01 January 2018

Camellia Garden plant of the month January

Camellia Garden plant of the month January

It's like something out of a fairytale: when everything is still bare, the evergreen shrub Camellia japonica is already flowering abundantly. Neither cold nor snow will stop this winter bloomer. In the first four months of the year the plant sparkles with large rose-like flowers with a diameter of up to 12 cm. The combination with the large, shiny dark green leaves make it an appealing sight for everyone who wants greenery and colour on their patio, in the garden or on the balcony.

As the name suggests, Camellia japonica originates from Japan, and is also native to Taiwan and Korea, where the plant prefers to grow on wooded slopes. This winter bloomer is related to the tea plant Camellia sinensis and was brought to Europe in the 18th century by traders.

Stress the uniqueness of the early flowering by displaying the plant in a wintry setting, and mix various colours together to create a greater impact. It's easy to create an Eastern-inspired display in the run-up to the Chinese New Year (16 February) with the use of Chinese lanterns, or an old Camellia print to make a statement during the early spring ranges in terms of colour. Briefly explain the symbolism, add a bowl of fortune cookies and Camellia instantly becomes a 'I'll have one of

Care tips
- Camellia japonica prefers acidic, slightly damp, easy-draining soil
- The plant prefers a sheltered spot in partial shade
- Cover the plant in the event of a harsh or lengthy frost in order to prevent frost damage
- Don't allow the plant to dry out
- Some fertiliser in March and June helps the plant to produce fresh buds.