Camellia Japonica Emperor of Russia Variegated

Camellia Japonica Emperor of Russia Variegated

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Camellia japonica 'Emperor of Russia Variegated' is a striking cultivar of the Camellia japonica species, renowned for its variegated foliage and vibrant, formal double flowers. This cultivar is prized for its ornamental beauty and is a standout feature in gardens and landscapes.

Height and Width

  • Height: Typically reaches a height of 2 to 3 metres.
  • Width: Spreads out to a width of about 2 to 3 metres.

Soil Type

  • Soil Preference: Camellia japonica 'Emperor of Russia Variegated' prefers well-drained, slightly acidic soils. It thrives in rich, organic matter and loamy soils. Consistent moisture is key, but the soil should be well-draining to prevent root rot.

Plant Description

  • Foliage: The plant features glossy, dark green leaves with cream or white variegation along the edges. The variegated foliage provides year-round interest and adds an extra dimension to the plant’s visual appeal.
  • Growth Habit: Camellia japonica 'Emperor of Russia Variegated' has an upright, bushy growth habit. It can be pruned to maintain a compact shape or allowed to grow more naturally as a larger shrub or small tree.

Flower Description

  • Flower Colour: The flowers of Camellia japonica 'Emperor of Russia Variegated' are a rich, deep red, providing a stunning contrast to the variegated foliage.
  • Flower Shape: The flowers are formal double in form, with numerous overlapping petals creating a full, symmetrical appearance. Each flower is typically 8-12 cm in diameter.
  • Blooming Season: This plant flowers prolifically from mid to late winter into early spring, offering a burst of colour during the cooler months.
  • Attracts Wildlife: The flowers attract pollinators such as bees, enhancing the ecological value of the garden.

Cultivation and Care

  • Watering: Requires regular watering, especially during dry periods. The soil should be kept moist but not waterlogged. Mulching helps retain soil moisture and keeps the roots cool.
  • Sunlight: Prefers partial shade to full shade. It can tolerate some morning sun, but protection from harsh afternoon sunlight is necessary to prevent leaf scorch.
  • Pruning: Prune after flowering to maintain the plant’s shape and remove any dead or damaged wood. Light pruning can also enhance air circulation within the plant.
  • Fertilising: Benefits from an acid-loving fertiliser applied in early spring and again in late summer. Avoid high-nitrogen fertilisers as they can promote excessive foliage growth at the expense of flowers.

Additional Notes

  • Pests and Diseases: Generally pest and disease-resistant, but can occasionally be affected by scale insects and aphids. Ensuring good air circulation and proper plant care can help prevent these issues.
  • Uses: Ideal for use as a feature plant, in shaded garden beds, or as part of a woodland garden. It can also be effectively grown in large containers. Its attractive variegated foliage and vibrant flowers make it suitable for both formal and informal garden styles.