While the best method of planting camellias is by cuttings, you can harvest the seedpods and start your own from seeds. This is a time-consuming process, and plants grown from seed can take years to bloom, though it can be very rewarding.
Camellia seedpods usually form in the early fall but can develop whenever the camellia is in bloom. To harvest, gather the dried pods from the ground or cover the pods on the plant with the tips of panty hose. Wait until the pods open naturally and then harvest the seeds. Mature seeds are brown, with a tough shell and an eye on the end.
Do not allow the seeds to dry out. They should be planted immediately or stored in an airtight container in a refrigerator until ready to plant. Soak the seeds overnight before planting.
Use a light seed-planting mix or combine perlite and peat moss in equal parts. Moisten the planting mix and squeeze gently to remove excess moisture and fill 4" pots with the moist soil. Place the camellia seeds in the mix with the eye facing down or sideways. Cover with a thin layer of soil and place the pots in a plastic bag. Leave one end of the bag open to allow air circulation. Place in bright indirect sunlight where they will stay warm, and make sure the soil stays moist but not wet.
Camellia seeds take months to sprout in some cases, and often the roots will form before any growth appears above ground. Camellias put down a long taproot that can become stunted in small pots. Once growth starts above ground, dig up the roots and pinch off the tip of the taproot to force growth into the stems and leaves.
Keep the plants in the small pots for about a year and use either a slow release fertilizer or a liquid fertilizer on a periodic basis. When the plants are a year old, transplant to larger pots or outdoors.