Indoor Camellia Care – How To Grow A Camellia Houseplant

Red Camellia Flower
indoor camellia
(Image credit: Nahhan)

Camellias are stunning plants that are normally grown outdoors, but you can grow camellias indoors if you can give them the proper conditions. Let’s take a look at the needs of camellias inside the home. 

Indoor Camellia Care

One crucial part of indoor camellia care is the appropriate temperature. These plants need lower temperatures in order to bloom. Typically, temperatures below 60 degrees F. (16 C.) work beautifully. Just take care that temperatures stay above freezing.

Give your camellia houseplant a nice bright window indoors. A southern exposure window would work very well. Wherever you place your plant, be sure that it receives at least a few hours of direct sun for the best growth and flowering. If you don’t have a sunny window, you can easily grow your plant under an artificial full-spectrum light. 

Watering and potting mixes require special attention. A good mix for camellias inside includes 80 percent ground-aged bark with 10 percent coarse sand and 10 percent peat moss. Avoid commercial mixes because these tend not to drain freely enough for these plants. Camellias like to stay moist but not wet, as this can cause root rot to occur. Keeping a smaller pot size will help prevent the potting mix from staying too wet. At the same time, you’ll want to avoid your plant from drying out completely, especially when flower buds appear.

There is much to know about fertilizing your camellia houseplant. Camellias are not heavy feeders, so you’ll need to keep a few things in mind. Be sure not to fertilize during the dormant period, which is when they are budding and blooming. You should fertilize the rest of the year though. Avoid general garden fertilizers and be sure to use ones formulated specifically for camellias or azaleas. You can also use cottonseed meal. If your plant’s soil is dry, make sure to water the day before you fertilize as you can damage the plant’s surface roots if you fertilize when dry. 

Growing camellias inside year-round can be challenging because most homes are too warm, too dark, and have too low humidity for these plants to thrive. If you live in an area with cold winters and your camellias cannot survive outdoors, you can try and overwinter them indoors but only if you follow all the indoor camellia care details above.