The Q&A Archives: Camelia types

Question: What is the difference between Japonica camelias and Sasanqua camelias? Can both be grown in full to partial sun?

Answer: Sasanqua camellia tends to be smaller and more refined than C. japonica, but both thrive in rich, moist soil. Sasanqua has smaller leaves and flowers, and tolerates more sunshine than japonica. All things being equal, your choice can be based upon appearance as both will adapt to your growing region. Camellias bloom early (October-January), midseason (January-March), or late (March-May). Some produce single blooms and others produce double blooms. Color choices vary, as well. If I were planting a camellia, I'd choose C. japonica 'Mrs. Charles Cobb'. It blooms from mid- to late-season, producing large, semi-double, deep red flowers. There are many other choices in terms of colors and bloom time.

Best wishes with your garden!

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