If you live in the Tallahassee area you no doubt know camellias are those pretty flowers in the winter time and you’re probably familiar with your 2 or 3 favorite kinds, but did you know there are not just a few types but literally thousands of unique camellia varieties? Each variety or “cultivar” has its own name and is different from all other camellia cultivars. When choosing camellias we gardeners are normally so transfixed by the beauty of the blooms we overlook a very important attribute, blooming season.
Most varieties bloom for 8-10 weeks from start to finish (some even longer) but each variety starts blooming at a different time of year. In the Florida Panhandle our very first camellia flowers tend to show their colors in September and the last ones can make it all the way till April. The weather each year will slide exact start and end times for each variety but the sequence of which ones are earliest and latest is mostly set. By choosing your camellias carefully with a mix of early, middle, and late blooming varieties you can enjoy these classic southern beauties for more than half the year!
-Shi Shi Gashira
Early to Mid Season
Mid Season Bloomers
Mid to Late Season bloomers
Late Season Bloomers
While this is by no means a complete list of camellias that grow well in our region it represents some of the strongest and most reliable choices for growing in the Tallahassee. Make sure to choose camellias from these different blooming times and you’ll be able to enjoy them from fall through spring!
*This article was written by Jonathan Burns (Tallahassee Nurseries Outdoor Manager, FNGLA Florida Certified Horticulture Professional)