Young Red Camellia
These instructions are sent with the plant gift
Camellias (camellia japonica) are outdoor plants, but when they are young can be indoors in a cool room for a week or two to enjoy whilst planning on where they will live outdoors.
While your Camellia is indoors, keep it as cool as you can and make sure there is plenty of natural light but not direct sunlight. An East or West facing window is ideal.
Keep your Camellia well watered, the compost should feel wet to touch. However, do not let your Camellia stand in water as this will rot the root system. It will like to be regularly watered but allow the excess water to drain away. If your plant arrives in a decorative pot without drainage holes, make sure you remove the plant to water it, allowing excess to drain away before returning it to the pot.
After flowering your Camellia plant can be re-potted in a larger pot with ericaceous compost and put outside on a patio or balcony or planted out into the ground. Camellias like acid soil, so choose compost suitable for rhododendrons and heathers and other acid-loving plants. When planting Camellias in the garden, choose a sheltered part-shaded position where you can see the winter flowers. Try to avoid a situation where the early morning sun shines on frosted plants because this can spoil the flowers.
Over time Camellias can grow into quite substantial specimens several feet high. In china, where these plants originate they have even been known to reach 15ft and 500 years old. Older plants are very hardy but young plants should be protected from frost.
Problem solving: If your plant seems to be suffering indoors and prone to leaf drop, try putting it outside or in a cooler room. These are garden plants really and will always be happiest outdoors long term.