Is their such thing as a dwarf camellia?

Asked May 1, 2019, 4:10 PM EDT

Hi, I just love the flowering camellia and have a nice shady spot for one that gets morning sun but the area is not large enough for the size I've read they can grow to. Are there certain varieties that remain under 4 feet tall and 2-3 ft wide? Thank you! Darcy Ruble

Multnomah County Oregon

3 Responses

Thank you for using Ask an Expert for help finding a low-growing camellia.

The smallest of the camellias is often said to be Camellia sasanqua ‘Shishigashira’ (also frequently listed as Camellia hiemalis ‘Shishigashira’). It is somewhat slow-growing and gets to five feet and about the same width. This still seems a bit large for your spot. In addition, the flowers are a bit smaller and less symmetrical than the typical camellia.

Another idea for that space is the camellia which is considered a ground cover or a sprawling plant. One pink variety is called Camellia sasanqua ‘Marge Miller’. In Nature, this plant would scramble over rock walls or under other shrubs. However, it can also be trained up a stake and will cascade down in a weeping form. This might fill your space nicely. Again, the flowers are not the classic style.

Both of these varieties are generally available in local nurseries, so you might take a look to see whether one will fit your needs.

Have a great spring,

Thank you for your help. I've called a couple of nurseries and they won't be getting any of the Marge Miller until the fall.Should I keep searching or is the fall the best time to plant these?

Again, thank you for your expert advise!


Shrubs are best planted in early spring or late fall. At this point with the weather - September may be a better option. Nurseries tend to not stock plants that won't survive transplanting well during each time of the year.