Camellias are one of the most popular evergreen shrubs found throughout the South. The grow best in Central and North Florida. They originate from the Orient. There are two species from which all the many hybrids come from. Camellia japonica flowers in winter and Camellia sasanqua flowers in fall.
Common name(s): Camellia
Scientific name: Camellia japonica X and Camellia sasanqua X
Plant family: THEACEAE
Description: Medium to large shrub. Leaves glossy, evergreen, and dense. Twigs brown with multiple flowers. Flowers come in several forms: open single petals with central anthers, multiple petals or dense petal cluster. Colors range from pink, red, white, yellow, streaked and some may have fragrance.
Growing Conditions: In Central and North Florida you typically see them growing in filtered light, with rich organic, well drained soil and ground surface with natural mulch to reduce loss of moisture. They will tolerate sun if some protection from western sun heat. Soil pH 5.5 – 6.5, slightly acid. Plants decline or are stressed if soil is not slightly moist. Roots can easily dry leading to decline around the roots. Water on regular basis, one a week until established for best results, allow leaves to dry.
Relation to Nehrling Gardens:
Location in Gardens: E5, F3 – F6, F14 – F15, E15
Additional Information: Original camellias came from the Orient, China and Japan. Today day there are over 200 species recognized. The most famous and popular camellia and economically global plant is the Tea, known as Camellia sinensis. The original word came from the Cantonese dialect ch’a. This plant was brought to the English market during the 17th century with the British East India Company. Known locally as Tee as it became more popular the government placed a tax on all tee for source of revenue. Over time the tax on tea in the New Colonies of our country lead to Boston Tea Party. You could say this Camellia lead to the movement of what is know as the American Revolution and the new country know as the United States.
How to grow in Central Florida: Best time to plant will be early spring.
To plant make hole larger than pot, fill hole with water allow to drain, then add pot to level of ground, add soil, more water, continue. Be sure no air pockets in soil root area. Finally, add more water, if bubbles there are air pockets
Cultivars at Nehrling Gardens:
Camellia japonica ‘Alba Simplex‘
Camellia japonica ‘Debutante’
Camellia japonica ‘Mark Chason’
Camellia japonica ‘Pink Perfection’
Camellia japonica ‘Sweetie Pie’
Camellia japonica ‘Capricci’
Camellia japonica ‘Leona Wilsey’
Camellia japonica ‘Rose Dawn’
Camellia japonica ‘Dr. Tinsley’
Camellia sasanqua ‘Midnight Ruby’
Jerry Conrad 1942-2013
Kenneth Wright 1954-2012
Alayna Y. of Orem, Utah
Al & Joyce DeMartino
Joseph & Beatrice Schretzmann
Pine castle Garden Club in Memory of Carolyn Bertram Higgins 1935-2018
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