The Q&A Archives: Cameillias in Texas

Question: Greetings,

I live on the northeast side of Fort Worth in zone 7B/8. I planted a number of your dwarf bottlebrush last spring. Their flowers are very attractive and I thought they could stand the heat. Unfortunately, we recently had the rare snow storm and overnight lows near 20F. I'm fairly sure that these plants will not come back in the spring.

I have numerous hawthorn, hollies and sage plants. They do fine, but I would like a little variety and flowers. I've always enjoyed cameillas and would like to replace the bottlebrush. Could you recommend a few cameillias. I prefer dark green foliage with larger white, or red flowers. They will be placed on the west side of a 10 foot high fence which I would like to block. My living room has a direct view of this fence. The area is also above a two foot high stone retaining wall. They will recieve full sun during the early to mid/late afternoon. They will be in full shade from the fence and house during the entire morning and evening.

I planted a yultide cameillia last summer on the west side of my home. This are receives direct sun during the late moring and early afteroon. It appears to be doing alright although it is a slow grower with smaller short lived flowers.

As a child in Seattle I planted what I think was a Kunudson. That had a very beautful flower, especially when when covered by a little snow.

If there isn't a cameillia that can endure the 100F plus Texas heat and lows from 15 to 30 in the winter can you suggest something else to block the fence.



Answer: Michel,

I apologize for this delayed reply to your gardening question and hope it is still helpful to you.

That spot is a challenging one to find a blooming plant to fit into. I think the camellias will struggle with the direct sun during the hottest part of the day and I would probably not recommend them for that location. Sun loving bloomers like a semi dwarf crape myrtles would need more light than that brief period to bloom well. You might consider a Chinese Witchhazel. They provide early spring bloom and most will come close to reaching the 10 foot height with some periodic trimming. Otherwise an evergreen shrub would probably be your best option.

Thanks for the question. Best wishes for a wonderful gardening year in 2007. Please stop in again soon!

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