Camellias, plants with spectacular flowers

Lush flowers with camellias. With the right knowledge about the plant, it is easy to experience the exquisite flowers. The plant is wrongly said to be difficult to care for. Read here how undemanding the container plant is.

Camellias — the millennia-old cultivated plant from China

The first camellias came to Europe as early as the 16th century. Their homeland is in East Asia, from where the special plants were brought back by seafarers. The beauty has not lost its appeal as a special feature and the variety of flower variations alone makes the plant a star in spring. There are an estimated 20,000 different varieties of camellia worldwide.

Interesting facts about camellias:

  • Botanically, the camellia is called Camellia japonica and belongs to the tea plant family.

Under ideal conditions, camellias grow into shrubs and small trees.

The most famous camellia in Germany is the 230-year — old plant in the park of Pillnitz Castle. The magnificent specimen is about 9 m high and measures about 11 m in diameter. An estimated 35,000 flowers delight with dark red color during the flowering period from February to April. How about a trip to Germany’s most famous camellia with an indescribable abundance of flowers?

You can find out how your camellia develops into a magnificent specimen here:

1) Camellias are not houseplants!

2) Camellias do particularly well as a container plant or planted in a sheltered spot in the garden. Whether in the bucket or in the garden, always ensure winter protection.

3) A location with 2-10°C and high humidity is ideal. A cold conservatory, stairwell or atrium is suitable for this.

4) Outdoor camellias need winter protection from temperatures of -5°C.

5) The evergreen plants should also be watered regularly in winter. It is important to know that waterlogging is harmful and should therefore be avoided.

Care tips for long flowering joy

1) Plant your camellia in a container at least 40cm high. Containers that are as wide as possible are ideal, because the attractive flowering plant has shallow roots.

2) For improved drainage, first fill a layer of Kölle’s Beste clay granulate into the container.

3) For optimal growth, use Kölle’s Beste Rhododendron soil, because camellias thrive best in an acidic soil substrate.

4) Ideally, use rainwater or low-lime tap water for watering.

5) Regular spraying of the leaves with stale, low-lime water promotes the vitality of the plant.

All these care tips can be justified by the climate of the original location of the camellia. The mountainous regions of Asia have a temperate living environment with regular rainfall, humidity above 60% and a cool, balanced climate.

Varieties

With the necessary knowledge about camellias and their needs, you are guaranteed to have a lot of fun with the stately garden plant and its unique blooms. Your passion for collecting will surely be aroused, because the decision whether white, pink, red, striped or with dots is very difficult. The flowers vary from single to semi-double to double. In addition to rose-shaped flowers, there are also anemone-shaped ones. Above all, the contrast between the flower color and the golden-yellow stamens puts the unfilled camellia varieties in the center of the spectacular spring flowers.

When are camellias pruned?

    • Camellias are generally very tolerant of pruning, but do not need to be pruned. With young plants, you stimulate branching with a pruning and thus get a dense plant.
    • I usually prune your camellia right after it blooms.
    • Cut 2 cm above the base of the leaf to protect the small bud in the leaf axis.

You can bring older plants back into shape with a cut, because the plants sprout well after being cut back.

Decoration tip:

As a special decoration, you can enjoy camellia blossoms in a vase or in flat bowls for a few days. Conjure up a Far Eastern mood quickly and easily with the exotic blossom beauties.

Did you know that in Japan camellias are considered a symbol of spring, in China a symbol of longevity, wealth, love and contentment ? Find out more about the language of flowers in our guide.

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