Internet AND local)where you can view the camellia flowers and then decide. Local nurseries that specialize in camellias should have a supply throughout the year. Other local ones may have low inventories now and get big shipments in mid-to-late fall or early winter (varies). You can see some at Lowes and Home Depot too but, as I said, the inventory is probably small now.

Start with this one website:

Another place to browse is Monrovia, a wholesaler. Go to their website and use the SEARCH or ADVANCED SEARCH to find "camellia".

Mail order / Internet Nurseries:
(in Chappel Hill, N.C.; speciaslizes in camellias; perhaps you can visit them?)

You can also visit the American Camellia Website. The link below gets you to a webpage with information on growing, planting, fertilizing and companion plants. Look for a link called "Good Garden Varieties" after you click on the link titled "Growing Camellias".


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

    Bookmark   September 10, 2008 at 5:16AM
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Thanks Luiz. I will follow your suggestions.

    Bookmark   September 10, 2008 at 11:03AM
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Well I'm sure camellia lovers all have their favorites. I have a small collection and I'm partial to 'Fairweather Favorite' thus far.

    Bookmark   October 1, 2008 at 8:19PM
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Hi Mickey. I bought several sasanquas from Camellia Forest at their open house last spring. The plants grew beautifully through this summer and have budded heavily. I'm partial to red so I got Midnight Lover, but the walk through the greenhouses was terrific - so many choices and the japonicas were full-out at the time. Anyway, if you end up mail ordering, I recommend them from experience.

    Bookmark   October 1, 2008 at 9:24PM
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ibartoo(z8 sc)

I am very partial to sparkling burgundy. However if you really like red, try yuletide. It is gorgeous too.

    Bookmark   October 7, 2008 at 5:31PM
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Hello Mickey:

I don't see your zone in your post (sorry if I missed it), but you will probably want to research the hardiness of whatever camellia cultivar you choose.

Once you have determined if your cultivar will be happy at your elevation you might want to consider bloom type. As japonicas bloom in winter and spring months, cold wet weather can quickly spoil the blooms you have been so eagerly awaiting. For japonicas, the less complex the bloom, the more likely it will remain unspoilt by winter weather. With sasanquas (for the most part) as they bloom in the fall you have much less of a liklihood of damage to bud and bloom.

You might also want to consider deer browsing on your new bushes. I don't know how much of a problem they are in your neighborhood, but they can be devastating before they outpace grazing heights.

    Bookmark   October 12, 2008 at 12:23PM
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There are lots of great organizations that provide information about camellias - just type in Camellias from the search under the GardenWeb heading. Also check out Garden Bazaar from Gardenweb.

Here is a link that might be useful: Garden Bazaar

    Bookmark   October 26, 2008 at 10:11PM
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For fall blooming you will be limited to mostly sasanquas, I like "Albino" its a white & like most sasanquas its a profuse bloomer. I saw one in a friends yard one day, it was a plant about 8' tall and bushy and what a sight!! looked like a brazillion(ask George Bush how many that is)blooms on it ,couldnt hardly see any leaves for all the blooms. A nice red one is "Yuletide" some folks call it the christmas camellia but its not as fast of a grower as the others
Good luck

    Bookmark   December 18, 2008 at 6:58AM
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