Trees and shrubs

The charm of country camellias


Less sophisticated than their Japanese cousins, country camellias offer a multitude of small, simple and fragrant flowers from January.

Resulting from hybridization work, field camellias are close to tea plant (camellia sinensis), cultivated for 5,000 years in Asia and brought to Europe in the 17th centurye century. Like him, they are compact shrubs that cover themselves, from January to March depending on the variety, with small white, pink or red flowers.

Hardy, they tolerate cold to minus 10 ° C and require little maintenance, provided they are planted out of drafts, in acidic, well-drained soil.

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Planting country camellia

It is possible from the beginning of autumn to the end of winter except during frost. Install your shrub in a hole 3 times the size of the root ball, in partial shade, in a hedge, in a bed or against a wall.

If your soil is limestone, plant your camellia in a container. If you want to integrate it into the garden, in a pit or a raised wooden frame, isolated from the ground with a geotextile felt and filled with a mixture of rich and acidic soil.

A background of persistent (boxwood, yews...) or a colorful carpet of heather or early bulbs like snowdrops, daffodils and grape hyacinth will enhance the flowers of your shrub.

Camellia maintenance

Camellias don't like running out of water, water regularly to keep the soil moist, especially in the first year. Use rainwater or an anti-chlorosis product if your water is hard.

Pruning is not required, but you can rebalance the silhouette of your shrub at the end of its flowering.

Mulch in summer and fall. In case of prolonged frost in winter, cover with a winter veil.

Read also : Camellia, all maintenance tips

Varieties of country camellias

If you want fragrant flowers, choose “Flagrant Pink”, “High Fragrance” or “Cinamon Cindy” with hints of cinnamon.

In containers, prefer a variety with compact habit and slow growth like "Sweet Emily Kane".

Laure Hamann


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Visuals: Plant of the Month

Video: To do in spring: Mount Edgcumbe Country Park and National Camellia Collection Trail, Cornwall (October 2020).