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
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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 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)

USDA Zone 10a: to -1.1 C (30 F)

USDA Zone 10b: to 1.7 C (35 F)

Sun Exposure:

Sun to Partial Shade

Bloom Color:



White/Near White

Bloom Time:

Late Winter/Early Spring

Mid Spring



Other details:

Unknown - Tell us

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

Foliage Color:

Unknown - Tell us

Bloom Characteristics:

Unknown - Tell us

Water Requirements:

Average Water Needs; Water regularly; do not overwater

Where to Grow:

Grow outdoors year-round in hardiness zone


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

Bothell, Washington

East Port Orchard, Washington

Grand Mound, Washington

Issaquah, Washington

Sammamish, Washington

Southworth, Washington

show all

Gardeners' Notes:


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.


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.


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.


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.


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.


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 g... read more


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.


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).


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.


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!


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.


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.


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.