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Plant Of The Month April - Camellias

Plant Of The Month April - Camellias


Aside from looking beautiful, these shrubs have at times been oddly caught up in some of the events that shaped the modern world. Tea (the dried leaf of camellia sinensis) helped spark a revolution, while closer to home, white camellia flowers were used as a symbol of the suffragette movement.



There are two main species of Camellias commonly grown in New Zealand, Camellia Japonica and Camellia Sasanqua. Though you can also find Hybrids, Camellia Quintessence (which makes a great ground cover), and Camellia Sinensis.


Camellia Japonica

  • Grows in part to full shade.
  • Flowers and leaves tend to be slightly bigger than the Camellia Sasanqua and most varieties will grow to be slightly taller.
  • Prefers free draining, acidic soil with lots of organic matter.
  • Flowers early winter – late spring

Camellia Sasanqua

  • Grows in full sun to shade
  • Prefers free draining, slightly acidic soil with lots of organic matter
  • Flowers autumn – late winter


Camellia Hybrids

  • Mixes the qualities of sasanqua and japonica.
  • Many stunning varieties available.



Dig a hole that is at least twice as wide and twice as deep as the pot it came in.
Backfill with a mix of peat, sheep pellets and your topsoil.
Gently plant into the loosened soil to the same level that it was in the pot.


Feed regularly with Kings Azalea, Camellia and Rhododendron Fertiliser. For a natural option, feed with sheep pellets and Ocean Grow.
Mulch in spring/summer with More Than Mulch to help suppress weeds and improve the water retention of the soil.
Prune for shape or to remove damaged wood immediately after your plant finishes flowering.


Our Top 6 Varieties


Early Pearly

Sasanqua type. Forms an attractive, bushy shrub that produces gorgeous, formal, double white blooms.
Size: 2.5 x 1m
Site: Full sun - part shade



Silver Dollar

Sasanqua type. Flowers in autumn and early winter. Great choice for hedging or espaliering.
Size: 2.5 x 1m
Site: Full sun to part shade




Sasanqua type. Great for hedging, this easy to grow, popular variety produces masses of stunning white blooms.
Size: 2.5 x 1m
Site: Full sun to part shade



Spring Festival

Hybrid type. This narrow, upright shrub produces a delightful abundance of small, soft pink flowers.
Size: 1.5 x 1m
Site: Full sun to shade



Roger Hall

Japonica type. Grows into a dense, upright bush producing a mass of glorious, medium to large red blooms.
Size: 2.5 x 2m
Site: Part to full shade




A low growing camellia that can be grown as a groundcover plant. Produces gorgeous white flowers with a sweet musky scent..
Size: 1.5 x 1m 
Site: Part to full shade


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