Facebook LinkedIn Email Pinterest Twitter Instagram YouTube Icon Navigation Search Icon Main Search Icon Video Play Icon Audio Play Icon Headphones Icon Plus Icon Minus Icon Check Icon Print Icon Note Icon Heart Icon Filled Heart Icon Single Arrow Icon Double Arrow Icon Hamburger Icon TV Icon Close Icon Sorted Hamburger/Search Icon

The Plant Guide

Browse the Full Plant Guide

Tea-oil camellia

Camellia oleifera

This small tree from China can reach a little over 20 feet tall and about half as wide. It blooms in winter or early spring, bearing single white flowers that are fragrant. Grow this elegant shrub in a border or woodland garden, as a specimen, or in a container.

Noteworthy CharacteristicsSmall tree with scented white flowers 2 to 3.5 inches across.

CareIn the garden, grow in moist but well-drained, humusy soil with an acidic pH of 5.5 to 6.5. Mulch with leaf mold or shredded bark to a depth of 2 to 3 inches. Plant so the top of the root ball is level with the soil. Camellias need partial or dappled shade in a sheltered site. Be sure to water in dry weather and fertilize in mid-spring. Prune after flowering by trimming back shoots that are growing in unwanted directions; remove dead and damaged branches in mid-spring. Indoors, grow in an acidic potting mix in bright filtered light.

PropagationTake 4-inch-long cuttings in late July or August and insert them into pots of coarse sand to which a very small amount of peat has been added.

ProblemsSpider mites, scale, canker.

  • Genus : Camellia
  • Plant Width : 10 to 15 feet
  • Plant Height : 15 to 30 feet
  • Zones : 6, 7, 8, 9
  • Moisture : Adaptable
  • Characteristics : Fragrant Flowers
  • Light : Full Sun to Partial Shade
  • Maintenance : Moderate
  • Growth Rate : Slow
  • Bloom Time : Spring
  • Plant Seasonal Interest : Spring Interest
  • Plant Type : Trees
  • Flower Color : White

Related Plants

Related Articles

More From the Plant Guide

Winter Interest

Partial Shade

Browse the Full Plant Guide

We hope you’ve enjoyed your free articles. To keep reading, become a member today.

Get complete site access to decades of expert advice, regional content, and more, plus the print magazine.

Start your FREE trial