American Camellia Society Camellia Growing Tips & Culture
American Camellia Society The Garden Report: Questions & Answers
Norfolk Botanical Garden Hofheimer Camellia Garden



The selection of varieties to plant is a most important factor in successfully growing camellias. Selection can be influenced by four factors: the flowers (including form, color, and blooming season), the growth habit of the plant, individual preference, and the suitability of the variety to the climate. By visiting local camellia shows and gardens, you can get a good idea of the type that appeals to you and does well in your particular area. Purchase plants from a reputable nursery near your home if possible. Select cultivars that are known to grow well in your area. Choose plants with clear, bright green leaves, clean limbs free of scale, and stems that have no cuts or scars.

Thousands of camellia varieties have been named throughout the years. Hundreds are offered by commercial nurseries and many new varieties may be offered each year. Varieties range in color from pure white to brilliant crimson. Most varieties are either C. japonica, C. sasanqua, C. reticulate, or those plants which are hybrids of more than one species. Many of the C reticulate varieties are more sensitive to cold weather and should not be considered for outdoor plantings except in the warmest regions of the "camellia belt".

Mid-season flowering varieties that bloom from January I until the end of February are best suited for warmer conditions. In cooler climates, only early (November - December) and late flowering (March - April) varieties are recommended. The mid-season varieties generally bloom during the time period when the most freezing temperatures are experienced and flowers will suffer as a result. Many varieties will withstand temperatures as low as 10 F occasionally without plant damage. However, temperatures below freezing will damage open flowers unless protected by trees, etc. Flower buds which have not yet opened can withstand temperatures much below freezing without damage. They will open once temperatures have warmed again.


Ohkan - Single   Kanjiro - Semidouble   Donckelaari - SemiDouble   Mathotiana Supreme - Double   Sea Foam - Formal Double

[Click each image to enlarge.]

Above, from left to right: Ohkan (single), Kanjiro and Dockelaari (semi-doubles), Mathotiana Supreme (double), Sea Foam (formal double)

Kickoff - Loose Peony   Kramers Supreme - Peony   Elegans Splendor - Anemone   Mansize - Anemone   Rosea Superba - Rose

[Click each image to enlarge.]

Above, from left to right: Kickoff (loose peony), Kramer's Supreme (peony), Elegans Splendor and Mansize (anemones), Rosea Superba (rose)

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