Smaller camellias - prefer red blooms

laurell(8 - Washington)October 15, 2008


I live in the Seattle area and I recently bought a home and I'm trying to plan out a garden and landscaping. I plan to plant some daisy gardenias in my front garden bed in front of a window, and would like to intersperse them with a red, orange, or yellow blooming camellia, but one that won't get too tall or big around. Ideally, no more than 3-4 feet tall. The bed only gets late afternoon sun, other than that it's shielded completely by walls.

I'm also interested in getting some upward growing camellias that would be likely to survive on the south side of my house. They'd get sun until the late afternoon (opposite from the other ones) but preferably wouldn't grow more than 10 feet tall. These would couple with some photinia to form a sight block so I don't have to see into my neighbor's yard that's full of junk.

I'm new to gardening and this is my first home, so any input or suggestions that you have, I'm very interested in hearing them. I'm setting up my compost bin this weekend so I have something to enrich the soil with when I start planting in early spring.

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luis_pr(7b/8a Hurst, TX)

You may want to consider Kurume Azaleas, which stay low and grow to about 18 to 30" in height. Examples are Hino Crimson and Hershey's Red. Or you can use low growing hydrangeas like those in the City Series (Paris is a dark pink). There are no true red or yellow hydrangeas though.

You can use camellias but with the understanding that most camellias will become much taller than three feet and, given appropriate care, will become as tall as some trees. Most grow very slowly, only adding inches each year so they can be located in spots like yours for years before they reach tree height. There are many tree specimens out there that are centuries old. Shi-shi Gashira is low growing and compact; it will probably reach 4-6 feet high in 10 years. Mine-no-yuki is a white blooming low-grower that can be maintained to 4' with pruning for a while.

    Bookmark   October 17, 2008 at 7:13AM
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gardenias and camellias don't flower at the same time of the year if you are looking for that effect.
camellia 'yuletide' is a true red that stays fairly small and flowers in fall and winter.
as luis also points out, my 'shishi gashira' is over 20 years old and not more than about 5' tall and wider than that. the flowers are a hot pink color.
i have never seen an orange-flowered camellia and yellows are not the most common color. i don't grow any of the yellows and a search of this forum for that subject should provide more information on the best cultivars.

    Bookmark   October 20, 2008 at 8:46AM
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donnabaskets(Zone 8a, Central MS)

There is a sasanqua camellia called "Hot Flash" that stays about the size of shishi, whose blooms are red. I did a design for a friend last year and we put it on either side of her red front door. It looks very nice. Also, I have dozens of shi shis and I lightly prune them each early spring. This is keeping them low and compact without losing blooms. They are a gorgeous landscape shrub with nice form and rich glossy green foliage.

I know that SEattle summers are very mild compared to mine, but I would advise you to ask your question on the Pacific Northwest forum to be sure that camellias would like a southern exposure. Sasanquas would for sure, but I have to wonder about japonicas. The plants are too expensive to put them in the wrong exposure and lose them.

    Bookmark   November 10, 2008 at 4:50PM
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