You may think of fall and winter as slow times for landscaping work, and prefer to do most of your gardening in the spring and summer when you can reap the rewards of beautiful flowering plants. If you find your cool-season landscape to be dull and uninspiring, you might be happy to learn there are some gorgeous flowering shrubs that actually bloom in fall and winter. Camellias start blooming at this time of year, in vibrant shades of pink, white, and red. And luckily, they aren’t too difficult to grow.
We specialize in Camellia Japonica, Camellia Sasanqua, Camellia Reticulata, and Camellia Hybrids all of which are ideally suited for our climate here in Southern California. These shrubs thrive in partial to full shade, and need to be sheltered from drying winds. Therefore, proper placement in your landscape is key to ensure that your camellia shrubs will thrive. Choose locations where they will be sheltered by other large shrubs, or beside your house or other building structures.
Camellias thrive when planted in well-drained, acidic soil. Once mature, your camellia shrubs will only need deep watering about once per week in the summer, and watering only when soil feels dry in the winter. Therefore, camellia shrubs are a great way to add color to your yard if you also need landscaping with low water needs.
Apply a phosphate-rich fertilizer to your camellia shrubs in the spring, and then again in the fall just before they bloom. The shrubs will also benefit from mulch in the winter. One thing to keep in mind with camellias is that old blooms and leaves can harbor a fungus that causes camellia blossom rot. Be careful to prune your shrubs of old blooms and leaves, and don’t allow them to litter the ground beneath your plants, or the fungus will spread to healthy leaves and blooms.
Fall is the best time to purchase camellia plants, because you can select your plants based on the appearance of their blooms. Come by our nursery to view our beautiful selection of camellias, and we’ll be happy to help you with more advice on planting and growing your new shrubs.