How to Grow Camelias in Pots

Written by sarah terry
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How to Grow Camelias in Pots
Camellia flower (camellia on stage image by feisty from

Camellias (Camellia spp.) are attractive flowering shrubs that bloom up to 7-inch flowers that come in shades of white, pink, red and multicoloured. Camellia shrubs grow well in regions where winters are mild and temperatures don't dip below -6.67 degrees C, and they're also ideal for container growing in colder climates. Camellias have shiny, evergreen leaves and bloom from November until April. These shrubs can reach 6 to 8 feet tall, although they usually grow much smaller in pots.

Skill level:
Moderately Easy

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Things you need

  • Planter pots
  • Well-draining acidic potting mix
  • Water-soluble fertiliser for acid-loving plants
  • Gravel

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  1. 1

    Plant your camellia into a planter container that has drainage holes in the bottom and is just large enough to accommodate the roots. Fill the container with a fast-draining, acidic potting soil mix and plant the camellia at the same depth as it was planted in the nursery container, no deeper.

  2. 2

    Place your potted camellias in bright, indirect sunlight. If you're keeping the Camellias outdoors, set them in a location that receives some direct morning sun but is shaded during the midday and afternoon.

  3. 3

    Water your camellias deeply once every week or two to keep the soil barely and evenly moistened. Water when the top 1 inch of potting soil feels dry to the touch. Avoid soggy soils or allowing the soil to dry out completely.

  4. 4

    Feed your camellia once per month during the spring and summer with a water-soluble, all-purpose fertiliser made for acid-loving plants. Follow the dosage directions on the package.

  5. 5

    Repot your camellia when its roots become thoroughly pot-bound. Transfer the camellia to a pot that is the next size up or only 1 to 2 inches larger to avoid over-potting the plant.

Tips and warnings

  • To improve drainage, line the bottom of the planter pot with gravel before potting the camellia. To make your own soil mix for your camellias, mix together four parts sandy loam, four parts ground fir bark and one part perlite.
  • Never cover the camellia's surface roots with soil, because they will rot and the plant will die.

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