Camellia Companion Plants

Companion plantings make an outdoor space feel full and vibrant and provide continued visual interest and support to pollinators. Camellia is a flowering shrub that has some truly spectacular flowers. This plant grows in zones 6 through 9 and blooms during the fall and spring. Camellia shrubs feature lovely white, pink, or red flowers.

The key to successful companion planting is choosing plants with similar care requirements. Camellia shrubs need partial shade, ideally with shade in the afternoon because harsh afternoon sun can damage this plant. Plants like azaleas, ferns, hostas, and hellebores go well with camellia because they thrive in the same conditions and complement this flowering shrub.

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Shrubs To Plant With Camellia

The flowers are the standout feature of the camellia shrub, so it can be disappointing when the flowers fade in the spring, but this is around the time when quince, and then azaleas begin to bloom. Featuring these flowering shrubs in the same space ensures you can enjoy a steady supply of flowers all spring. For a companion shrub that packs foliage color, try pairing camellias with nandina. Nandina, quince and azalea prefer a bit more sun than camellia, so position them so they receive the sunlight they need. A large, established quince can provide dappled sunlight for a camellia shrub.

Perennials To Plant With Camellia

The showy camellia flowers pair nicely with the equally showy flowers of the perennial hellebore. Also known as lenten rose, hellebore blooms in the spring, so their bloom times often overlap. Like camellia, hellebore thrives in partial shade, so plant these flowering perennials underneath the tree-like shrub for protection against sunburn.

Ferns are a good choice if you are looking for a foliage plant to feature alongside camellia. The full, delicate fronds add greenery and texture to the area beneath the shrub, filling the space and creating a complete look.

Annuals To Plant With Camellia

Camellia shrubs are long-lived, so featuring annuals nearby mixes things up and introduces different colors and textures. Pansies in white and purple tones are attractive alongside camellia, which often has white, red, or pink flowers. The smaller size of pansies makes them a good size to plant under the camellia’s reaching branches, where they will be protected from intense sunlight.

Best Companion Plants For Camellia in Containers

Planting camellia in a container is a great way to enjoy this plant in different areas throughout a yard and ensure the plant receives ideal sun exposure. Plant Japanese forest grass or hostas around the base of the camellia in the same container, so the leaves will fill in the blank space between the bottom of the plant and the branches. Both plants have similar water needs to camellias, making them well suited to sharing a container.


Plants Not To Grow With Camellia

Camellia plants are particular about the care they receive. Plants with drastically different care requirements often do not grow well with camellia. Sun-loving nemesia is not a good pick to grow with camellia. This flowering plant stands a few feet tall and cannot grow in the lower light the camellia needs or the shade cast by the shrub.

Best Plants To Grow With Camellia





Flowering Quince

Flowering Quince

Azaleas and Rhododendron

Azaleas and Rhododendron

As an evergreen from eastern and southern Asia, camellia does well in temperate or warm climates. Pairing camellias with plants that bloom around the same time gives a landscape a vibrant and well-designed look. Plants that require partial shade or can cast shade for a neighboring camellia are a good match for this lovely shrub.

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Author Alison Cotsonas - Published 09-08-2023