A wonderful small shrub the Tea plant is not well known for its blooms but it really should be. Delicate little white flowers with gold stamen are produced in flushes all across the plan in late autumn into early winter. A much needed boosts as other plants in the garden begin to fade.
The rich, glossy, dark green foliage also carries good ornamental value year round as an evergreen.Wildlife Friendly: Yes - attracts insects and bees
Choosing the right position for your camellia is essential. They need to be in a reasonably sheltered area with well draining soil and ideally dappled sun or semi shade. They will not do well in waterlogged area. Acid soil is preferred - if you have chalky or limestone soils then container planting is advised.
Plant your camellia relatively high, so that the top of the root ball is level with the surface of the soil. This helps water drain away from the trunk.
Camellia are shallow rooting, so avoid planting them under shallow-rooted trees such as birch or cherry.
If potting in a container, be sure to use a mix of 3 parts ericaceous compost and 1 part well draining soil. For extra drainage add some stones to the bottom of the pot.
Looking after your camellia
Watering: Young camellias are not particularly drought tolerant so ensure to water at least 3-4 times a week during dry summer spells. Older plants become more resilient and are moderate drinkers. Avoid overwatering by ensuring soil dries out between watering.
Pruning: A light pruning after the spring bloom is advised, just enough to encourage the desired shape. Pinching off the tips of branches will encourage more fullness.
Fertilising: Once blooming has finished, feed camellias sparingly with a balanced fertiliser, or with a fertilizer designed for acid-loving plants. For increased absorption, apply fertiliser in a circle around the shrub, rather than concentrating it directly around the trunk.