Hardy Camellia Plants: Growing Camellias In Zone 6 Gardens

By Darcy Larum, Landscape Designer

If you have visited southern states of the U.S., you’ve probably noticed the beautiful camellias that grace most gardens. Camellias are especially the pride of Alabama, where they are the official state flower. In the past, camellias could only be grown in U.S. hardiness zones 7 or higher. However, in recent years, plant breeders Dr. William Ackerman and Dr. Clifford Parks have introduced hardy camellias for zone 6. Learn more about these hardy camellia plants below.

Hardy Camellia Plants

Camellias for zone 6 are usually categorized as spring blooming or fall blooming, although in warmer climates of the Deep South they may bloom all throughout the winter months. Cold winter temperatures in zone 6 will usually nip the flower buds, giving zone 6 camellia plants a shorter bloom time than warm climate camellias.

In zone 6, the most popular hardy camellia plants are the Winter Series created by Dr. Ackerman and the April Series created by Dr. Parks. Below are lists of spring blooming and fall blooming camellias for zone 6:

Spring Blooming Camellias

  • April Tryst – red flowers
  • April Snow – white flowers
  • April Rose – red to pink flowers
  • April Remembered – cream to pink flowers
  • April Dawn – pink to white flowers
  • April Blush – pink flowers
  • Betty Sette – pink flowers
  • Fire ‘n Ice – red flowers
  • Ice Follies – pink flowers
  • Spring Icicle – pink flowers
  • Pink Icicle – pink flowers
  • Korean Fire – pink flowers

Fall Blooming Camellias

  • Winter’s Waterlily – white flowers
  • Winter’s Star – red to purple flowers
  • Winter’s Rose – pink flowers
  • Winter’s Peony – pink flowers
  • Winter’s Interlude – pink to purple flowers
  • Winter’s Hope – white flowers
  • Winter’s Fire – red to pink flowers
  • Winter’s Dream – pink flowers
  • Winter’s Charm – lavender to pink flowers
  • Winter’s Beauty – pink flowers
  • Polar Ice – white flowers
  • Snow Flurry – white flowers
  • Survivor – white flowers
  • Mason Farm – white flowers

Growing Camellias in Zone 6 Gardens

Most of the above listed camellias are labeled as hardy in zone 6b, which is the slightly warmer parts of zone 6. This labeling has come from years of trials and testing of their winter survival rate.

In zone 6a, the slightly cooler areas of zone 6, it is recommended that these camellias be given some extra winter protection. To protect tender camellias, grow them in an areas where they are protected from cold winter winds and give their roots added insulation of a nice, deep heap of mulch around the root zone.

More Information about Zone 6
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