How to Grow Camellias

A course for gardeners, nurserymen, plant breeders, horticulturists, landscapers; or anyone who works with Camellias.
Beautiful camellias are great as ornamental plants in the garden - given the right soil conditions and climate they require little attention, once established, and yet there is so much to know about them.
This course is a wonderful way of learning about the different groups of camellias (eg. japonicas, sasanquas, reticulatas), their special characteristics, and their culture. Develops your understanding of soils, feeding, watering, pruning, planting methods, pest & disease control, propagation, & more. Improve your ability to identify different varieties (both common and uncommon), and how to use camellias to achieve desired landscape effects.

Learn How to Grow and Use Camellias.

A course for gardeners, nurserymen, plant breeders, horticulturists, landscapers; or anyone who works with Camellias.

Course Structure

There are 8 lessons in this course:

  1. Introduction
    • Review of the system of plant identification
    • General characteristics of the group
    • Information contacts (ie: nurseries, seed, clubs etc)
  2. Culture
    • Planting
    • Staking
    • Mulching
    • Watering
    • Pest & disease
    • Feeding
    • Pruning
    • Protection from wind, salt air etc.
  3. Propagation
    • Methods of propagating camellias
  4. Using Camellias
  5. The most Commonly Grown Varieties
  6. Other important Groups
  7. The Lesser Grown Varieties
  8. Special Assignment - On one selected plant or group.

Each lesson culminates in an assignment which is submitted to the school, marked by the school's tutors and returned to you with any relevant suggestions, comments, and if necessary, extra reading.

  • Identify different camellias.
  • Describe the cultural requirements common to most, if not all, camellias.
  • Propagate camellias
  • Determine and describe different ways of using Camellias.
  • Describe the identification and culture of most commonly cultivated camellias.
  • Describe the identification and culture of sasanqua and reticulata camellias.
  • Discuss a range of lesser grown species and cultivars of Camellia.
  • Discuss a specialist camellia related topic in depth.


Camellias are a hardy group of plants that are grown from cool temperate climates through to tropical regions.

The three most common ornamental species are:

  • Camellia japonica ‑mainly bred varieties from the original, smaller flowered species.
  • Camellia sasanqua ‑species from Japan, smaller flowers than C. japonica.
  • Camellia reticulata ‑species from China.

While many Camellia species are highly adaptable, the best results are generally achieved by choosing cultivars to suit the climate and conditions you are growing them in.

For example, Tea leaves are derived from the plant Camellia sinensis, a species that does well in tropical and sub tropical conditions.   Other species (eg. Camellia reticulata) do not adapt so well to warm climates, and is generally far better in a cool temperate climate.

Camellia oleifera is another species grown as a commercial crop ‑ oil from this species is used commercially in china.

Other species grown include:

Camellia saluensis –ornamental species used in landscaping; up to 7 metres tall.

  • Camellia cuspidata ‑ narrow leaves, relatively hardy shrub.
  • Camellia fraterna ‑ low growing shrub
  • Camellia oleifera ‑ oil from this is used commercially in china
  • Camellia granthamiana ‑only discovered in 1955
  • Camellia hongkongensis ‑ warm climate camellia
  • Camellia pitardii ‑used for hybridizing reticulatas
  • Camellia irrawadiensis ‑vigorous, small but numerous cream/white flowers
  • Camellia rusticana ‑ snow camellia, from Japan

If you have a passion to learn more about Camellias, this course may be a perfect opportunity to follow that passion.