Tuesday, January 12, 2010

White Camellias

By Skeeter
We moved into our Georgia House being lucky enough to have 4 Camellia bushes. They are located in front of the house which faces North. We dug them out and moved them a bit to the left and right of where they were to allow room for two Japanese Maple trees. We were careful to relocate them during mild weather of Spring. Above, you are looking at the bush to the right of the front porch steps.Here is the entire planter with Camellias being to the back left and far right. Japanese maple tree in the center and Nandinas to the right and left of the tree. Yes, I know it is time to take down the Christmas Wreaths!
Here you see the bush to the left of the front steps.And that entire planter being a mirror image of the other one. The move did not harm the camellias. That was about 5 years ago and this year they bloomed more then ever before! I failed to snap a picture when they were in full bloom as I was so busy during that time. But as you can see from the dead blooms, we had bushes full of pretty white flowers.
Just yesterday, I snapped this picture of a bud still giving a show. It has been damaged from the freezing night temps we have been receiving for the past week or so. Freezing temps for long periods of time are not normal for our part of the South. The Camellia bushes do not appear to be harmed from the temps as were the blooms.
I love these bushes but wish they were a different color. When the white blooms receive too much cold weather, they turn this ugly brown and the entire bush looks horrible with all the dead petals on them. When the temps remain nice, the petals drop off naturally and fall to the ground and look so pretty being white, they then dry into the pine straw and look fine. But on the bushes, they just look so bad to my eyes.
They bloomed later this year then in the years past. Usually, they are at full peak just after Thanksgiving. If only they had bloomed sooner then maybe we would not have lost so many to the cold night temps. The blooming time may be due to when I prune them each summer. I hate to cut them at all as they are such vibrant bushes but if I allow them to grow at will, they would take over our front porch. Many buds remain unopened.
They are in a perfect spot for them to thrive but not such a perfect spot for me. I wish we had another spot to plant them where they could be allowed to grow natural but no such spot in our yard. In the back where it is shady, they would get too much water from the natural run off of rain fall. So I will keep them where they are and just continue to trim them back each year. Look at the new growth on this stem, just below the bud! I was looking them over and found many buds opening. As the buds open, they resemble a Peony to me but with a strange color the cold has given them. I do enjoy my 4 WHITE CAMELLIAS, In the Garden...


  1. Skeeter,
    I think who ever planted these camellias planted ones that should have been further south where the winter blooms could be enjoyed more. Those blooms from I see are not greatly appealing. I'm just on pins and needles waiting for our Crimson Candles to bloom.

  2. Skeeter ~ I think the color in the last picture looks like antique lace. They have a beauty being this color that is all their own. Glad the cold didn't hurt them.


  3. Skeeter girl .. it is disappointing that what should be a beautiful pure white is kind of not so pretty now .. I have always been jealous of you guys being able to grow this gorgeous plant down there .. but I guess our cold air caught up with it ? .. never mind , you will be warmer a lot sooner than we will girl ;-) LOL

  4. I'm with Joy, you all are so lucky to be able to have such a pretty bush.
    Sorry for the cold getting to everything, we are going to be in the 40's by Friday!

  5. I too think camellias look a bit like peonies. When do they normally bloom in Georgia? I saw some in England that were blooming in early march... and they don't grow here in MI so I don't know! :)

  6. Yes! You are right about them blooming later due to you pruning them in the summer. Camellias need to be pruned right after bloom and not later. The buds have formed by the time the summer came around. To keep them in bounds give them a good haircut right after bloom or move them where they can spread their wings a bit more (ideally a good thing but probably not an option for you). They will still send up shoots during the spring and summer but you can selectively prune those out without hurting the overall bush. Camellias can get quite large as you know. In your area they may work on the east side of the house then you can research camellias and get some smaller cultivars for next to the stairs? That is what I think I'd do. Either that or perhaps a winter daphne would do well in that spot and you'd have fragrance too! Personally though, the brown doesn't bother me. It is a natural progression and you are right, the cold sure got them. It has been very cold!

  7. Being from an area where they don't grow, I envy everyone in the south who can grow them. Sometimes we have trouble with early spring blooming plants if we have an unseasonable hard freeze. Just another one of the many trials gardeners live with:)

  8. I like where you place the camellias. Good luck with them!

  9. When you are researching as Tina suggested, look at Camellia sasanqua. The fact that yours start bloom around Thanksgiving indicates that they are C. sasanquas. Some of them have a growth habit that is not indicated for trying to maintain a neat rounded shrub beside the steps. They would much rather be small trees. My white C. sasanqua is about 15x20 feet, but it's also nearly 50 years old.

    Different camellias have different bloom times. The C. Sasanquas are about over here even if it wasn't freezing. C. japonicas had begun to bloom and open blossoms are dead. The tightest buds will open later. Some, like 'Blood of China' will not be at their peak until April, when heat will take them out.

  10. i bet they are just beautiful in full bloom!

  11. Being not able to grow them here I would usually be drooling over them but unlike my daughter, I agree the brown is not so pretty. We all have our crosses to bear in the garden when it comes to not so normal weather. Then we have the great years so it will balance out in the end. Hopefully. LOL.

  12. Good Morning everyone, Still cold here in GA but they claim the warmer stuff is on the way....

    Randy, Don’t get me wrong as they are really pretty before the cold gets to them. The bush looked like it was full of snowballs for about 3 weeks then the cold got to them and turn them all icky brown. I do believe they would be happier a bit more south of us though….

    Flower lady, I am always looking for the positive side of a negative and did not even think of that! Antique white is a wonderful color!

    Joy, I sure hope we will be warm soon. I am so tired of this cold stuff. That is why I like living in the south, less cold temps but this year, I think Mother Nature is giving us a blast to remember….

    Dawn, I don’t want to burst your bubble but they claim we will be 60 by weeks end! Then rain for the weekend. Bummer….

    Monica, there are different blooming times for Camellias depending on what type you have. I have the Fall bloomers and they normally start blooming in mid November being full of blooms by Thanksgiving Day!

    Tina, I will make a deal with you. I will let you move the Camellias to the East side for me and in return, you cannot moan to me about the Clay Dirt you will be digging. hee hee. Nope, the east side of our house is too full of clay for me to dig but would be an ideal spot for them for sure. I think they will remain just where they are located. I don’t give them a major clipping but just snip the shoots as they soar to the heavens. I snip about twice a year but only the shoots. They have really filled in since we relocated them too...

    Marnie, You are so right with the early spring bloomers! I fear once all this night time freezing stuff leaves us, that things will begin to pop out too early this year in our area. We will go from 30’s to 60 this weekend and I so fear the change for the flowers…

    Jeanne, Thanks, I do hope they continue to thrive…

    Nell Jean, I knew there were different types of Camellias with some being Fall bloomers and some Spring. We have talked about them before here at “In the Garden”. I think it was Tina that mentioned them. I was a bad girl and did not go back and look for the link. Thanks for the refresher course on them :-) Over all, they are happy where they are located I just wish I could let them grow and be the tree they seem to want to be for me…

    Michelle, they are so beautiful when in full bloom! I only wish I had taken the time to snap a pic of them. I was just too darn busy to show down and smell the roses so to speak…

    Jean, you are so right. Some years we have wonderful color and some years we seem to flop in the Gardens. I do like these bushes as they are easy care but I wish I could let them grow as they wish. Also I would prefer them to Not go brown too soon on me….

  13. I can just imagine the beauty when they were in full bloom. I have one Camellia and need to get more. I need to check on her buds after this LOOOOOOOOONG stretch of cold we have had...I do hope warmer weather is on it's way...but you know what that means? RAIN!

  14. What beautiful, mature shrubs. It is wonderful that you were able to transplant them successfully. With our dry climate, it is sometimes difficult to transplant large shrubs successfully. I do love the beautiful white blooms :-)

  15. Camellia is one of the plants I miss the most from living down South. Love that last photo of the bud opening up. Somehow, you've made even brown flowers look good!

  16. Hi Skeeter, enjoyed the post. I have one Camellia that is pink. With situations as is I haven't been out to check on her. She normally blooms in Jan. She's a long bloomer. I got her in Ga. She's a tree type shrub & lives at the drip-line of the big oak tree.

  17. The bed they are in is very pretty. They sure look healthy, even if the color is a little off because of the cold. When the Camellias bloom here they don't last too long because of the rain, the rain knocks all the flowers off.

  18. Darla, oh please dont mention the R word! We are still so soggy I cannot walk in the yard without sinking. We sure don’t need rain any time soon on my yard....

    Noelle, They were pretty large when we planted them and we were lucky we did not loose any of them. We made sure the conditions were right before we made the move. We only had a slight dry spell so I watered them a few times that first year but Nature did the rest for us...

    JGH, You know I was upset at the browning flowers but come to think of it, I have seen some really pretty shades of beige and brown especially on Mums. I should just be happy I have any blooms at all now!

    Lola, I so hope you have not lost any plants to this nasty cold snap we have been receiving. It is turning nice here as I went out without a coat today! I was running from the car to the store but still the sun kept the car warm and I did not need a coat. I was so happy as I hate wearing coats and scarves as they get in my way. Keep us posted on your Camellia. I will be interested to hear if she blooms like normal....

    Catherine, Thanks, You must have the spring bloomers with rain knocking them off the bush. I so wish I had snapped a pic of them when in full bloom. They were so pretty this year as never before. Oh well, maybe next year they will be pretty once again…

  19. Hey Skeeter, a flower this time of year will make me smile:) I can't wait for the cold to go away and start seeing some cute lil sprouts out in the yard. And, the term antique white is rather nice -hehehe. Glad you were able to go coatless today -I despise being bundled but if I don't wear a coat the lil ones want to go without one too. Have a great night!

    PS A big hi to Lola, Jean, Nina and Tina -I am looking forward to all your upcoming spring flower reports:) Just thinking about it makes me happy!!!

  20. Hi Skeeter, the camellias are like us - we can be transplanted and survive but we surely don't look great all the time! (lol)

  21. Poor little frozen buds. How nice to have some Camellias by the front porch.

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  23. Camellias are such beautiful flowers; I've always wished I could grow them here. I'm glad you don't think they had any permanent damage from the cold. This freeze across the country has to be so hard on Southern gardens.

  24. Anonymous, Yep, mom must set a good example for the kiddos so keep that coat on your body! :) I hope to get my Valentine Display up in the woods today as it is another nice day for us! Yippee, cold stuff during the day is not so bad now....

    Catmint, You have a wonderful way of looking at this dilemma of mine! You are so on the mark with this one. I now have a new analogy for my camellias, Thanks!

    Janet, I hope the frozen ones may pop open in time. Some of the buds are pretty tightly closed so maybe there is hope for a few more blooms for me to enjoy...

    Rose, I was just reading in our paper today that with all the rain we had before the freezing temps, the plants should be fine. The soggy ground will work as insulation, so they say anyway....