Red Camellia Plant: A Love Story - Absolute Gardener

Red Camellia Plant: A Love Story

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Red Camellia

When you think of red camellia plant, what typically comes to mind? A delicate flower with a tender petal and a beautiful scent. Something that’s delicate and needs to be taken care of carefully because otherwise it will die. You’re not wrong! Red camellia is indeed fragile and sensitive but this doesn’t mean that it can’t survive in harsh conditions like cold weather or dry air. The trick is knowing how to take care of your red camellia plant so that it thrives for many years to come. There are plenty of tips on how you can make sure your red camellia plant stays happy.

We will answer questions like: How can you care for the plant? What are some common problems that might be faced by this type of plant and what’s a good way to avoid them happening in your garden? And most importantly, how do we keep our camellia happy?

And we’ll explore these questions by looking at some of the little things you can do to keep your plant thriving!

The word “camellia” itself is derived from the Latin word for camel, which was named for its hair-like foliage that resembled an animal’s fur. This plant may be small but it has a lot of personalities and is a favourite among many. Red camellia meaning “passion”, is a flower with intense red color. The flowers can vary from bright orange to deep burgundy and even maroon, depending on the species of camellia you have!

What is Red Camellia Plant?

The red camellia japonica plant is a beautiful flowering shrub. Many people compare the blossoms of this bush to roses, which are also known as “camellias”–hence their nickname! This species can grow up to six feet tall and has been cultivated for centuries. One of the most popular species is Camellia Sinensis called, which are also tea plants. The flowers on these bushes have a characteristic white center surrounded by brilliant red tints with accents of yellow and purple.

It’s a hybrid plant created by crossing erythronium, camellia sinensis, and red camellia japonica with vernalization . The red color has been bred from erythronium. The leaves are a light green color with white spots on the underside and grow to about six inches long.

Red camellia will flower anywhere between two weeks and five months. The flowers are bright red and grow about one to two inches wide with a light fragrance that can be smelled up to five feet away from the plant. It’s not unusual for these plants to produce around 100-200 flowers at once, but it does vary depending on how much sunlight they’re receiving. The flowers are either single or double with a deep red color.

Red Camellia

Origins of Red Camellia Plant

The camellia plant has been used for centuries as a symbol of good luck and springtime. The Japanese believe the red camellia plant is one of their country’s National flowers, which they have coined as “sakura”, translating to cherry blossom in English. This tree originated from China during the Ming Dynasty, when a Ming princess was gifted the plant.

The camellia is often associated with an enduring love story between two people who were students at Cambridge University in England – John Robert Francis McCrae and his lover Florence Popham. The couple met in 1903 during the first summer term of their undergraduate education where they fell in love.

The course of their relationship was not always smooth, with a few separations due to McCrae’s military service and Florence Popham’ s inability to adjust to the cold climate. The couple eventually married on May 30th 1909 at St Andrew’s Church where they are buried together along with their daughter.

McCrae had always wanted to plant a red camellia in his yard and was finally able to do so when he moved into the house with Florence Popham before their marriage. A garden bed was created by McCrae’s son for this purpose, where two of these plants now grow side-by-side.

McCrae wrote a short poem about the red camellia plant in honour of Florence Popham which can be found on his gravestone: “I have waded through long years with heavy pace since first I met you and your smile lit my face. You gave me love, and life has been bright.”

The poem can also be found at the base of Florence Popham’s gravestone: “I shall wear your token with honour, and cherish it with love. I give you all that is mine to give.”

McCrae died in January 1918 due to pneumonia during World War One, which devastated Florence Popham.

A red camellia plant was planted in their garden, symbolizing the lasting love they shared during their time together at Cambridge University.

There are many versions of this story but one thing remains constant – that a red camellia is symbolic to those who have fallen in love.

Red Camellia Plant Care Guide

Through this article, you will learn how to care for your red camellia plant. We’ll cover everything from the basics like light and soil needs all the way through more advanced tips on keeping them happy.


Soil is important for red camellia plant. Red camellia plant will need a soil that drains well and does not dry out, but also absorbs water when needed. Sandy soils are perfect because they allow the roots to absorb all of the nutrients they need while allowing excess moisture to drain away quickly

Soil should be mixed with a good amount of compost, mulch or peat to add nutrients and retain moisture. Mix in fertilizer for the best results. When planting your red camellia plant, make sure you dig down deep enough so that the roots can go all the way into the soil without being restricted

Keep some plants in the house that require less soil, like succulents. These types of plants can be easily placed on top of a table or desk and watered with ease. They also look great inside because they don’t take up much space!


Light is one of the most important things to determine whether a red camellia plant will thrive or not. Without proper light, it might lose its bright red color in favor for a greenish tinge that makes them look sickly and unhealthy. They prefer direct sunlight as much as possible but can also be happy with light from a nearby window.

Exposure to too little sunlight will cause the plant’s leaves and petals to wilt or even fall off altogether so make sure you provide them with enough light, especially in winter when they need it most!


In the spring, red camellia plants need about an inch of water per week. During hot summers they will need more and during cold winters less. They prefer to be watered in morning or evening so that the leaves aren’t wet all day long. The best time of year for watering is early spring so that the plant is growing during the hottest time of year. This will help keep the leaves from wilting and drooping all day long.

In the summer, it’s best to water them every other day for about an hour at a time. This will help keep them from getting too dry and wilting in hot weather. It can be tempting to overwater your plant during this time of year but make sure you still follow these guidelines or they will suffer even if you’re watering them every day. It’s best to use rainwater, bottled water or filtered water when it comes to watering your red camellia plant. This can help prevent the plant from being killed by salt and chemicals in tap water which is not good for the plant.

It’s best to give them a deep water once every week or two in winter because they can’t take as much moisture during this time of year, so you don’t want them to sit too wet and rot away from the inside out.


Temperature should be kept between 60-85 degrees Fahrenheit. Cooler temperatures will slow the growth of red camellia plant and warmer temperatures may cause leaves to drop off prematurely, so it is important not to let the temperature fluctuate too much.

Red Camellia


Humidity is not a major factor in the care of Red Camellia, but it’s still important to know what constitutes too much or too little humidity. When you water your camellia plant outdoors especially during winter when they are dormant, be sure to let the soil dry out between watering and when you water them indoors, keep the humidity between 50-60% with a humidifier or boiling some drinking water in a pot until it cools.


Fertiliser is essential to keeping a red camellia healthy. The most common type of fertiliser for this plant has the NPK values – 11-52-0 or 14-14-11, which are equal parts nitrogen, phosphorus and potassium. Nitrogen helps keep leaves green and healthy, phosphorus helps form flowers and fruit, while potassium can help prevent foliage disease. The plants need at least one fertiliser application every season to stay happy and healthy.


The red camellia plant is not toxic to humans, but it can be harmful for animals and insects. Red camellia plants produce a natural substance called oxalic acid which is poisonous if ingested by dogs or cats. It’s best to keep the plant out of reach from your pet. If you have an open sore or an abrasion, the icky sap that comes from red camellia plants can irritate your skin.


When you notice the camellia bush has outgrown its pot, it might be time to prune. Camellias are hardwood shrubs and do not need frequent trimming like other plants such as gardenia or roses. Pruning should only be done when necessary for overgrowth of plant material that could interfere with other plants or give the bush an unbalanced appearance

To prune, you should use a pair of hand shears. Cut any long branches that are growing at a narrow angle to the main branch and trim off leaves on those branches below where you want them to stop. The idea is to gradually shape your bush into desired form or remove undesired growths for an attractive shape

Remember to avoid any cuts that are close to the end of a branch or near the junction between branches. This is where new growths come out and it can lead to unsightly stubbing later on. Make sure you trim in one direction only so your bush doesn’t develop an unnatural appearance from the cuts

Red camellias are not good candidates for pruning because they have brittle stems that will break easily. To extend the life of your red bush, use a wet paper towel or cotton ball to gently wipe away any insects from its surface and keep it moist with misting. This is especially important during the winter


The red camellia plant is propagated through cuttings. The best time to take a cutting, or propagate the plant, is in June when new growth begins to emerge but before it becomes woody and tough at the end of summer. For those who are not familiar with propagation techniques, a cutting is generated from the tip of a stem, or more specifically, the terminal bud which has emerged from below ground.

The cuttings should be about six inches long and thick enough for easy handling. These can then take root in pots with moist potting soil that contains peat moss; it is advisable to use a well-drained soil that is rich with organic matter. The pots should be kept in partial shade for the first six weeks, and then moved into full sun after they are rooted.

If there aren’t enough potting containers, it’s also possible to root cuttings directly in the ground by burying the lower third of the cutting about two inches deep.

A red camellia plant will take a few months to grow, and can be transplanted when it is at least three feet tall. The best time for transplanting is in October or November while they are still dormant from winter. Ensure that the roots are not disturbed when transplanting the plant.

The ground should have been well-rinsed to remove any dirt, then watered before planting so that it is moist and easy for tree roots to penetrate. A small amount of fertilizer can be added at this time as well; a mulch layer will additionally help to retain soil moisture.

The red camellia plant will need a lot of water in the first year or two after planting, but over time it is capable of sustaining itself with lower levels; this makes it easier to maintain and can reduce maintenance requirements for gardeners who are not always able to provide enough water.


The roots of your red camellia plant will grow to the edge of its pot if you don’t repot it, which can cause the roots to dry out. The most common time for people to repot their plants is in late winter or early spring. However, some care experts recommend that you repot your plant during the summer months. It all depends on how fast your soil is draining and if you have a drainage hole in the bottom of the pot.

Repotting should be done every two to three years, depending on how quickly moisture evaporates from the topsoil layer. Always use a potting mix made of peat moss, compost and mulch. Avoid using soil from your yard as this can contain weed seeds that will grow into unwanted plants in your red camellia plant’s new pot.

Plant Disease

Plant diseases are often caused by microorganisms and fungi living in the water or soil. One of these is called Anthracnose, which attacks camellias after prolonged periods of wet weather that leads to plant infections from this fungus. The anthracnose spores can persist for years on infected plants until they are exposed to moist environments

Then, the spores will germinate and cause a new infection. One way you can prevent anthracnose is by avoiding over planting in areas that have poor drainage. You should also be sure to water plants only when necessary and not during periods of drought. It’s also a good idea to avoid wetting the foliage and you should remove infected leaves as soon as possible. You can protect your camellia plants by using fungicides that contain copper or mancozeb, which may provide up to one year of protection from anthracnose.

Red Camellia Plant Variegated

This red camellia plant variegated has a beautiful variegated, or marbled, leaf color. This variety is slow-growing and does not provide as much of the showy blooms that other varieties do.

This variety does not need much water and is great for people who might have a hard time keeping plants alive. It prefers to be in shady places, but it will also survive if you put them in the sun too as long as they are given enough water. If you choose this plant because of its more compact size, you should know that it will also need more pruning than other varieties. Some people even report this variety to be hardier and less sensitive to bugs than others are too.

The plant does not produce many blooms for the first two years of its life span if grown in a container but once they do, you will be able to enjoy the blooms for a long time. It can grow up to three feet in height and width if grown outside or as much as two-foot when indoors.

This plant is great because it produces these beautiful red flowers that smell sweet and are known to help relieve stress. The leaves also provide a lot of shade and are sometimes used as decoration.

Common Issues with Red Camellia Plant

One common issue with red camellia plants is that they grow too tall. You may need to cut them down if you have a small area and are limited on space. If there’s an overgrowth of leaves, the plant will require some pruning as well so it doesn’t get weighed down with leaves.

Another common problem with the red camellia plant is that it grows too tall and then falls over when the wind blows or there’s a storm. This can be fixed by attaching some stakes to the bottom of it, fastening them firmly into the ground so they won’t come loose in extreme weather conditions.

The last common issue with the red camellia plant is that they are susceptible to disease. If you notice leaves turning yellow or brown, contact your local garden center for advice on how to take care of it.

Red Camellia

Tips for Keeping Red Camellia Happy

Tips for Keeping Red Camellia Plants Happy:

  • Keep soil moist but not wet. Do this by watering the ground
  • Keep watering plants at least once a week- they need more water than most other flowers.
  • Fertilize with a high nitrogen fertilizer in early spring and again in late summer or fall
  • Feed Camellia Plant monthly for lush, healthy foliage that resists insects better.
  • Keep plants in areas where they are safe. If you have a lot of ground cover or shrubs, this will provide more protection for your plants.
  • Use repellent sprays
  • Use wire mesh to create a protective cage around plants

Red Camellia Plant Frequently Asked Questions

Are Red camellia rare?

No. Red camellias are not rare, but red-leafed ones can be difficult to find in some cases.

Is camellia poisonous?

No, the red camellia plant is not poisonous. In fact you can eat its flowers and leaves to help with food poisoning or as a treatment for diarrhea. However it should be noted that if eaten in large quantities it may cause vomiting and stomach pains.

Are there red camellias?

Yes! There is a variety of red camellias called Red Velvet. It’s sometimes referred to as Coral Camellia or Crimson Glory because it blooms in large, showy flowers that are the colour of blood and look like velvet. Their leaves can be green but they turn red in cold weather giving them an unusual appearance.

Where is the best place to plant a Camelia?

Camellias can be planted in a shady or sunny area. Most camellia plants will do well if they are not too close to the house, because they need plenty of sun for their flowers and leaves.

What is the rarest most beautiful flower?

It is the red camellia. Red camellia plants are known by their distinctive appearance and the fact that they produce one of the most fragrant flowers in nature. They have a long association with love, romance, and beauty because it has been said “if you want to make your sweetheart happy, give them a red camellia.” It is the flower of love.


I hope you have enjoyed reading about your new red camellia plant. Remember, it will need to be watered every day and fertilized monthly for the first year of its life. But don’t worry! As long as you keep it happy, I can assure that this little beauty is one tough flower that will last and thrive for many years to come. Feel like purchasing one? Get it here.

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