Camellia bonsai are grown from a number of species to include Camellia sasanqua,
Camellia japonica, and Camellia reticulate. While you will find more than 250
species, the most popular choice is the Camellia sasanqua, which is small and
hardy. The only drawback to this species is that it is frost tender, more so
than other species. This tree typically has large, glossy leaves that range from
medium to dark green. However, this type of bonsai is favored because of the
beautiful flowering season.
When growing Camellia bonsai, you need to keep the tree in a location with
partial shade and again, good protection from frost. The tree will need to be
fed about every two to three weeks during the growing season, using acidic type
food. You can also hard prune the Camellia during the winter once it has gone
through its flowering. After that time, any spent flowers would need to be
removed and the tree trimmed to the desired shape.
For repotting, the Camellia should be repotted every two to three years, always
sometime in the early spring months. For this, make sure you use lime-free soil,
as it does not tolerate lime well. To propagate the Camellia, you can use ground
or air layering in the spring. In the late summer months going to late winter,
you want to use root semi-ripe cuttings.
Keep in mind that Camellia is very prone to scale and aphid bugs. Therefore, we
recommend you use an organic herbicide. In addition, the Camellia is susceptible
to viruses, which cause damage to the beautiful flowers. Finally, you can try a
number of styles on the Camellia but the best choices include cascade for the
larger trees and an informal upright on single or multiple trunk trees.