Camellia japonica `Betty Sheffield`
Cultivation: Camellias dislike lime and grow best in a neutral or acid soil; (pH 7 or below) that is humus-rich, moist and free-draining. They are happiest in a semi -shaded position with a westerly or sheltered northerly aspect. It is important to avoid south or east facing positions because the flowers may be spoilt by the early morning sun following frosty nights. Neither will they tolerate an exposed windy position, nor a soil which tends to become waterlogged in wet weather. The light dappled shade provided by trees and other shrubs is ideal as long as there is sufficient moisture at the roots.
Camellias may be planted at any time of year provided that the ground is not too frosty. Incorporate plenty of peat or leaf mould into the planting area and, when planting against a wall (or fence), ensure that your hole is at least 30cm (12”) away from the wall so that the natural rainfall is available to the plant. This will also prevent too much moisture being sucked out of the root ball by the wall. Taller plants may need staking for the first year or two.
It is essential that newly planted camellias are kept well watered during dry spells in the first few years after planting as leaves and flower buds will drop if young plants are allowed to dry out. A mulch of peat applied in early spring will be beneficial in retaining moisture during the summer months. Feed three times a year with a sequestered iron fertiliser to maintain strong healthy growth and to encourage plenty of flowers. Use a systemic insecticide in June or July to prevent attack by scale insects.
Pruning: Is not usually necessary but where needed , should be carried out after flowering. Carefully deadhead all camellias after flowering.
White blooms with a few red and pink splotches and stripes.
- Flower Colour: White
- Flower Type: Single
- Flowering Month: February, March, April
- Soil Type: Acid
- Aspect: Partial Shade
- Hardiness: Hardy
- Foliage Type: Evergreen
- Foliage Colour: Green
- Height*: 1.2-1.5m (4-5ft)
- Pot Size: 3 litre
- Uses: Plants for containers, Low maintenance