One of the most vibrant and luxurious spring flowering shrubs must be the Camellia. It is sophisticated and elegant with glossy dark green leaves and alluring confident flowers in all shades of pink, red and creamy white.
Camellias enjoy a relatively damp autumn which prevents the developing buds from dropping off, as they are inclined to do if it is dry. Flowers can suffer too from frost damage once they have opened.
Camellias do not like alkaline conditions. If you are growing them in containers use an ericaceous compost. An ericaceous feed in the spring and late summer will yield results. When choosing a position for a Camellia try to avoid a very exposed position or one which captures the early morning sun. The combination of sunlight on frosted leaves and flowers can be damaging. Camellias are fairly resistant to pests and diseases but the dreaded vine weevil can prove a problem particularly for young plants in containers.
Camellia flowers have been categorised as single, semi-double, anemone, peony form, rose form, formal double and informal double. There are numerous varieties available “Guilio Nuccio” is a semi double red flowered Camellia with a centre of yellow stamens. “Donation” is a mid-pink alternative and “Swan Lake” is, not surprisingly, white