plants

Cam

Camellia Japonica

{ Common Camellia; Japanese Camellia }

£14.00 - £90.00

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About Cam

Most of us just want to hibernate between Christmas and summer, but not Cam -- this magical garden plant blooms in the frigidest months, injecting a bit of colour into those dreary winter days. As his name would suggest, Cam hails from East Asia, where he's been dazzling plant enthusiasts since way back in the day. In China, Cam's a serious rock star: he's a symbol for luck around the Chinese New Year, and has featured heavily in the country's paintings and porcelain since the 11th century. He was brought to Europe in the 18th century and has since become a classic plant in English gardens.

Quick facts

Botanical name: Camellia Japonica

Nicknames: Common camellia, Japanese camellia

Plant type: Evergreen shrub / outdoor

Toxic?: Toxic if consumed

Max growth: ~3 m

Pro level: Medium

Comes potted in nursery pot -- repot every 2-3 years

Sizes:
30-40cm plant height. Pot size: 14cm
60-70cm plant height. Pot size 19cm
110-120cm plant height. Pot size 37cm

Care

The basics

Cam prefers to hang out in a partially shaded/sheltered spot, though he'll be OK in full sun if you take really good care of him.

Cam likes his soil to be moist, so make sure he doesn't dry out by doing the 'finger test'. To do this, stick your finger in the top layer of soil; if it comes out wet, leave him alone, but if it comes out dry, it's time to give him a little shower.

Cam loves acidic soil, so if you're repotting him, make sure he's planted with ericaceous fertiliser.

Remember that you don't need to repot him when he's delivered, he only needs to move house when he becomes root bound (around every 2-3 years). To check, lift him gently out of the pot and check his roots; if they're crowded and circling around the bottom of the soil, it's time for some new real estate. This is essential: make sure his new home has drainage holes. If you're not sure how to repot your plant, check out our Care Guide.


Going the extra mile

Feeding Cam with a liquid fertiliser in the late spring will help promote growth. Don't overdo it: he only needs around two or three feedings between April and September. Make sure you're using an acidic blend, like ericaceous fertiliser.

You can prune Cam when he's finished blooming (around May/June) to keep him healthy. Examine your plant for weak-looking leaves and yellow buds, snipping off the ones you find. Check out our Care Guide for tips on proper pruning techniques.