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Sunday
Dec202015

Camellia 'Something Beautiful'

I caught a glimpse of something pink in the woodland garden as I was driving away from my house last week. I was going too fast to be certain, but from its location I thought it had to be Camellia japonica 'Something Beautiful.'

Blooming at last! This plant has been a disappointment since I planted it several years ago. Each year it produced only two or three blooms, though I know one sometimes has to be patient.

Growers often create an artificial environment that stimulates early, heavy bloom set that attracts buyers but promptly stops when the plant encounters normal garden conditions. It may be several years before the plant adapts and begins to produce abundant blooms again. Very young plants especially may need several years to mature. Too much or too little water, extreme cold, or insufficient light are also causes of poor bloom production.

When I went to check, it was indeed 'Something Beautiful,' finally living up to its name. It wasn't smothered in blooms, like some of my other camellias, but there were enough to impress.'Something Beautiful' is a Southern favorite, with pastel-pink flowers, edged with darker burgundy. My particular plant produced a variety of blooms, as you can see here.All of the flowers in this post came from the same plant at the same time.

'Something Beautiful' is a bushy, upright grower, reaching 10-12' high x 3-10' wide. It has glossy, oval evergreen leaves. It will grow in US hardiness zones 7-8, and it will produce blooms from winter into spring in acidic, well-drained soil, high in organic matter.

To encourage good drainage it is important to plant all camellias high, with their trunk bases above the soil line. Protect the roots with mulch and keep the soil moist but not soggy. Light shade under the canopy of tall, deep rooted trees that allow sun to filter through is ideal. To promote good health, keep spent blooms and fallen leaves cleaned from under the shrub. Wait until blooming has finished in early spring to fertilize. Camellias don't need a lot of fertilizer; once every two or three years may be sufficient. When you do fertilize, use an organic fertilizer created for acid loving plants. Any pruning should also be done immediately after the plant has finished flowering.

Here in the Deep South, winter is the perfect time to plant camellias; consider this one when you want something beautiful!

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Reader Comments (17)

Wow, that is a real beauty and it melts my heart. I LOVE Camellias. I tried to grow one in a pot a couple of years ago--out on the screen porch in summer and I was planning to bring it inside for the winter. But it died within a few weeks. I've heard that people successfully grow them in sunrooms/orangeries in Toronto, so I should be able to do the same here. Maybe I'll try it again, or maybe I'll simply appreciate Camellias virtually on blogs like yours and when I travel south. Yours is so beautiful!

December 20, 2015 | Unregistered CommenterBeth @ PlantPostings

Gosh, Deb, that is such a beautiful camellia! The subtle coloration of the flowers is exquisite. I always think of camellias as the roses of winter :-)! So glad that 'Something Beautiful' starts to flower a little more profusely for you. The variety is new to me and I don't recall having it seen at the local nurseries. Maybe it is a variety that is particular suited for your climate, but not so much for mine.
I was interested to read your care instructions for camellias. With most of what you wrote I agree, but mine need regular fertilizer. Maybe it due to the fact that I have palm roots everywhere and they eat most of the nutrients that my camellias would like to use as well.
Wishing a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year!
Christina

December 20, 2015 | Unregistered Commenterchristina

What a wonderful holiday surprise, Deb! I just noticed that my own Camellia x 'Taylor's Perfection', which is similar to your 'Something Beautiful' in color if not form, has also produced 2 blooms. It's loaded with buds but that was also true last year, when most of them dropped without opening. I'm hopeful that our current colder temperatures and the El Nino rains (if they ever arrive) will give it the boost it needs to live up to its name and potential this year.

December 20, 2015 | Unregistered CommenterKris P

It is lovely, Deb! My "young" garden has only 2 camellias, both Shishi Gashira. They're less than knee high but have produced several blooms this Fall. I dream of the area they're in being filled with camellias... patience, as you said.

What is the reason for planting them high?

Hope you and your family have a Merry Christmas!

December 21, 2015 | Unregistered CommenterChristi {Jealous Hands}

That is a beauty! I have struggles with camellias. I have some that do okay and others that hardly bloom. Those that bloom more prolifically are closer to the woodland garden. Perhaps I need to move those that maybe getting too much sun. Thanks for all the great info. I am not so well versed on my ornamental plants.

December 21, 2015 | Unregistered CommenterKarin/Southern Meadows

Hi, everyone! Thank you for taking time out of your busy holiday season to post a comment. Christie, you asked the reason for planting high. Camellias, like azaleas, need excellent drainage and this helps water to drain away from the trunk. I am going back to amend my post to make this clear. Thank you!
Merry Christmas to all! Deb

December 21, 2015 | Registered CommenterDeborah Elliott

What a beautiful pink bloom....worth the wait!

December 21, 2015 | Unregistered CommenterDonna@Gardens Eye View

Beautiful flowers !! I love them !!
Merry Christmas !!

December 22, 2015 | Unregistered CommenterEla

What a beautiful flower; it does indeed live up to its name. Worth waiting for.

December 22, 2015 | Unregistered CommenterJean

Hi Deb! What an absolutely beautiful Camellia - this one definitely has to go on my list. I have a soft spot for the paler Camellias and this one is really beautiful because of the variety of shadings on each of the flowers. Just stunning! I really liked all the growing info too. I have often wondered why mine have not bloomed so profusely the year after I planted them and I just thought it was a settling in period but I never realized that growers are stimulating the flower production so intensely. It all makes perfect sense now!
Have a wonderful Christmas and I look forward to seeing more of your beautiful garden in 2016!

- Kate

December 22, 2015 | Unregistered CommenterKate R

I can see why this camellia is a favorite.

December 23, 2015 | Unregistered CommenterJason

Oh my goodness! That has to be one of the prettiest camellias I have ever seen. Well worth the wait. Happy holidays to you Deb. All the best for 2016!

December 24, 2015 | Unregistered CommenterJennifer

Wow, that is really quite gorgeous! I've never seen a camellia in real life, can you believe it?

December 25, 2015 | Unregistered CommenterRobin

That's a variety that is new to me too. But how appropriately it is named, I love the different shades of pink. Happy new year, Deb.

December 30, 2015 | Unregistered Commentercatmint

Happy New Year !!

January 1, 2016 | Unregistered CommenterEla

How big are the flowers?

March 7, 2016 | Unregistered CommenterCurt

Curt, the flowers are about three inches in diameter. Thanks for stopping by my blog! Deb

March 7, 2016 | Registered CommenterDeborah Elliott

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