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Spring-flowering camellias

Among the best shrubs for early spring colour, these camellias are upright or spreading, glossy-leaved evergreens, with white, pink or red flowers. Impressive in the shrub borders, they are also ideal for screening and growing in containers. You can also grow spring-flowering camellias more informally in dappled shade beneath deciduous trees.


Flowers can be single, semi-double, have a central cluster of short petals (anemone form), have many soft petals (peony-form) or have pointed petals arranged more formally (rose-form double and formal double).


Camellias must have acid soil, in sun or dappled shade. In containers, use an ericaceous (acidic) compost.


In alkaline (including chalky) soils, leaves turn yellow and are shed. Plants in deep shade tend to be leggy and will not flower freely.

Did you know?

Camellias are very tolerant of pruning, which is best done immediately after the flowers have faded and is a very successful way of restricting growth.

Growing guide

Spring-flowering camellias we recommend

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Useful advice

Camellia flower blight

Camellia flower blight

Camellia problems: frequently asked questions

Camellia problems: frequently asked questions

Shrubs: evergreen for specific situations

Shrubs: evergreen for specific situations

Trees: growing in containers

Trees: growing in containers

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