The Q&A Archives: Hardy Camellia

Question: Is there a camellia that could survive in Rhode Island?

Answer: Most camellias are grown in the Southern and Western states. There is a new hybrid, a cross between Camellia oleifera (tea-oil camellia) and Camellia sasanqua, that's bred to be hardy to -10F degrees, and the International Camellia Society says there are some thriving in coastal areas of Rhode Island. Just be sure to provide protection from winter wind and early morning sun. Most of the new hardy camellias have the word "winter" in their variety names, but there are also 'Fragrant Pink', 'Polar Ice', and 'Frost Prince' to choose from. As soon as they're available, you can bet nurseries in Rhode Island will carry them!

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