Camellia – Popular Shrubs for the Garden
The camellias are not difficult to grow provided they can be given the right conditions. They do not like chalky soils and although they will grow in exposed sites their buds are liable to be damaged by searing winds and spring frosts.
Light woodland places are ideal or, in colder gardens, a place against a south, west or even north, but not east, wall. They make good tub plants, either foror cold conservatories and this gives the gardener who has chalky a chance to enjoy these delightful plants.
Unless your garden is in one of the milder counties, stick to the varieties of Camellia japonica and the newer hybrids, the williamsii group, which are as hardy as any other shrub. The japonica forms vary in colour from white to rich crimson and there are kinds with single, semi-double and fully double. The williamsii hybrids have excellent single or semi-double flowers. They appear to grow a little more quickly than the japonica forms, but both reach about 12-15 feet, the latter growing taller in ideal conditions. Both should begin to flower in late February or early March.
Dig in moist peat and leaf-mould before planting and mulch the shrubs each spring with the same materials.