Planting Camellias

Q: When is best time to plant camellias?

A: My rule of thumb is that mid-September through mid-November is terrific for planting shrubs and trees. The soil is warm enough to encourage root growth but the air is cool, so not much water is required by the plant. With any tree or shrub, thoroughly loosening the soil around the planting spot is key. Typical advice is to spade an area three times the width of the rootball before planting. I recommend going the extra mile and loosening an area six times the root ball width. In this way the roots can grow unimpeded for several years. Because your camellia does not lose its leaves in winter, it may suffer in windy winter months. Be sure to water it deeply every couple of weeks in December – March.