Photo by Melody

PlantFiles: Common Camellia, Japanese Camellia
Camellia japonica

Family: Theaceae (tee-AY-see-ee) (Info)
Genus: Camellia (kuh-MEE-lee-a) (Info)
Species: japonica (juh-PON-ih-kuh) (Info)

Synonym:Thea japonica

» View all varieties of Camellias

3 vendors have this plant for sale.

22 members have or want this plant for trade.

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4-6 ft. (1.2-1.8 m)
6-8 ft. (1.8-2.4 m)
8-10 ft. (2.4-3 m)
10-12 ft. (3-3.6 m)

12-15 ft. (3.6-4.7 m)

USDA Zone 6b: to -20.5 C (-5 F)
USDA Zone 7a: to -17.7 C (0 F)
USDA Zone 7b: to -14.9 C (5 F)
USDA Zone 8a: to -12.2 C (10 F)
USDA Zone 8b: to -9.4 C (15 F)
USDA Zone 9a: to -6.6 C (20 F)
USDA Zone 9b: to -3.8 C (25 F)

Sun Exposure:
Sun to Partial Shade

Bloom Color:
White/Near White

Bloom Time:
Late Winter/Early Spring
Mid Spring


Other details:
Average Water Needs; Water regularly; do not overwater

Soil pH requirements:
5.6 to 6.0 (acidic)
6.1 to 6.5 (mildly acidic)

Patent Information:

Propagation Methods:
From semi-hardwood cuttings

Seed Collecting:
Allow seedheads to dry on plants; remove and collect seeds

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9 positives
4 neutrals
No negatives

Gardeners' Notes:

Positive 1077011947 On Feb 9, 2015, 1077011947 from Greer, SC wrote:

I planted April Tryst Camellia in Kentucky about 10 years ago at my mom's and it has grown beautifully it is now maybe 10 feet a tall and blooms prodisciously each and every year. I planted a few other Ackerman Hybrids, I forget which ones, but they all did beautifully.

Neutral sherizona On Jan 10, 2011, sherizona from Peoria, AZ (Zone 9b) wrote:

In Phoenix this can be a tricky plant. It looks marvelous in the winter but hot, dry wind is its downfall. I try to bring mine to a very shady, non-windy spot during the summer. Sometimes it just can't take the heat and burns up, other times it barely makes it and rejuvenates in the fall. It's hit or miss, very similar to growing mandevilla out here.

Neutral purplesun On Mar 1, 2010, purplesun from Krapets
Bulgaria (Zone 8a) wrote:

Bought two of these two years ago, one pink and one red, for 2 euro each and planted them in part shade. Well, it doesn't die in our winters - 2300 feet AMSL, zone 6b - but it isn't a terrific performer either. It loses the odd bud or leaf by the end of the winter, but it does grow after that as if it had been pruned. This, combined with the fact this plant is so slow growing, makes patience a cardinal virtue in this case.

Positive mamacooler On Jan 30, 2010, mamacooler from Midlothian, VA wrote:

I have grown several different camellias in Midlothian, VA, zone 7. As we have acid soil, they are trouble free and only ask for a little afternoon shade. The blooms are gorgeous and the glossy green foliage is beautiful as an understory plant.

Positive SooBee360 On May 4, 2007, SooBee360 from Hudson, FL (Zone 9a) wrote:

Planted our red double about 15 years ago, as an understory beneath deciduous oak trees towards the northwest side of our (acre) yard. Natural mulch from leaves keeps it going, some natural pine needles possibly add to soil ph (acid side). Lovely blooms every Feb-Mar, right on cue. Although, rarely blossoms will get hit by surprise frost/freeze. For me, no bugs, no problems. I do water during droughts. Occasional pruning every other year. Likes the partial shade though.

Positive DreamOfSpring On Nov 26, 2006, DreamOfSpring from Charleston, SC (Zone 9a) wrote:

In my area (where I believe this plant was 1st imported to the US) camellias are virtually trouble-free and require little care. The biggest problem I've encountered is frost damage to pale colored blooms. I have a number of different varieties for which I do nothing beyond annual pruning for shape. Mine begin blooming in November and continue through late March, early April and bring much appreciated color to the winter garden.

Here (Charleston, SC) they require some shade. Most of mine are on the North side of my house where they receive little or no direct sun, yet they bloom well; at times it can be difficult to see the leaves for the flowers. They require an acid soil (usually not a problem here) without which the leaves will turn yellow-green.

They can grow quite tall. I've seen some 10-15ft tall. They can be left to grow as natural, unpruned shrubs or pruned and trained in a number of interesting forms including: standard (tree), espalier, etc.

This past summer one of mine rewarded me with a small crop of crabapple like fruits (1.5"D) that I have since learned may be produced by species varieties and some hybrids. The raccoon "kids" that visit me quickly gobbled them up so I gather they make a good source of food for wildlife.

Positive CoreHHI On Jul 10, 2006, CoreHHI from Bluffton, SC (Zone 9a) wrote:

I love camellia but I have a good natural enviroment for them. They need an acidic soil and shade. I have a couple that start blooming in Nov. and bloom profusely till about Feb. Nice color during the winter, they really stand out and they fill up shady areas that you really can't grow much in. I have one camellia that's about 10 ft tall by 6 ft and I prune it so it stays that size. We're talking about a 7 year old bush so they're fast growing if you have the right conditions.

Positive deborahgrand On Aug 17, 2004, deborahgrand from Baton Rouge, LA wrote:

Our camellia seems to be very hardy despite neglect we've given it over the years. This old trooper just blooms and blooms in the late spring/ early summer.

My grandfather had very good success with airlayering his -- they seemed to come out better than his grafted plants (they always seemed to be hardier).

Neutral Monocromatico On Apr 29, 2004, Monocromatico from Rio de Janeiro
Brazil (Zone 11) wrote:

This plant seems to be quite pH sensitive, not going well on higher pH. The best plants I have seen were planted on a rich, reddish (acidic) soil.

The beauty of Camellias can only be compared to the Roses.

Positive youreit On Mar 16, 2004, youreit from Knights Landing, CA (Zone 9b) wrote:

Early last fall/late summer, we bought and planted our 'Ave Maria' in pretty much full shade on the northern side of a built-up, man-made creek. Not knowing too much about Camellias at the time, we bought the one with the most buds on it. We only used bagged garden soil and mixed it into the clay-like stuff we're stuck with around here. It started sending out new growth almost immediately, the lighter green leaves contrasting beautifully with the thicker, dark green ones. Then out of the blue one winter morning, I noticed some pink across the yard, and we've had continuous formal double blooms since then. There are only 2 left now. I sure will miss her until next year. But the foliage is great, too!

Positive nevadagdn On Sep 22, 2003, nevadagdn from Sparks, NV (Zone 7a) wrote:

I am growing Camellia 'Korean Fire' and 'Winter's Dream' in large containers on my porch. 'Korean Fire' has already survived two winters, blooming in late winter/early spring. Plant in a partly shaded location in good, acid soil sheltered from wind and don't allow the plant to get dessicated if you want to grow Camellias in Reno-Sparks.

Positive MichaelE On Jun 9, 2003, MichaelE wrote:

We live in Northern Virginia and planted a camelia in April 2002. It bloomed in late March 2003 for the first time, which is what the nursery told us to expect. The blooms were both abundant and mildly fragrant. It did not appear to attract many insects. It has done well getting partial sun. After finishing blooming this spring, the plant put out a number of new growth shoots. It appears to be pretty hearty, even though we had a longer, colder winter than we have had the past few years.

I would be interested to know if anybody has any recommendations on whether or not this shrub should be pruned and if so how to do so.

Neutral justmeLisa On Aug 8, 2001, justmeLisa from Brewers, KY (Zone 6b) wrote:

This relatively slow growing native of China & Japan has been a favorite in the Southern states ever since its introduction. Camellia's glossy leaves and vast array of bloom sizes, shapes and colors have made it popular throughout Louisiana. Groupings of these shrubs in full bloom under scattered tall pines makes a lasting impression.

Many pest injure this species, but most can be controlled. Camellias perform best when grown in filtered shade. They are well suited for tub culture as specimen plants; a semi-shaded spot on the patio is perfect for a tub specimen.

It is important to keep the roots relatively cool; thick mulches are needed year-round.


This plant has been said to grow in the following regions:

Arab, Alabama
Dothan, Alabama
Madison, Alabama
Mobile, Alabama
Wedowee, Alabama
Peoria, Arizona
Benton, Arkansas
Green Forest, Arkansas
Little Rock, Arkansas
Altadena, California
Corte Madera, California
Davis, California
Garberville, California
Imperial Beach, California
Joshua Tree, California
Lincoln, California
Merced, California
Moreno Valley, California
Mountain View, California
Sacramento, California (3 reports)
San Diego, California (2 reports)
San Jose, California
Simi Valley, California
Wilmington, Delaware
Bartow, Florida
Fort Meade, Florida
Hudson, Florida
Interlachen, Florida
Keystone Heights, Florida
Lake City, Florida
Orlando, Florida
Pensacola, Florida (2 reports)
Spring Hill, Florida
Webster, Florida
Buchanan, Georgia
Cornelia, Georgia
Dallas, Georgia
Decatur, Georgia
Macon, Georgia
Newnan, Georgia
Peachtree City, Georgia
Rockmart, Georgia
Royston, Georgia
Savannah, Georgia
Corbin, Kentucky
Nicholasville, Kentucky
Baton Rouge, Louisiana (2 reports)
Hammond, Louisiana
Independence, Louisiana
Lafayette, Louisiana
Pasadena, Maryland
Gautier, Mississippi
Jackson, Mississippi
Marietta, Mississippi
Saucier, Mississippi
Eureka, Missouri
Sparks, Nevada
Piscataway, New Jersey
Brooklyn, New York
Chapel Hill, North Carolina (2 reports)
Flat Rock, North Carolina
Kinston, North Carolina
Mount Gilead, North Carolina
Rocky Mount, North Carolina
Taylorsville, North Carolina
Winston Salem, North Carolina
Oakland, Oregon
Scappoose, Oregon
Anderson, South Carolina
Bluffton, South Carolina
Charleston, South Carolina
Florence, South Carolina
Greenville, South Carolina
North Augusta, South Carolina
Pelion, South Carolina
Summerville, South Carolina
Knoxville, Tennessee
Broaddus, Texas
Dallas, Texas
Houston, Texas
Iredell, Texas
Rosenberg, Texas
Spring, Texas
Temple, Texas
Chester, Virginia
Midlothian, Virginia
Suffolk, Virginia
Virginia Beach, Virginia
East Port Orchard, Washington
Grand Mound, Washington
Sammamish, Washington
Southworth, Washington

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