How Do You Propagate Camellia Japonica?

How Do You Propagate Camellia Japonica?

The best way to propagate your camellia japonica is by using stem cuttings and seeds during the spring and summer. Cut a 4-inch tip from a healthy growing cane and remove any leaves below that point.

Ensure the cutting has at least one leaf node in it, and ensure the cane is healthy, with no spots or dead tissue. Dip the end of the cutting into rooting hormone and plant vertically in potting mix with about ¼ inch of the tip above soil level.

When propagating camellia japonica by seed, the method is quite similar. Take seeds from the fruit and place them on dampened peat moss in a plastic bag. Place the bag in a warm area that retains humidity, such as a greenhouse, and keep it moist until germination occurs (somewhere between one to three weeks).

The seeds can be planted once they germinate (about two weeks after planting) or left for later use. You should be able to see the seedling after two to four weeks. Once the seedlings are a few inches tall, they can be transplanted into larger pots.

Once your camellia japonica is one foot tall and has four or five leaves, plant it in a larger permanent pot with good drainage.

To care for your camellia japonica, prune it back each year in the early spring before new growth begins. Prune away at least half of both old and new stems; you can even remove them entirely if desired.

New growth will emerge soon after you prune, and you should do nothing more than guide it into place until all new growth has emerged from the stems. The following are steps to follow when propagating Camellia Japonica:

Propagation via stem cuttings;

  • Use a sharp knife to remove a 4-inch tip from a healthy cane.
  • Pull off any leaves below the cut; ensure that the cutting has at least one leaf node on it.
  • Dip the end of the cutting into rooting powder, then plant it vertically in potting mix, leaving ¼ inch of the cane tip above soil level and potting mix damp.
  • Cover with plastic and keep in a warm area until new growth emerges from the cane, which will occur in 5-10 days (longer in cold weather).
  • Transplant into standard pots when it has developed a few new leaves.

Propagation via seeds;

  • Gather fruit from the plant; the fruit is produced in late spring–early summer and is white with a red center.
  • Remove seeds from the fruit; they will have an oval shape with pointed ends and be attached to a “thread.”
  • Place the seeds on dampened peat moss in a plastic bag.
  • Place it in a warm area with good humidity, such as a greenhouse or basement, and keep it moist until germination occurs (about one to three weeks).
  • Once the seedlings are a few inches tall, transplant them into larger pots.
  • Once your camellia japonica is one foot tall and has four or five leaves, plant it in a larger permanent pot with good drainage.
  • Prune your plant each year in the early spring before new growth begins.

How Do You Care For A Camellia Japonica?

Camellia Japonica is easy to care for and requires little maintenance. Japanese camellias like morning sunlight with afternoon shade or dappled sun all day, whilst Sasanqua camellias require full sun. In zones 7 to 10, most camellias will survive the winter (plus some new varieties will also survive in zone 6).

Water your camellias consistently when they are first planted (for the first 18 months) and during the summer because this is when the blossoms bloom. Keep the soil moist by checking it with a trowel approximately 10cm (4in) down; if it seems dry at this level, water well.

Camellia Japonica thrives on slightly acidic soil (pH 5.5 to 6.5), is somewhat wet, well-drained, and abundant in organic matter.

Before planting camellias, acquire a soil test to see if you need to apply lime to increase the pH or sulfur to reduce it. The following are the factors to consider when caring for Camellia Japonica:


Camellia Japonica thrives in full sunlight and ideally needs 6 to 8 hours of sunlight throughout the day. The sunlight needs to be filtered further by their dense foliage. You will need to limit them from the midday sun in summer.

In the winter, from early November to mid-February or mid-March, you can use full sunlight and cold temperatures for Camellia Japonica. However, the Camellia Japonica tree would like protection from strong winds and harsh weather conditions during this period.


Camellia japonica loves wet soil and has a water requirement of about every two weeks during the spring and summer months; however, after the first year, you can reduce watering from once per month to once per week.

Watering before the plant begins to wilt is not recommended as this may cause root rot. The soil around the plant should be allowed to dry before watering it again because excess moisture may lead to root rot or pests. A general rule of thumb is that if you squeeze some soil in your hand, there must be no moisture left behind before you water it again.


Camellia Japonica prefers well-drained soil with a slightly acidic pH range (5.5 to 6.5). There are many different types of soils, so it is important to know that Camellia japonica requires slightly acidic soil with a pH range of 5.5 to 6.5.

This is ideal because C. Japonica plants prefer an appropriate soil pH and will not thrive in a high acid or alkaline soil. The soil should be slightly moist but never allow the soil to become wet as this will cause cold damage, killing the camellias and other plants that grow in the same pot.


Camellia Japonica plants can withstand temperatures as low as 10 °F (-12 °C) for short periods. Indoor plants should be grown in temperatures ranging from 45 to 61 degrees Fahrenheit (7-16 degrees Celsius).

Furthermore, they cannot survive temperatures exceeding 64 °F (18 °C) for an extended period. This is a warm climate plant that can tolerate low and high temperatures, but most people prefer Camellia japonica varieties that do not tolerate extreme temperatures. If the temperature is too high or low, you will have problems with your camellias, which may be damaged.


Camellia Japonica prefers a relative humidity of around 50-60 % in the winter and up to 80 % humidity in the spring. Maintain a relative humidity of 50% or greater. Mist the foliage regularly, and place the camellia plant on a tray of damp stones.


Camellia Japonica doesn’t require much fertilizer, yet too much nitrogen might cause the leaves to burn and drop off. Over the root zone, apply 1/2 to 1 pound (227 g.) of 8-8-8 or 10-10-10 slow-release fertilizer. Replace the mulch after scratching the fertilizer into the top inch (2.5 cm) or so of soil with a garden rake.


Camellia Japonica can be propagated by seeds and stem cuttings in the spring and summer.  Stem cutting is the process of cutting and removing sections of a stem so that a new plant can grow. Stem cuttings should be taken from healthy plants with a minimum of 4-5 long leaves.

Cut the bottom leaf off at a 45° angle, leaving it attached to the stem. Remove brown or wilted leaves from the cutting’s lower 5-8 inches. Dip the end of your cutting into the rooting hormone if a rooting hormone is available in your area.

Insert your cutting into wet (not soaking) soil up to just under where you removed the lower leaf from by inserting it at an angle, using either toothpicks or string for support.


Camellia Japonica does not require frequent repotting; the plant grows better with less frequent repotting. If you do want to repot your camellia Japonica, it needs to be done every 2-3 years. Find a pot that is approximately 1/2 inch (1 cm) wider than the current pot and has a drainage hole at the bottom.

Bring the plant to room temperature before attempting to remove it from its pot. Gently loosen the outer roots with your fingers and use a knife to dig up the plant’s root ball.


Camellia Japonica is a deciduous tree that loses its leaves in the winter. However, they will regenerate new leaves in the spring. Pruning should be done 2-3 months before the first frost to stimulate new growth.

It is best to prune Camellia Japonica in the spring; this will promote fresh new growth during their summer dormant season and give them a little extra strength for growing strongly throughout the year. For pruning, make two cuts at right angles to each other with a sharp pair of scissors or shears.

Pests and Diseases:

Camellia Japonica is very susceptible to pests, diseases, and fungi. The most common of these are aphids, mites, and other insects that attack the leaves and stems. You can use a combination of insecticidal soap or neem oil to kill off any invading pests.

In addition to pests, your Camellia Japonica is also susceptible to a fungal disease called leaf spot. To treat this fungal disease, you must apply one teaspoon of baking soda with three teaspoons of concentrated horticultural oil mixed with 1 gallon (3.8 liters) of water.


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