The Camellia family of plants is a well-loved flowering beauty. The family has hundreds of varieties of flowers and is one of the most popular cut flowers used in floral decorations.

Camellias come in many different colours and each one has different meanings associated with it. White Camellias symbolize affection and friendship, red Camellias symbolise love and passion while pink Camellias symbolise a longing for someone that you miss!

Camellia Sasanqua.

Camellia Sasanqua - Best grown in full sun this is the first flower to arrive in autumn. This tough but glamorous shrub makes a great border for a garden but grows well in pots and raised beds. They are an evergreen shrub, originally from Japan, with slightly fragrant flowers. The shrub likes acidic soil and grows best with a thick layer of mulch on top of the soil. Some of the most popular varieties include ‘Early Pearly’, ‘Pure Silk’ and the ‘Jennifer Susan’.

Camellia Japonica.

This marvelous flower first arrived in the West from the Orient in the early 1800s. The flower was an instant success with gardeners and botanists who appreciated the flower's beauty as well as its hardiness and pest resilience. There are few plants in the world that have been more successfully hybridised with some experts estimating that more than 30,000 varieites are currently growing around the world! The plants are long living too! In Australia, the oldest known Camellia plant is said to have been planted in 1831, making it nearly 200 years old today!

The Camellia japonica grows into a small tree. It prefers part sun and grows happily underneath other trees, such as the classic Australian gum tree. These plants grow very well in pots, and can be beautifully manicured to achieve a ‘lolly-pop’ effect that looks fantastic when in bloom. They can also be grown into hedges or grown into an attractive espalier.

Miniature Fairy Wand Camellia.

Miniature Fairy Wand Camellia - This tiny cherry blossom like flowers are dainty and sweet. They make fantastic bordering for a garden they also grow well in woodland settings. These shrubs can reach up to 4 metres high but they can easily be trimmed and kept lower. They grow well in the shade and partial sun and make great companion plants for daphnes, snowdrops and wood violets. The plants need regular watering in their early years but as they mature they require far less attention. A bit of extra watering around flowering time is always appreciated by these wonderful plants though!

Camellia Reticulata.

These amazing plants have flowers up to 25cm across! They are among the largest flowers in the horticultural world and are really a special addition to any garden. These varieties flower later than the other Camellias and flower between early May and late September. The flowers actually get larger as the tree matures so they will maintain a special place in your garden for years to come. Unlike the japonicas or sasanqua varieties, the Camellia Reticulata does not grow well if you prune too much. The tree naturally drops its leaves before a new growth spurt and generally they need very little attention. They can be grown as garden features, hedges or in amongst woodlands.

Camellias are a popular and widely diverse family of plants that has benefited hugely from hybridization and cross-breeding. They are gardeners favourite and no matter what you’re looking for, you can find a special spot in your garden for some of these beauties! 

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