The camellia tree is an extremely versatile addition to any yard or garden. It can be grown in a wide number of climates, and its many varieties offer a vast array of sizes to suit the needs of your particular garden. Camellias are native to China, with records going back to nearly 500AD. It was transported to the west in the 16th or 17th century.
There are two common types of camellia: japonica camellias and sasanqua camellias. Japonica blooms in late winter/early spring with large leaves and flowers, as opposed to sasanqua which has smaller leaves and flowers. The difference between the two is that a third variety camellia reticulata is lesser known and grows only in the warmest parts of the United States.
The average height of a camellia tree is from 6 to 15 feet tall, though some are known to grow only 2 feet tall, while others grow up to 20 feet tall. Its blossoms grow to a width of approximately 5 inches and come in a wide variety of colors including white, pink, red, yellow or variegated and can be semi-double or double blooms. It has a uniquely identifiable shape. It bears dark green glossy leaves and flowers similar to a rose.
Many varieties of camellias grow well from zones 6 to 11, zone 6 being parts of New York, the Midwest, and the Pacific Northwest. Generally camellias require partial shade to grow successfully, however the susanqua camellia can tolerate full sunlight. As for soil conditions, the right soil for camellias will be well draining and slightly acidic.
As for pests and disease, camellia trees are susceptible to spider mites as well as fungus infections like petal blight canker, leaf gall, root rot and camellia yellow mottle leaf virus.