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Container Camellia, with the right pot you’ll get a great flower shrub!

Growing camellia in a pot or container

Camellia, a stunningly ornamental flower shrub, is perfectly suited to growing in pots. Picture it on your terrace or balcony!

Key Container Camellia facts:

Name: Camellia
Family: Theaceae
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

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

Camellia in a potLike 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.

Smart tip

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

Images: depositphotos: Dimitrova; Pixabay: Beatrice Schmuki
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