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Lawn & Garden

Camellia japonica, Japonica Camellia

Common Name: Camellia japonica

Type: shrub

Family: Theaceae

Zone: 7 to 9     Find Your Zone

Height: 5 to 8 feet

Width: 3 to 5 feet

Bloom Time: April

Bloom Color: pinks, reds, white, lavenders

Sun exposure: part shade to shade

Soil: well drained, acidic

Leaves: evergreen

Fertilizer: Holly-tone and ACR food for acid loving plants


Camellia japonica blooms in late winter and early spring, unlike the Sasanqua Camellia, which blooms in fall. This plant is acid loving and should be treated like an Azalea, including using the same Azalea, Camellia, and Rhododendron Fertilizer. Camellia japonica puts on quite a show, getting covered in blooms 3 inches round and bigger.Take a look at our 11 Shade Loving Shrubs.

Pruning Camellias

Often camellias can outgrow its purpose in a landscape and will have to have to be put back in its place with heavy pruning. Camellias can be found throughout the landscape as espaliers, bushes and tree-form. Frequent light pruning can keep a plant healthy and keep it from getting away from us. Light pruning can be done any time but right after they bloom is ideal.

Heavy pruning is done to invigorate a plant and can be very beneficial for camellias. February is ideal for heavy pruning of a camellia, whether it is done blooming or even if it is still blooming. If heavy pruning is necessary then you will not want to take off more than 1/3 of the leaves or reduce the size of the plant by 1/3. Heavy pruning will open the plant up to sunlight causing it to bud out 12 inches from the cut. You can 3 foot off of the top of a 9 foot bush or you can 1 foot off of it all the way around. Just follow the rule of 1/3.

Tama Vino Camellia

Taylor's Perfection Camellia


STEP 1: Digging the hole

  • Find a location that has suitable sun exposure for your particular type of plant.
  • Dig your hole an inch or two shallower than the rootball of the plant.
  • Dig the hole twice the diameter of the rootball.
  • Scuff up the sides of the hole with a shovel to help roots break through the native soil.

STEP 2: Putting plant in hole

  • When removing the plant from the pot, check to see if the roots were circling the pot.
  • If the plant is rootbound, gently break up the roots with your hands until loosened up.
  • Set plant level, in the center of the hole.
  • Make sure the top of the rootball is just above soil level.

STEP 3: Amending the soil and filling in the hole

  • Amend the soil with proper amendments for your soil type.
  • Incorporate 50% native soil with 50% amendment soils like garden soil, composted manure or soil conditioner.
  • Make sure dirt clods are broken up or removed from hole along with rocks.
  • Fill the hole with soils to the soil level and pack down. Do not cover top of rootball with dirt.
  • Water in thoroughly to remove air pockets.

STEP 4: Mulching and fertilizing

  • Cover the planting site with at least 2 inches of the mulch of your choice (pinestraw, cupress mulch,etc.)
  • High Phosphorus root stimulator fertilizers like Quick Start from Miracle Gro are great to use at time of planting.

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Related Plants:

Japanese Stewartia

Camellia sasanqua

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Posted 2015-06-14T14:58:31+0000  by Ingar_HD_ATL Ingar_HD_ATL