Plant Profile | Camellia


The camellia is one of the most popular winter and spring flowering shrubs, with its extraordinarily beautiful blooms offering a vivid splash of colour when little else is in flower, and its bold, evergreen foliage providing form and structure even once the flowers have faded. These easy to grow shrubs are perfect for adding colour to borders and containers.

We grow a range of camellias on our Hampshire nursery, with the skill and expertise required to produce well-branched and floriferous plants. Find a selection of some of the best-loved varieties here.

Visit your nearest Hillier Garden Centre to discover our full range of camellias 


Camellia Varieties

Camellia japonica 'Brushfield's Yellow'

This is an elegant, upright variety of Japanese camellia that can grow to more than 2 metres in height. The colour of the flowers are strikingly unusual for a camellia; from mid to late spring, enjoy a profusion of large white double flowers, which gradually blends to a creamy-gold ruffled centre. A real garden favourite, position in partial shade in ericaceous soil.

Flowering Time: April to May

Sun requirements: Partial to full shade

Soil: Loam, clay sandy, acidic. Camellias like soil with a loose, open structure, so add plenty of compost before planting to allow the right balance between water retention and free drainage.

Hardiness: Hardy, in the shelter of neighbouring trees, shrubs or buildings. 

Size: Grows to 2.5m height x 2m spread


Camellia japonica 'Curly Lady'

This upright, evergreen camellia variety takes its name from its unusual twisted branches, which bear glossy dark-green leaves. From mid-winter into spring, it produces rich red-pink double flowers.

Flowering Time: December to March

Sun requirements: Partial to full shade

Soil: Loam, clay sandy, acidic. Camellias like soil with a loose, open structure, so add plenty of compost before planting to allow the right balance between water retention and free drainage.

Hardiness: Hardy, in the shelter of neighbouring trees, shrubs or buildings. 

Size: Grows to 2m height x 1.5m spread


Camellia japonica 'Dalhonega'

This is a sturdy, upright and reasonable compact variety of camellia, typically growing to below 2 metres. It produces delicate yellow fully double flowers. This is an excellent choice for the smaller garden, or in a container placed in a patio area. 

Flowering Time: March to May

Sun requirements: Partial to full shade

Soil: Loam, clay sandy, acidic. Camellias like soil with a loose, open structure, so add plenty of compost before planting to allow the right balance between water retention and free drainage.

Hardiness: Hardy, in the shelter of neighbouring trees, shrubs or buildings. 

Size: Grows to 1.8m height x 1.2m spread


Camellia japonica 'Dazzling Pink'

This variety of Japanese camellia brings excitement to the garden both from its profusion of candy pink flowers in the spring along with its variegated green and white leaves.

Flowering Time: March to May

Sun requirements: Partial to full shade

Soil: Loam, clay sandy, acidic. Camellias like soil with a loose, open structure, so add plenty of compost before planting to allow the right balance between water retention and free drainage.

Hardiness: Hardy, in the shelter of neighbouring trees, shrubs or buildings. 

Size: Grows to 2m height x 1.5m spread


Camellia japonica 'Doctor King'

C. 'Doctor King' is an upright to bushy variety with glossy, broadly elliptic, dark green leaves. In spring it produces ruffled, single to semi-double reddish-pink flowers with prominent yellow stamens. This is a great variety as a specimen plant for the border or placed in a patio pot.

Flowering Time: March to May

Sun requirements: Partial to full shade

Soil: Loam, clay sandy, acidic. Camellias like soil with a loose, open structure, so add plenty of compost before planting to allow the right balance between water retention and free drainage.

Hardiness: Hardy, in the shelter of neighbouring trees, shrubs or buildings. 

Size: Grows to 3m height x 2.5m spread


Camellia japonica 'Lady Campbell'

C 'Lady Campbell' is an upright variety with oval, glossy, dark green leaves. The beautiful large double rose-form red flowers are produced in late winter into early spring. This is a great variety as a specimen plant for the border or placed in a patio pot.

Flowering Time: December to March

Sun requirements: Partial to full shade

Soil: Loam, clay sandy, acidic. Camellias like soil with a loose, open structure, so add plenty of compost before planting to allow the right balance between water retention and free drainage.

Hardiness: Hardy, in the shelter of neighbouring trees, shrubs or buildings. 

Size: Grows to 2m height x 2m spread


Camellia japonica 'Lady Vansittart'

C. 'Lady Vansittart' is a large upright winter to spring-flowering variety with elliptic, glossy, dark green leaves. The flowers are semi-double, white, with unusual variable stripes and splashes of pink and red.

Flowering Time: December to March

Sun requirements: Partial to full shade

Soil: Loam, clay sandy, acidic. Camellias like soil with a loose, open structure, so add plenty of compost before planting to allow the right balance between water retention and free drainage.

Hardiness: Hardy, in the shelter of neighbouring trees, shrubs or buildings. 

Size: Grows to 9m height x 8m spread


Camellia japonica 'R. L. Wheeler'

This is a beautiful upright spring-flowering variety with glossy green foliage. It produces an abundance of large, semi-double pure pink flowers that are certain to brighten up and slightly shaded spot in the garden or bring cheer when grown as a container plant on a patio. 

Flowering Time: March to May

Sun requirements: Partial to full shade

Soil: Loam, clay sandy, acidic. Camellias like soil with a loose, open structure, so add plenty of compost before planting to allow the right balance between water retention and free drainage.

Hardiness: Hardy, in the shelter of neighbouring trees, shrubs or buildings. 

Size: Grows to 2.5m height x 1.8m spread


Camellia x vernalis 'Yuletide'

This is a hybrid variety of Camellia japonica x Camellia sasanqua. This festively named upright, evergreen shrub has semi-glossy, dark green leaves and in winter brings joy to the garden when it produces single bright red flowers with very prominent yellow stamens.

Flowering Time: December to February

Sun requirements: Partial to full shade

Soil: Loam, clay sandy, acidic. Camellias like soil with a loose, open structure, so add plenty of compost before planting to allow the right balance between water retention and free drainage.

Hardiness: Hardy, in the shelter of neighbouring trees, shrubs or buildings. 

Size: Grows to 3m height x 2.5m spread


Camellia Growing Guide

Planting

When choosing where to plant your camellia, remember that they require acidic, or at the very least a neutral soil when planting in borders, and ericaceous compost when planting in pots. Make sure that they are positioned in partial shade, and in a sheltered position, protected from strong winds.

To plant a new camellia, dig a hole roughly twice the size of the rootball. Add some ericaceous compost and a handful of ‘fish, Blood and Bone’ to the hole to half-fill it. Using a trowel, mix this into the soil at the base of the hole and water the hole well.

Plant the camellia to the same depth as it was in the pot and backfill with a mix of ericaceous compost and your garden soil, gently firming it into the surrounding soil. Put a stake into the ground to support the new plant, as they are prone to breaking in the first few years if there is a particularly strong wind. Gently tie the camellia to the stake and water in well.

Watering

Water regularly until well established. Camellias benefit from a sheltered, partially shady position, but if you water carefully they can also be grown in sunny positions.


Camellia Planting Ideas

Camellias bring a real show to the garden and make fantastic specimen shrubs, to bring a focal point to borders. 

They also make great specimen plants to grow in containers. Just make sure to avoid positioning in a spot that is too hot and sunny and make sure to plant using ericaceous compost.