Which Camellias Are Hardy In Usda Zones 5B And 6A?

Filed Under: Pruning · Keywords: Camellias, Hardy, Cold Tolerant, USDA Zones, 5B, 6A · 6255 Views
Hi again. You have given me great information in the past so here I am again. Is there a
camellia hardy to zone 5b/6? The US National Arboretum website (2003) describes six camellias they
crossed using olefera (winter hardy) with sasanaqua, hiemalis and vernalis (more decorative) which
are hardy to zone 6b. Are there possibility any newer hybrids hardy to zone 5b or 6? I get the impression
that camellias are kind of tricky to cultivate so before taking the risk I want to make sure I'm starting with
the best possible odds. Thanks again, Diana


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Answer #1 · Maple Tree's Answer · Hi Diana-This is a great question. There are so many living in northern locations that would like to enjoy this beautiful plant also. Because of this there has been much development trying to come up with varieties that are more cold hardy. The Ice Angel series of camellias are a cross between Camellia sasanqua and Camellia oleifera and was developed at the National Arboretum in Washington. D. C.. This series of camellias are cold hardy to zone 6a.

As of yet I don't believe there has been any varieties considered to be cold hardy to zone 5. This being said: there are those that are growing some cold hardy varieties in zone 5. The Spring blooming April Series are said to be hardy to 5 degrees below zero. The Winter Series - Winter's Charm, Winter's Beauty, and Winter's Star cultivars developed by William Ackerman at the US National Arboretum are supposedly nice choices that bloom from October through December and have survived temperatures of -12 degrees. Planting location is extremely important for camellias in these colder climates. Planting in a protected area away from freezing winds is a huge factor in the camellia's survival. Planted near the home, shrubs, or any structure built to protect the plant against freezing winds can make the difference whether the plant suvives or not. Besides protection from cold winds proper soil moisture and mulching around the plant will help to insulate against damage from freezing. From what I have found I believe the 'Winter Series' camellias are most likely available in your area and a cultivar that has proven itself to survive well in your zone. Besides the few Winter Series cultivars mentioned above there are others that have been developed giving you more flower size and color choices. Your local nurseries and Cooperative Extension Service may be of great help with information as to varieties that have worked well in your location. Many in cooler locations can also enjoy camellias growing them in pots. The advantage of growing them in pots is the ease in which they can be moved to a more protected location during expected freezing temperatures. Some like myself grow several plants in containers that I can bury in the gardens during times of the year then pull up and move them to more protected location during the winter. As you mentioned many say camellias can be tricky to grow. I have always found them to be tolerant of the little care I give them and they always seem to do well. Like most all plants, if most of their needs are met you shouldn't have any problems growing healthy plants. A few of the articles noted below will help you with information on requirements for growing a healthy camellia.

I noted a few links to interesting articles regarding cold hardy camellias and their cultivars that may be of some help. Just click on the links to go directly to the articles.

http://www.camelliashop.com/pages/Growing-Camellias-in-Cold-Climates-by-Dr.-William-Ackerman.html

http://www.usna.usda.gov/Gardens/faqs/Camellia.html

http://www.usna.usda.gov/Newintro/camelli1.html

http://camelliaexpress.wordpress.com/2011/07/10/cold-hardy-camellias-by-dr-william-ackerman/

Hopefully this has helped with your question.

John)



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