Gainesville Landscape Plant of the Month for November: Japonica Camellia

For winter color, you can’t beat the camellia. The Camellia 'Japonica' looks gorgeously green and glossy through the winter and wows us with beautiful flowers to brighten the dull winter landscape. While many plants are losing leaves, going dormant, and suffering cold damage - the Camelia is just coming to life with white, pink, or red blooms to brighten your Gainesville landscape.

Here are some Camellia options for your Gainesville landscape!

Camellias are evergreen, long-flowering shrubs and small trees with long, dark green, glossy leaves. For show-stopping blooms look for these:

  • Camellia japonica 'Lady Campbell' has large, prolific, bright red flowers from February to May.
  • Camellia 'Ashton's Ballethas’ has fragrant, double-flowered pink blooms from October to December
  • Camellia 'Sugar' has delicate pink blooms from November to January.

Low Maintenance Landscape

  • Camellias are slow growing (about 15-20 inches per year)
  • Limit pruning after flowering
  • In the spring gradually increase watering as temperatures rise and day length increases.
  • Keep soil moist in summer

 Useful tips

  • Do not use tap water, try rainwater or softened water
  • Keep you camellia out of cold winds and frost
  • To protect from severe frost, cover the camellia with a horticultural fleece
  • Camellia species that are not quite hardy will do extremely well in pots

Nice to know

  • There are about eighty species of camellias, all from the Far East.
  • Camellias will transform your garden, balcony or terrace early in the year when most plants and trees are still waiting for their leaves to appear.
  • The seeds of Camellia oleifera are processed to make hugely expensive oil which is used in the Far East for cooking as well as being consumed for its cosmetic benefits.  It contains anti-oxidants that help protect the body’s cells from the processes of ageing, strengthens the immune system and keeps skin and hair healthy.