Camellia sasanqua: The Autumn Bloomer

Camellia sasanqua is a stunning evergreen shrub that not only brings vibrant colours to your garden but also serves as a versatile plant for various landscaping needs.

Camellia sasanqua is a member of the Theaceae family, known for its showy flowers and evergreen foliage. This large shrub is a real eye-catcher, especially when it blooms in autumn and winter. If you’re looking to add some year-round greenery and seasonal colour to your garden, this plant is a top pick.

Family: Theaceae

The Theaceae family brings together flowering trees and shrubs known for their tough leaves and vibrant flowers, sometimes bearing fruits or capsules. In Australia, the Camellia sasanqua, a member of this family, is a common feature across many gardens.

Camellia sasanqua: Basic Information

  • Common Name: Camellia sasanqua
  • Scientific Name: Camellia sasanqua
  • Origin: Japan, China
  • Family: Theaceae
  • Subfamily: Camellioideae
  • Plant Type: Large shrub, evergreen
  • Size: 2-5 meters in height, 1-3 meters in width
  • Leaves: Dark green, glossy, evergreen
  • Flower: Single or semi-double, white, pink, or red

Appearance and Features

Camellia sasanqua 2 | Plant Profiles

Camellia sasanqua is an upright, spreading shrub that can grow up to 5 meters tall. Its dark green, glossy leaves are evergreen, providing year-round beauty.

The flowers are usually single or semi-double and come in shades of white, pink, or red. They bloom in autumn and winter, adding a splash of colour when most other plants are dormant.

The plant also produces small, round seed capsules.

How to Prune Camellias
Plant Profile: Camellia japonica
Camellia Sasanqua vs Japonica

Natural Habitat

Originally from Japan and China, Camellia sasanqua is commonly found in forests and coastal areas.

If you’re thinking of planting it in Australia, consult local guidelines or nurseries to ensure it’s suitable for your area.

How to Grow Camellia Sasanqua

Camellia sasanqua plant | Plant Profiles

Gardeners appreciate Camellia sasanqua for its fragrant flowers and evergreen foliage. Note that the plant has a robust root system, so choosing the right spot is crucial.

Remember, always consult local gardening sources or experts, especially when discussing planting and care for non-native species.

Growing Conditions

  • Soil: Well-drained, acidic soil with a pH of 5.0-6.5
  • Water: Evenly moist soil; avoid waterlogging
  • Light: Part shade to full sun
  • Climate: Prefers temperate climates; not frost-tolerant

Planting Guide

Best to plant in spring or early autumn. Space the plants 1-2 meters apart to allow for growth.

Care and Maintenance

Water regularly but avoid overwatering. Prune after flowering to maintain shape. Mulch annually with organic material like bark chips. Feed with a balanced fertilizer.

Pest and Disease Control

Look out for yellowing leaves or lack of flowering. Common pests include aphids and scale insects, treatable with insecticidal soaps. Leaf spot and root rot can be managed with fungicides.

Special Features

Camellia sasanqua has fragrant flowers, making your garden smell lovely. It’s also an early bloomer, providing colour in autumn and winter. The evergreen foliage means it looks good all year round.

Wildlife and Pollinators

This plant attracts bees and butterflies, important pollinators in Australian gardens.

Uses in the Garden and Beyond

Commonly used as a hedge due to its dense growth. It can also serve as a feature tree or be grown in containers. The leaves can be used to make tea.

Camellia sasanqua varieties

  1. Camellia sasanqua ‘Setsugekka’: This variety is quite popular. It boasts large white flowers with ruffled edges and a cluster of golden stamens at the centre. It flowers in late autumn and early winter.
  2. Camellia sasanqua ‘Jennifer Susan’: It’s a beautiful variety with soft pink, semi-double flowers. The plant has a compact growth habit and is suitable for both hedges and pots.
  3. Camellia sasanqua ‘Paradise Blush’: This one showcases light pink flowers that fade to a near-white at the edges. It’s a medium to tall shrub that works well as a hedge.
  4. Camellia sasanqua ‘Hiryu’: This variety has vibrant, deep pink, semi-double flowers. It’s a robust plant and can be used for hedges or as a feature plant.
  5. Camellia sasanqua ‘Pure Silk’: This variety has soft pink, semi-double flowers. It’s a compact plant and is perfect for smaller gardens or containers.
  6. Camellia sasanqua ‘Early Pearly’: As the name suggests, this variety blooms early and presents with pearly white, semi-double flowers.
  7. Camellia sasanqua ‘Yuletide’: This variety is a festive one, flowering around Christmas time. It has bright red single flowers with a contrasting cluster of yellow stamens in the centre.
  8. Camellia sasanqua ‘Avalanche’: A fitting name, ‘Avalanche’ produces a profusion of white, semi-double flowers that give a snowfall-like appearance.

Growing a Camellia sasanqua hedge

Although most will grow well as a hedge, the best camellia varieties are in the Camellia sasanqua genus. These camellias have smaller leaves which makes them ideal for pruning and shaping with hedge shears and clippers.

They also flower prolifically from late summer right through the winter. This adds some gorgeous colour to your garden throughout the colder months when other plants are dormant.

You can expect a Camellia sasanqua hedge to reach a height of around 2 to 3 metres in just 3 to 5 years, depending on the cultivar that you select.

Camellia ‘Plantation Pink’ is one of the fastest-growing cultivars and has delightful single pink flowers. This variety is also ideal for growing against a fence or wall in espalier fashion.

You can even get dwarf varieties if you only want a low-growing hedge of around 1 metre in height. Consider varieties such as Camellia ‘Paradise Little Liane’ with double white flowers or Camellia ‘Paradise Sylvia’ that has stunning single crimson flowers.

Environmental Benefits

Camellia sasanqua is moderately drought-tolerant and attracts pollinators, offering both water-saving and ecological benefits.

Camellia sasanqua FAQ

How tall does Camellia sasanqua grow?

It can grow up to 5 meters in height, depending on conditions.

When does Camellia sasanqua bloom?

It blooms in autumn and winter, adding colour when many other plants are dormant.

Is Camellia sasanqua frost-tolerant?

In Australian conditions, Camellia sasanqua can handle light frosts, depending on the species or cultivar you’re growing.

Photo of author

Linda Jones

Based in sunny Brisbane, Linda has a keen interest in ornamental plants. She firmly believes that gardens are as much about aesthetics as they are about functionality. Despite being a life-long gardener, she still enjoys learning about new plants and gardening techniques and sharing her discoveries with the Ultimate Backyard community. When she's not immersed in her garden, Linda loves reading and walking.


Leave a Comment