Two species of camellias are grown in North Carolina. Camellia japonica has glossy leaves, dense foliage, and large blooms from late winter through early spring.
Sasanqua camellias appear more open, leaves are smaller, it has single blooms in the fall.

Camellia japonica has glossy leaves, dense foliage, and large blooms from late winter through early spring. Sasanqua camellias tend to be more open, have small leaves, and usually small, single blooms in the fall.

Camellias grow best in a loose, well-drained soil that is slightly acid. A pH between 5.5 and 6.5 is recommended. Take a soil test before planting prior to planting and this can be sent to your local Extension office for evaluation.

bear profusion's of flowers in fall and early winter depending on cultivar and location. In general sasanqua blossom before C. japonica. . Flowers are 1.5-4 in. diameter and come in single, semi-double and double petal arrangements. Most cultivars are not fragrant, having an earthy, organic odor. Some newer offerings, have delightful, rosy fragrances. Camellia sasanqua tolerates more sun than most camellias, but needs a mulch to keep the roots cool. Fertilizing is ideally done each spring, often just as the camellia has finished flowering and new growth has started to appear.

To prevent sun scald and winter damage, avoid southern exposures.
As with all plants, regular watering allows your camellia to thrive, fight off disease and increase their resistance to pests.

Camellias grow best in partial shade and do not like early morning or late afternoon sun.
The three most serious camellia diseases in Carolina are camellia dieback and canker, flower blight and root rot. Tea scale is an insect to watch for.
Good nutrition, water control, light pruning and pest control result in beautiful blooms for the camellia flowering season.


Camellias should be pruned immediately after blooms fade as the shrub flowers on spring growth. Fertilize sparingly when new growth appears as camellias are slow growing and over fertilization can decrease the number of flowers. A two- to four-inch layer of mulch is important to help the soil retain moisture and to minimize alternate freezing and thawing in winter.

Season of Bloom
Late Winter/Early Spring
Mid Spring.
4-12 feet tall
Hardiness USDA
Hardiness Zone 3-9
Flower Color
Pink, Red, White.
Camellias will grow in most well-drained slightly acid soil. A soil pH (degree of acidity or alkalinity) of 6.0 - 6.5 is considered best for camellias.
lsun to partial shade
semi-hardwood cuttings.