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Care of camellia plants

Updated April 17, 2017

The camellia is a flowering plant that grows well in warm, relatively shady areas. Camellias are known for their simple white flowers, which are usually edged with light to dark pink and have a delicate yellow centre. Taking care of a camellia requires knowing what kind of soil, sun, and watering habits the plants need to thrive and bloom beautifully year after year.

Water and fertiliser

Water your camellias throughout the year, especially if they are the variety that blooms through the winter. Your camellias should have been planted in an area that will allow excess water to drain away from the roots. Water your camellias once a day. Also use water to clean off any dust or dirt that accumulates on the leaves during the summer. Cleaning off the leaves will help the plant cool down and increase the amount of humidity on and around the plant. Apply fertiliser when your plant is not in bloom. Buy a fertiliser specifically for azaleas or camellias. Water the plants thoroughly before applying the fertiliser according to the manufacturer's instructions. Repeat this process every 45 days while the plants are not flowering.

Pruning and maintenance

Putting mulch around your camellias will help protect the roots from heat and will keep in moisture. Place organic mulch around the base of the trunk, but don't let it touch the plant. When you water, remove any dead flower heads or other debris from the mulch that might stop it from serving its function. It is not always necessary to prune camellias, unless you need to get the growth out of the way of a path or other plants. If you absolutely need to prune, be very careful about the timing. Prune right after the plant has finished blooming, but before new growth starts showing on the branches. Trimming off this new growth means you are essentially taking off the parts of the plant that will bloom.

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About the Author

Sara Tetreault has worked as a marketing copywriter and editor since 2006. She has written copy for public health organizations, Yankee Retail, and Oce North America. Tetreault received her Master of Arts degree in early modern culture and literature from the University of Sussex and obtained a dual Bachelor of Arts degree in English and communications from Eastern Connecticut State University.