Some are suitable for training up a wall. Generally speaking, camellias come from southern and eastern Asia. Once camellias are growing comfortably—The Grumpy Gardener gives the criteria: "over 3 years old, vigorous, and shading their own roots"—they can thrive on their own with very little watering. They are sometimes known as ‘sasanquas’. Better still, the park was filled with the spectacular pink and white blossoms of cherry trees. Most old camellias have either been ignored, abused or received only token attention for their mid-winter bloom. I was the only visitor that morning, so I got to enjoy a private hanami (flower viewing). Autumn and winter-flowering camellias. They are among the earliest to bloom and given only a little effort can become major players in a garden. Sasanquas flower in autumn, forming flower buds in spring. Prune them in early spring to avoid snipping off flowers. Camellias do not do well with a lot of fertilizer, so don’t overuse it. Since japonicas bloom in early spring, they should be pruned immediately after the flowers fade. Camellias normally bloom between late December and early March, but a surprising number were still blooming when I visited. Slightly less hardy than spring-flowering camellias, you can grow these shrubs in sheltered gardens or containers placed in an unheated greenhouse or conservatory over winter. A: Good timing! Many of my favorite camellias are in bloom and readily available right now. Camellias need good drainage to do well, so be sure the area you want to grow them does not stay too wet. Although it's only February, the camellias in my Douglasville garden are blooming, and I bet you've seen some in bloom, too. These camellias, which can grow in U.S. Department of Agriculture plant hardiness zones 7 through 9, begin forming buds slightly earlier in the year to account for their earlier bloom time. They thrive in forests and all will do well in shade. Grumpy advises, "If you do water them, make sure the soil is well drained." If your drainage is poor, you might try a raised bed or container. Camellias like a soil mix that is high in humus content and slightly acidic.