"A great many camellias bloom in winter or when you least expect them, depending on the hybrid or species," said Brian O'Neil, director of horticulture at Norfolk Botanical Garden.
"They provide color at a time when we need it most."
speaks from experience, working with his
staff to nurture one of the largest camellia collections in the southeastern U.S.
Some camellias postpone their floral show until spring, so O'Neil
suggests knowing each variety's blooming schedule prior to planting.
also hints at expanded offerings, such as the Camellia azalea that blooms during summer and bright-yellow tropical camellias, C. nitidissima and others, that are being used in breeding to develop more cold-hardy yellow camellias.
In addition to beauty, camellias are appreciated for their tolerance to shady areas, even beneath trees.
They must be well watered the first couple years following planting, but typically become more drought-tolerant once established.
said a tap root formed by seedlings is perhaps an adaptation to obtain water from deeper soil levels.