I live in Houston and am very new to gardening. Are camellias easy to grow? I had a terrible experience with gardenias and want to check before buying!
For the beginning 'Donation' ou 'Debbie'....
The Houston climate should suit camellias just fine; HOWEVER, I know that at least part of Texas has very alkaline soil and camellias just will not do well in that.
Either have your soil tested or talk to someone knowledgeable at a local nursery. I suggest a real nursery as opposed to one of the "big box" stores that carry plants as one of their departments.
As long as soil and light conditions (generally filtered sun or open shade) are met, you should do fine with camellias.
Best of luck, and don't hesitate to post back to the forum if you have other questions.
Do they do good in pots? I can control the acidity better in pots?
From my observations, you have some great nurseries and botanical gardens in and around Houston. I have driven to Texas a couple of times to look for interesting plants for my north Florida garden. Make use of those valuable local resources!
Like other shrubs, you can grow camellias in pots for years with a little care but they eventually become potbound (the roots circle inside the pot) and poorly suited for planting in the ground later. With plant roots being confined to a small space, the main problem with pots is keeping plants watered properly, especially as they grow larger. Irregular watering can cause yellow leaves or stem die-back. Drying out completely one time can be fatal to the plant.
Do camelias bloom in the winter or colder times?
I bought two...Mrs Charles Cobb is blooming now...the temp is pretty high for winter now though, i am not sure what they do during normal winter temperatures
depending on the species, they flower from fall through spring. sasanquas are known for their fall-flowering whereas most japonicas will bloom in late winter through spring.
remember to not plant them too deeply; plant them no deeper than they were growing in the container or b&b material that came from the nursery. mulch the roots well and do not cultivate the soil where the tender surface roots are located.