We have grown Camellias for over 60 years. We have had success and we have had failures. We have learned a great deal about Camellias and sometimes the hard way. We hear so many theories about Camellias and many of them are false. So we wanted to take a few moments to share with you some of those common misconceptions and the truth behind them.
Myth 1 – Camellias Won’t Take The Sun
This is somewhat false. Many Camellias can grow in the sun quite well. The plant is not the issue, the flowers are. The sun can be harsh on delicate flowers and can often cause burning or discoloration on some varieties, but not all of them. Camellia sasanqua, a common fall blooming Camellia, thrives in full sun as do many other Japonica, Hybrids and other species. Camellias in the sun require more nutrients and more water than those in the shade, and this why at times you see yellowed foliage Camellias that are planted in the sun. They just need more food and water. Pictured Below: C. Mine no Yuki is a low growing fall blooming camellia that thrives in the full sun.
Myth 2 – Camellias Are Difficult To Grow
Many times gardeners shy away from camellias for fear that they will not grow well. The fact is that Camellias are not difficult plants to grow as long as you are not asking them to do something they are not comfortable with. Learn what your camellia likes, location, temperature, soil, etc and they will give you years of enjoyment. Pictured Below Royal Velvet is one of the easiest plants to grow in the garden.
Myth 3 – Camellias Won’t Grow In Cold Climates
There is a common misconception that camellias will not grow beyond zone 7. This is not exactly true. Camellias can grow in some cooler climate zones as long as you follow guidelines for growing in cooler weather, you get varieties that have some cold tolerance, and you give them the care they need. This is not to say that you won’t ever have problems with severe weather conditions, but it is possible to grow Camellias in some locations in zone 6 outdoors. Camellias can also grow very well in containers all summer long if they are protected from cold weather in the winter. Pictured Below: C. hybrid Snow Flurry is a col d tolerant hybrid. At maturity, this fall bloomer can tolerate most areas in Zone 6 a/b outdoors under normal conditions.
Myth 4 – Camellias Do Not Bloom In The summer
(USA) For hundreds of years, Camellias have been known to grow only in the fall-spring of each year. When summer rolls in, camellias are unheard of. But that is a tradition that will soon come to an end with the discovery of a particular species that blooms in the summer months. Known as “Camellia azalea”, this camellia species blooms June-July & August. It is very difficult to propagate so this species is often used as breeding stock for developing other hybrids that in the future, will give us bountiful summer flowers! Pictured Below: Camellia azalea, native to China, is a rare species that typically blooms in July-Aug-Sept in the US.
Myth 5- Camellias Do Not Have Fragrance
Many times people will pick a blossom and instinctively put it to their noses, only to find that they do not have fragrance. But this is your common camellia, many are not fragrant. But there are fragrant camellia species and hybrids that have been developed that do provide quite a pleasant scent. High Fragrance, Cinnamon Scentsation, Fragrant Pink, and Sweet Emily Kate are just a few of the fragrant Camellias found today. Pictured Below: C. hybrid High Fragrance is just one of many fragrant Camellias.