Camellia, a stunningly ornamental flower shrub, is perfectly suited to growing in pots. Picture it on your terrace or balcony!
Key Container Camellia facts:
Type: flower shrub
Height in pot: 3 to 10 ft (1 to 3 m)
Exposure: part shade to full shade
Substratum: heath soil
Foliage: evergreen – Flowering: November to June, variety-dependent
- Explore all our posts about Camellia
Our tip: For container growing, go for smaller species, those not exceeding 3 ft (80 cm) tall at maturity. Here are tips to ensure your potted Camellia blooms year after year.
Planting Potted Camellia
Whether in soil or a pot, Camellia needs good drainage. Soggy roots? No, thanks!
Best spot for potted Camellia:
- Aim for partial sun. Too much direct sunlight can burn your plant.
- Avoid windy spots
- One thing to remember: Camellia is not a true houseplant. A heated room in winter? It would rather be in a cold garage!
Ideal pot for Camellia:
Whatever the container’s material, drainage is king!
- Does the pot have drainage holes at the bottom? Make sure it does.
- Every 2 to 3 years, it’s time for a pot size upgrade.
Soil for Camellia in a container:
Camellia in a pot will love heath soil for proper growth.
- Start with a layer of gravel or clay balls for drainage at the bottom of the pot.
- Fill up the pot or container with a mix of heather soil and special planting soil.
Pruning Camellia in a garden box or pot:
If you’ve picked a dwarf species, a simple maintenance pruning will do.
- Dead wood? Prune it off as you spot it.
- Need to reduce branches? Wait until summer’s end.
Watering Potted Camellia
Like most shrubs and potted plants, watering Camellia is a big deal. In pots, soil dries out much quicker.
Your Camellia might suffer and die if not careful.
- Keeping soil slightly moist is important, Camellia doesn’t appreciate getting thirsty.
- Wait for the surface to dry out slightly before watering again.
- Regular supply of heather plant fertilizer is key.
- Consider giving stinging nettle tea a try, it’s a natural fertilizer your Camellia will love.
Potted Camellia diseases
Whether in a pot or in-ground, Camellia often encounters issues related to soil nature (usually too limey), or watering. These elements often cause leaf-level reactions.
Camellia’s leaves and buds turn brown:
This often occurs when soil drainage is poor, causing water to pool at root level.
- Camellia should never have its feet in water, and water must drain quickly
- If this is true for your potted Camellia, cut back slightly on watering.
End-of-winter fertilization with heather plant fertilizer helps fortify Camellia, improve blooming, and stave off diseases.
Camellia leaves discolor and yellow:
This is usually due to excess limestone in the soil, causing what is called Camellia chlorosis.
- Adding heather soil at the surface comes recommended.
- A supplement of heather plant fertilizer should also help tackle chlorosis.
A mulch of pine bark on the surface a few inches thick (a few centimeters) solves many problems.
- It maintains soil moisture and coolness.
- It provides the acidity heather plants crave.
It helps prevent weeds, which also become easier to pull out.
→ Discover all our Camellia growing tips