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Plant type Shrubs

Best uses

A camellia which is more tolerant of sun than most and is quick growing. Great for topiary hedging and use in containers.

Physical characteristics

A spreading, evergreen shrub growing to around 2.5m tall and 2.5m wide depending on pruning.

Flowers and foliage

A lovely double-flowered camellia producing masses of bright pink buds which open pure white from May to July. Leaves are ovate, leathery and mid to dark green.

Preferred site

Best planted in partial shade but will happily tolerate more sun than most. Best in moist but well-drained acidic soil.

Maintenance tips

Mulch well in spring and water thoroughly during dry periods for the first two or three years. Propagation of cultivars is always from cuttings or by grafting. Prune after flowering to keep plants compact using secateurs to thin and shorten branches, or hedge clippers to promote dense growth. Those with upright habits may be kept slender by training to a single leader and after flowering shortening and thinning lateral branches. Young plants require thorough watering during dry periods over the first two or three years. Mulching helps to conserve moisture and suppress weeds. Plants in very acidic soil will benefit from a light application (50g/m2) of dolomite lime every three years.

Pests and diseases

Check plants in spring for leaf-roller caterpillars, aphids and the nymph stage of thrips. Aphids on other plants can secrete honeydew onto leaves below which in turn grows sooty mould. This is most common when plants are grown in full shade. Camellias are also susceptible to leaf gall.

Location at Auckland Botanic Gardens

Camellia Garden