You are here:Home > Growing Guidelines > Growing Camellia Indoors
Camellias can be grown indoors by paying special attention to coolness, water and light. Camellias prefer to have lower winter temperatures for a period of dormancy, so a spot in your house which is cool - below 60dF is beneficial. Even lower temperatures are fine since these are temperate plants which can tolerate hard frosts. However, the roots do not like to be frozen, so potted Camellias need to be protected from extended periods of freezing temperatures.

Camellias do not like to have wet soil around the roots, so a well draining soil mixture is necessary. We use well-composted pine bark mixed with sand (10%), although most potting soils mixed with some sand, perlite, or vermiculite should work well (try to avoid peat moss products). It is also better to plant the Camellias in a smaller, rather than larger, pot so that the plant can use up the water in the soil between waterings.

Camellias also need quite high light to survive inside a house. A good, bright South facing window should be good, or any window that receives some direct sun. Artificial, full spectrum lights can also be used if necessary.

During non-freezing times of the year, the Camellia should be taken outdoors and placed in the shade. Remember that any changes must be done gradually. It is easy to sunburn the leaves by putting the plant in direct sun at first from inside the house. Gradually make changes so the plant is not stressed.

Fertilize in the spring with a slow release fertilizer or cottonseed meal.  Any pruning can be done after the plant blooms and to encourage branching, but before June, when they set most of their flower buds.