Camellias require a lime-freeor at least one that contains little lime. Plant in March or April in a loamy soil to which plenty of peat and leaf mould have been added. They are quite hardy but need the slight shelter of a tree or wall (not an east wall, as early morning sun can damage buds).
Plants are sold when very small and grow slowly, taking a number of years to reach 7 or 8 ft.
Among the hardiest are the varieties of Camellia japonica, which flower in spring:
Camellia japonica Adolphe Audusson, dark red, semi-double.
C.j. Comte de Gomer, pale pink double flowers striped a darker shade.
C.j. Donckelarii, crimson, semi-double flowers mottled with white.
C.j. Lady Clare, soft pink, semi-double flowers.
C.j. Nobilissima, white, double flowers.
The williamsii hybrids are also becoming popular, including:
C. williamsii Donation, 4 in. semi-double pink flowers with a brush of yellow stamens from February to March. Noted for its dull green leaves (other camellias have highly polished dark green leaves).