The Remarkable Camellia Plant

The Remarkable Camellia Plant

If you have spent any time touring around the deep south portions of the U.S. during the winter months, you undoubtably have noticed the full, bright colors of the iconic Camellia plant.  Typically available in flowering colors of red, white, and pink, the Camellia plant stands out during drab cool days of winter as some of the most beautiful colors around.  For this reason, the Camellia flower is often referred to as the “rose of winter”.  Loved and honored so much for its beauty, the Camellia was named the state flower within the great state of Alabama.

The Camellia plant is relatively easy to grow.  There are hundreds of varieties of Camellias, ranging in different sizes, colors, and shapes.  The Camellia plant is often planted as an ornamental plant that mixes well in landscaping borders and natural areas within one’s yard.  They tend to thrive in shaded areas that have good, moist soil and are regularly sheltered from strong winds and cold temperatures.  Camellias typically bloom from October until May, with their peak season ranging from January to February.  These shrubs provide wonderful, peaceful color as each New Year begins to form.

Although one probably believes that the Camellia plant is original to the United States’ southern states, it actually originated in Japan, China, Korea, and Taiwan.  This evergreen shrub offers hardy, strong leaves that blend in nicely with the south’s surroundings all year-round.  While the flowers are blooming during the cool months, this shrub offers exquisite, colorful spots among an otherwise bland backdrop.  As previously mentioned, the plant usually has blooms that are red, white, and pink; however, there are also varieties of purple, orange, and multi-colored flowers.

When growing or caring for Camellia plants, there are a few standards that one should follow, in order to provide the optimum environment for the plant.  Along with providing some shade for your thriving Camellia, you may also wish to fertilize the plant(s) each spring, once all of the flowering blooms have fallen off of the bush.  An acid-creating Camellia fertilizer is the best choice and can be found in most garden-supply stores.  It is also important to remove all fallen flowers from the ground below the plant, for this will help prevent petal blight, which are rust-colored spots that appear on stronger flowers.  Pruning is another activity that may be needed due to limited garden space or the need to “weed-out” an over-abundance of plant growth.  Pruning a Camellia is best in the late spring, just after all the flowers have fallen off of the plant.

The Camellia plant is definitely one of the favorite plants in the southern part of the U.S., and for good reason.  It is a beautiful, hardy plant that thrives during the cooler months when not many other plants are blooming.  It’s kind of an offbeat plant that catches our eyes and reminds us to slow down and enjoy the natural beauty of the world around us, and that is a feature that is priceless.

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