Camellia cultivation

Camellia cultivation

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Camellia cultivation

If the camellias are grown in constantly hot climates there is no special care to be taken since most of the growing conditions are dictated by the natural instinct of the plant and should not be modified. In the colder regions instead the cultivation of camellias is done in containers and then the seedlings are placed under glass to make them germinate. However, there are some conditions and parameters to be respected to support the plant in its natural needs and behavior. Therefore it is useful to discover and describe these parameters, in order to witness a satisfactory development of the plant. The camellias have only a short vegetative phase of about 4 weeks in the spring period; the rest of the year remain in hibernation and the buds begin the vegetative phase of maturation. Sometimes some buds grow out of season so in late summer, which will not result in flowers because the heat is not enough to feed them. The temperature during the summer must be higher than 20 ° C for several weeks even at night. This period ensures the development of buds (composed of round and thick buds) and flowers in abundance. Sometimes we read that camellias need a sunny autumn; this is true only if the plant has not used enough of the summer temperature. The flower will grow in quality only if the plant has abundant plant hormones. Normally camellias can be grown outdoors during spring and summer and must be brought back to the greenhouse in autumn. However, if the summer is late it is better to let them rest in the greenhouse waiting for higher temperatures.

Cultivation and flowering

The number of flowers produced by the camellias depends not only on the temperature but also on a high and long brightness. The direct sun is tolerated but in particular in particular types of camellias that produce white flowers, leaves do not develop or the sun can burn them making them turn a dark green color. In any case it is necessary to expose with care the young plants that have developed under glass, as they are even more at risk of being burned by the sun. At low temperatures (below 10 ° C) the camellias need little light, and under 5 ° C almost none. Thus during the winter the camellias can be stored in a garage or in a cold cellar. All in all this winter period does not create problems for flowering; in fact the plant recovers the time that has been stopped to explode in a luxuriant growth to the first warm ones compensating abundantly the missed bloom.


Camellia plants require moist soil. However, they are under stress if their roots are constantly in contact with water. Therefore it is of fundamental importance that the soil used for potting must have an excellent water retention (absorbing the necessary dose) and the discharge of the excess must be sufficient. If the soil contains too much soil the particles will gather around the roots and in particular the young plants will not thrive and will only show yellow leaves. However, even during the summer the plants must not undergo frequent watering if the soil is porous. To obtain these optimal soil drainage conditions it is advisable to use a rich substrate of heather land which is easily found at the foot of wild pine trees. In particular, where the blueberry plant is found, it is possible to take some well sieved soil which is very useful, but it needs frequent watering since it is very porous so it can be mixed on a par with garden soil with a low salt content . Other useful materials can be rotten wood, decomposed leaves or peat. Rainwater is the most suitable for watering potted camellias but if necessary you can use tap water but be careful because it usually contains many alkaline substances that increase the PH value from 5 to 8 Therefore it is good practice to acidify water with peat, organic or inorganic acid.

Camellia cultivation: Conservation

In central European countries such as Germany and the Netherlands, camellias are mostly advertised and sold as houseplants. However, this is the main reason that the flower buds drop because, (the houses being strongly heated) the high temperatures in the period of intense cold damage the plant. For this reason they are grown all year round in transparent greenhouses. As can be seen from this description the camellias are a bit bizarre and contradictory, they love the intense heat in summer but in winter they do not tolerate it at all and prefer instead to rest and vegetate. All this has repercussions on the choice of camellias, leaving doubt to those who cultivate them whether to use them in apartments or outdoors in pots or flower beds. However, this is a real shame because the camellias produce beautiful flowers, double or single, white or pink of great size or really extraordinary pastel colors. Finally the camellia can be affected by parasites that make both the leaves and the flowers of a dark color and in this case, it is necessary to use specific insecticides for this type of plant.