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5050 SE Stark

9000 SE Division, 503-788-9000

Portland, OR

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Portland Nursery

CAMELLIA

Winter flowering Camellias bloom in Portland from late October into February. Flowers are sweetly scented, smaller than Japanese Camellias and hold up to winter rain better than Japanese Camellias. Colors range from white to red and every version of pink in between.

Proper air circulation both in the foliage and the root system is important when preventing disease. Heavy pruning can cause the plant to have unnaturally tight and dense branching, decreasing air circulation and creating more openings for disease. Planting Camellias in a spot where they are allowed to grow naturally is much more likely to produce a trouble-free and happy plant.

Sometimes, even though you’ve done everything right to prevent problems, they show up. See the sidebar for tips on caring for your camellias.

Portland Nursery Favorites:

camellia 'winter snowman'

Winter Snowman: A winter-flowering hybrid with anemone form flowers in November & December accompanied by red new foliage that turns green with age.  Winter Snowman naturally has an upright oval form, growing to 8-10’ tall and only 5’ wide.


camellia 'bonanza'Bonanza – Hot pink semi-double flowers against rounder glossy leaves – grows to 4-5’ tall and wide, with graceful arching branches.


camellia 'ha jiman'Hana Jiman – Large single form flowers with white petals edged cerise pink, surrounding yellow stamens – grows to 10’ x 6’


camellia 'jean may'Jean May – Ballet pink double flowers in October & November on an upright plant – grows to 10’ x 6’ 


camellia 'setsugekka'Setsugekka – White single form flowers with yellow stamens and ruffled edges – graceful upright habit, grows to 8-10’ tall, 6-8’ wide. 


camellia 'yuletide'Yuletide – Most popular, and justly so.  Chinese lacquer red single flowers with yellow stamens and a sweet scent bloom at Christmas time – Sturdy upright habit, mature at 8-10’ tall & 6-8’ wide. 

Photos courtesy of Monrovia and Peggy Acott.

yuletide camellia

Yuletide Camellia

FACTS: CAMELLIA

Family: Theaceae

Genus: Camellia sasanqua

Common: Winter Camellia

Origin: Native to Japan & China

Characteristics: Winter flowering Camellias bloom in Portland from late October into February. Flowers are sweetly scented, smaller than Japanese Camellias and hold up to winter rain better than Japanese Camellias. Colors range from white to red and every version of pink in between.

Camellia sasanqua tends to grow smaller than C. japonica, mature at 6-10’. It generally has a more open refined quality with smaller evergreen leaves and pubescent stems.

Culture: Camellias thrive in acidic soils and appreciate improved soil drainage, so amending soil with compost for acid-loving plants is important when planting. Morning sun or dappled shade is ideal for Camellias. It allows for the plant to receive enough sun to produce flowers and protects leaves from being burned by hot afternoon sun. Use fertilizer specified for Camellias, Azaleas or Rhododendrons, as they are all acid-loving plants that can become chlorotic (turn yellow & look sick) without proper nutrients.

Diseases: Camellias are prone to a number of pests and diseases, but in Portland, sucking insects like scale and mealy bug can become problematic, and are often followed by sooty mildew, a black dusty-looking substance which can only be present when sucking insects are also around. A broad range of treatment options is available at both of our retail locations.