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Camellias beautify dreary winter days

Don’t you feel sorry for gardeners who live where there are no winter flowers?

Camellias are the super stars of winter garden in the South, lighting up the landscape with lovely flowers in red, rose, pink, white and bicolors. Plant now and you'll be able to enjoy them for many weeks.

Both Camellia japonica and Camellia sasanqua, the two varieties most often planted here, prefer a partial shade location. A well-drained spot where they will receive about four to six hours of morning sun with afternoon shade is ideal. They also thrive under the high shade cast by pine trees. Like azaleas, camellias do best in acid soil. If your soil pH is above 7, add an acidifier at planting time and feed your plant with fertilizer labeled for acid-loving plants.

Here’s a look at a few of the popular varieties Akin’s usually has in stock:

  1. Nuccio’s Gem: a strong upright grower that bears loads of perfectly formed, pristine white semidouble flowers with a rosebud center in early to mid-season.

  2. Cotton Candy: an early-season bloomers that bears masses of clear pink, semidouble flowers.

  3. Kanjiro: a vigorous upright grower with early, rose-pink, semidouble flowers shading to rose-red on the petal edges.

  4. Shishi Gashira: a compact, low-grower that bears early rosy-red, semidouble flowers. Named a Louisiana Super Plant.

Adding one, or more, of these camellias will give your eyes something beautiful to rest on during winter’s grayest, dreariest months.

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