Originating in Asia, camellias were introduced to the United States in 1786. There are thousands of cultivars, and they all follow an unusual bloom schedule, flowering in the early spring, late fall or winter.
Camellias are available in numerous colors including pink, white, red or a combination of these colors. Some varieties produce single blooms, while others produce double blooms. Flower size is dependent on the cultivar and can reach up to 5 inches in diameter.
Camellias are recommended for USDA hardiness zones 6 to 8. They can be transplanted successfully from November to February and typically require little pruning. The most popular method of propagating camellias is through cuttings.
Camellias prefer partial shade and well-drained soil that is loose and somewhat acidic. For best results, a pH level of 5.5 to 6.5 is recommended. Never use peat moss as a planting medium. Proper aeration is necessary to prevent root rot.