Growing Camellias Indoors

Camellias are not fans of being grown indoors, though it can be done successfully by paying special attention to temperature, water, and light.

As a rule, we do not recommend commercial potting soil for Camellias as it tends to contain too much peat moss for their liking. Camellias prefer healthy, well-draining soil, rich in organic nutrients. Here at the Nursery, we use a mixture of aged pine bark chips and compost. Commercial soils can be amended with sand, perlite, or vermiculite.

When potting, opt for a container that is only slightly larger than the original. This allows the plant to use all of the available moisture between waterings. More frequently watering a smaller pot might seem like a hassle, but it will result in a significantly happier plant in the long run.

Make sure your plant has a cool area (lower than 60°F) to spend the winter months so that it can go into dormancy. During this period, Camellias still require bright, filtered light and will enjoy any window that faces South or receives some direct sun. Artificial, full-spectrum lights can also be used if necessary.

If moving your plant outdoors for the warmer months, make sure not to rush things. The plants moving outside should be placed in the shade and gradually exposed to more sunlight over time. This is true for all plants- not just Camellias! This process allows the plant to slowly re-acclimate to the outdoors, reducing stress and the risk of sunburn.

Apply light, slow-release fertilizer or cottonseed meal in the spring.