Signal the end of winter

Few hardy shrubs signal the end of winter better than camellias, the Horticultural Trades 
Association’s (HTA) ‘Plant of the Moment’ for February, providing some welcome colour through late
winter and into early spring.
Highly valued for their stunning floral displays and fresh, glossy, evergreen foliage and with ©Adam Pasco Media_Camellia in bloom - POM for February_LR (1)
dozens of varieties available, you’ll be spoilt for choice, so pick from camellias in shades of
pink, red, white and cream.
Their ultimate size, habit and rate of growth vary immensely too, so consider how much space the
camellia will need as it grows. Whether you’d like something that stays small and compact or will
grow into a bold shrub or even a flowering hedge or screen, the choice is yours.
Like azaleas and rhododendrons, camellias are ericaceous plants, and this means they need to grow in
an acid or lime-free soil to ensure they stay healthy. Alternatively, compact varieties of camellia
grow well in large pots or half-barrels filled with ericaceous compost, available in garden centres.
Top four popular camellias for pots or borders are:
· ‘Donation’ – Semi-double rose-pink flowers. Upright habit. Strong growing.
· ‘Adolphe Audusson’ – Bright red flowers. Strong growing.
· ‘Debbie’ – Peony-form pink flower. Upright. Strong growing.
· ‘Lavinia Maggi’ – Large double white flowers with pink stripes. Medium vigour.
Top tip
Early flowering camellias can be damaged by frost, so position plants in a sheltered part of your
garden. Move pots to sheltered sites during bad weather. Cover bushes with sheets of fleece to
protect buds and blooms on frosty nights, removing it once conditions warm-up in the morning.
Planting combinations
Choose a range of hardy shrubs, flowering perennials and bulbs to grow in combination with
camellias, as well as a selection of ground covering plants that will spread out over the soil
beneath bushes. Here are some popular choices:
· Azaleas
· Conifers, including yew
· Crocus
· Cyclamen
Visit for more information and to download the media pack which
features: plant information for each month including top plants, tips and companion plant ideas,
high and low resolution photos, plus Point-of-Sale samples from Floramedia and Hortipak.
image ©Adam Pasco Media_Camellia in bloom

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