The Q&A Archives: Camellia Japonica

Question: Will camellia japonica grow in Oklahoma (Zone 7)? If so, do they thrive in the shade?

Answer: Your zip code places you in zone 7A, the coldest part of zone 7. Depending on your microclimate, it may actually be as cold as zone 6. Most camellias are not winter hardy enough to grow in your area, however you could try some of the newer cultivars in the "Ice Angels" series. Camellias require an organic, acidic soil that is evenly moist yet well drained. They also need protection from the wind year round but especially during winter, so there must be a wind break to shelter it from the north. Gentle morning sun or filtered light is fine, but deep shade is not suitable. Please work with your local professionally trained nurseryman and/or your county extension to see if you have a location that is suited to trying these new extra hardy camellias.

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