If you live in a part of the country where camellias cannot survive outside you can try growing them indoors, but this can be a little tricky. While the outside temperature may be too low, inside the house may not be cool enough to encourage the camellias to flower. I have a couple of plants in my conservatory, not because it is too cold outside, but because last year each time a bud was about to bloom it was removed by squirrels. I found this article by Audrey Stallsmith on Dave’s Garden website which has some great tips on how to succeed growing camellias indoors.
Do you admire picture perfect camellias, but don’t have the proper climate for them?
Entranced by photos I’d seen of the 3 to 5-inch opulent blooms of Japanese camellias (Camellia japonica), I tried growing a plant indoors years ago, as few camellias will survive outdoors north of zone 6. I found, however, that our household temperatures just weren?t low enough to suit the plant. Although it grew amiably enough, it never flowered during the winter, as it is supposed to.
Our rickety back room has since become very chilly during the coldest months, however, so I think I might now be able to successfully grow camellias there. In preparation, I?ve been reading up on how that is done.
Camellia ‘Princesse Clotilde’In the process, I learned that the autumn camellia (Camellia sasanqua) might be the best choice for northern gardeners, since it can flower early?shortly after potted plants are moved indoors for the winter. It reportedly also tolerates heat and sunlight better than the Japanese type, and is more likely to be scented.
On the down side, sasanqua flowers tend to be smaller than the C. japonica type, only 2 to 3 inches in diameter, and usually only single to semi-double rather than fully double. In The Essence of Paradise, Tovah Martin recommends ‘Fragrant Pink’, which she reports has 2-inch pink flowers and smells sugary–like cake frosting.