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February Blooms in my Georgia Garden: Camellia Japonica

Yes, we have a camellia blooming just about all the time in our garden from September through April. Right now in the middle of February, we are enjoying the blooms on Camellia Japonica 'Lady Vansittart.' 

Also blooming now is 'Professor Sargent,' another Japanese Camellia.

Camellia Japonica, Japanese Camellia, is an evergreen shrub with large flowers in Fall or Winter, depending on species. There are so many different types of camellias that one can have blooms in the garden from September to April.

Japanese Camellia has glossy dark green leaves that can be up to 5 inches long. If on the underside of the leaves you notice specks that resemble black pepper, spray with insecticidal soap.

Blooms are also large and very showy. Some Japanese Camellias have flowers as large as 5 inches across. These camellias continue to bloom for up to 6 weeks. Flowers may be single, semi-double, or double, and some have ruffled petals or even variegated or striped blooms.

The plentiful blossoms hold up well in a vase for beautiful cut flower arrangements. 

Camellias are easy to grow. Choose a spot with dappled shade or morning sun with afternoon shade. However, some camellias can even tolerate full sun. 'Lady Vansittart' gets hot afternoon sun in our garden.

Camellias are drought tolerant once established. Here in Georgia, I have found that camellias planted before Christmas will do fine through the following summer. Camellias that didn't make it for us were those planted in Spring, so I don't advise Spring-planting for Camellias here in our hot climate.

Camellias like a rich soil, so at planting time, amend the soil with compost or soil conditioner. Water weekly if it doesn't rain, and your camellia will reward you with years of bloom at a time of year when not much else is blooming.

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