Lemon Glow CamelliaCamellia japonica 'Lemon Glow'
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Camellia japonica 'Lemon Glow'
Outdoor Growing zone
Partial Sun, Shade
The Lemon Glow Camellia is something very special – a yellow camellia. This dream, as elusive as the blue rose, has been realized with this lovely bush, whose pale lemon flowers have a wonderful formal look, modernized with irregular serrated edges on the petals. The large blooms arrive in winter or early spring, on an upright, tight column of beautiful evergreen leaves, making a stunning sight in your garden. Grow it in beds, as a specimen or near trees, and this variety has good winter hardiness and can be grown in a pot in cooler zones, or if you don’t have suitable soil in your garden.
Grow the Lemon Glow Camellia in partial shade – morning sun only is ideal. It also grows well in light dappled shade and on the north side of a building, under a blue sky. The soil should be moist, well-drained, rich and acidic, with a pH below 6.5. If you don’t have suitable soil, or you live in a colder zone, grow it in a pot with soil blended for acid-loving plants. In cold zones bring it into a cool, well-lit place for the winter months.
Camellia bushes come in an enormous range of colors, from pure white to the darkest red, with all possible shades of pink and even some purples. The colors blue and yellow are sadly missing though – or are they? We can’t bring you a true-blue camellia blossom, but we can bring you a true-yellow. Yes, that’s right, yellow. The Lemon Glow Camellia is the yellowest of them all, and the soft lemon tones of the blooms – so well-formed they would be gorgeous in any color – will give a unique look to your camellia collection (even if that is a collection of just one). This sturdy upright bush is easy to grow in warmer gardens, or in pots anywhere, so add the color you are sure to be missing, and plant this beautiful bush – what a conversation piece with your gardening friends, and what a gorgeous plant to have in your garden.
The Lemon Glow Camellia is an upright evergreen bush that will in time reach 6 to 8 feet in height, and up to 5 feet in width. It forms a dense, upright column of beautiful foliage, and it looks great even when not in bloom. The leaves are leathery and glossy dark green, with a smooth surface and a simple oval shape tapering to a short point. They are about 3 inches long. The growth is vigorous but this bush is more compact than many other varieties. Blooming takes place during the winter months and in early spring, depending on how warm your growing zone is. Each blossom is a picture of perfection, a full 4 inches across, with around 80 petals forming a neat rounded bloom. The broad petals overlap in perfect geometry, softened by the irregular serrations along the edge of the petals, which create a more ‘modern’ look. The color is a wonderful glowing lemon yellow, deeper in the center of the bloom and softening to creamy tones at the edges. This is the most beautiful, and most yellow, camellia created to date, and something very special that you will adore growing and admiring in your garden.
This camellia is perfect for growing in your garden beds, among other shrubs, or in the foundation planting around your home, between windows or framing an entrance. Plant it against a fence or wall, or by the garden gate. If you grow it in a pot you can place it on a terrace or patio, and move it around as needed to grow it in the best conditions. You can even grow it on a balcony, with no garden at all.
The Lemon Glow Camellia is hardy from the coldest parts of zone 7 all the way into zone 10. It will probably also grow in a sheltered spot, such as against a wall of your home, in zone 6.
Grow the Lemon Glow Camellia in morning sun and afternoon shade for the best results. It will also grow in dappled shade from deciduous trees, or against an east or north-facing wall. The soil should be rich in organic material, well-drained, but moist. Once well-established this bush has some resistance to dryness, but regular watering is best, especially during the summer months. The soil must be acidic, with a pH value of no more than 6.5. It is difficult to make soil more acidic for more than a brief time, so if you don’t have suitable soil, grow it in a large pot, a tub or a planter box. This is also the way to grow it if you live in a colder zone. The pot must have drainage holes, and you must fill it with potting soil blended for acid-loving plants. Feed potted plants regularly with fertilizer for camellias or azaleas, especially during spring and early summer.
This bush is easy to grow once you have the soil, moisture and light conditions right. Pests or diseases are rare and established plants take care of themselves. Pruning is not needed, but if you do need to trim your bush, do it in spring, after flowering ends. Don’t trim the summer stems or you will lose blossoms.
The Japanese camellia, Camellia japonica, has been grown in Chinese and Japanese gardens for centuries. It was a big hit when first introduced into Europe and America, where the first plants arrived sometime before 1800. It has always been popular in the South, and most of the different varieties that exist – there are hundreds – were created by amateur hobby breeders. Dr. W.F. Homeyer Jr., lived in Macon, Georgia, and he created several popular varieties last century. He seems to have had a passion for finding that elusive yellow camellia. In 1963 he found a seedling he had grown with some greenish yellow tones, which he called ‘Whitman Yellow’. He continued breeding and in 1983 he saw the first blooms on one of his crosses, a plant with pale yellow blooms, which he called ‘Dahlonega’, the name of a city in Georgia. This century Cam Too Camellia Nursery, a wholesale grower in Winnsboro, South Carolina, found a branch on ‘Dahlonega’ in 2009 that had flowers that were even more yellow. They named it ‘Lemon Glow’.
The yellow camellia has been a goal of breeders since the first flowers were discovered, and now, with ‘Lemon Glow’, we have it. This plant is always in high demand – no wonder! – and supplies are always low. Order now, because we have no idea when we will ever be able to find it again.