Japanese Camellia Camellia japonica 'Tricolor'

👤 Non-toxic to humans
🐾 Non-toxic to pets
🌸 Blooming
🍪 Not edible
‍🌱 Hard-care
camellia 'Tricolor'


The Camellia japonica 'Tricolor', commonly known as the Japanese camellia, is a visually striking plant. It is characterized by its glossy, dark green leaves which provide a lustrous backdrop for its distinctive flowers. The blooms of the 'Tricolor' variety are particularly notable for their unique coloration. Each flower showcases a blend of three colors—often pink, white, and red—arranged in an elegant, variegated pattern. Some petals may be predominantly one color with streaks or borders of the other hues, giving the plant a painterly appearance. The flowers are typically large and showy, with a classic, rosette-like form made up of multiple layers of petals. They provide a stunning contrast against the foliage and can be a dramatic addition to any garden or as a potted centerpiece. The visual impact of the 'Tricolor' is not determined by its size but by the beauty of its blooms and foliage.

Plant Info
Common Problems

About this plant

  • memoNames

    • Family


    • Synonyms

      Japanese Camellia, Camellia, Rose of Winter

    • Common names

      Camellia japonica 'Tricolor'.

  • skullToxicity

    • To humans

      The common name of Camellia japonica 'Tricolor' is Japanese camellia. Japanese camellia is generally considered non-toxic to humans. There are no significant reports of poisoning from consuming any parts of this plant. Therefore, ingestion of the Japanese camellia typically does not pose a health risk to humans.

    • To pets

      The common name of Camellia japonica 'Tricolor' is Japanese camellia. Japanese camellia is not considered toxic to pets such as cats and dogs. If a pet ingests parts of this plant, it is unlikely to experience poisoning or serious health issues as a consequence. However, as with any non-food plant material, ingestion in large quantities could potentially cause mild gastrointestinal upset simply due to the plant's fiber content.

  • infoCharacteristics

    • Life cycle


    • Foliage type


    • Color of leaves

      Dark green

    • Flower color


    • Height

      6-12 feet (1.8-3.7 meters)

    • Spread

      5-10 feet (1.5-3 meters)

    • Plant type


    • Hardiness zones


    • Native area



  • money-bagGeneral Benefits

    • Ornamental Value: Camellia japonica 'Tricolor', commonly known as Japanese camellia, bears beautifully patterned flowers that add aesthetic appeal to gardens.
    • Long Blooming Season: Japanese camellias typically have a lengthy blooming period from late winter through spring, providing color in the garden when few other plants are in flower.
    • Versatility in Landscaping: This plant can be used in various landscape applications, such as specimen planting, hedging, and container gardening.
    • Shade Tolerance: Japanese camellia is known for its ability to thrive in partial shade, making it a great option for woodland gardens or shaded areas.
    • Evergreen Foliage: The plant retains its glossy, green leaves throughout the year, ensuring that your garden stays vibrant even when the plant is not in bloom.
    • Wildlife Attraction: While Camellia japonica 'Tricolor' isn't known specifically for wildlife attraction, camellias in general can provide shelter and some species of birds may feed on the seeds.
    • Low Maintenance: Japanese camellias typically require minimal care once established, making them a convenient choice for gardeners of all skill levels.

  • medicalMedical Properties

    This plant is not used for medical purposes.

  • windAir-purifying Qualities

    This plant is not specifically known for air purifying qualities.

  • leavesOther Uses

    • Camellia japonica 'Tricolor' can be used as a natural dye, providing subtle colors to fabrics when the petals are processed properly.
    • The petals of Camellia are sometimes used in crafts, such as pressed flower art, to create decorative items and keepsakes.
    • Fallen Camellia petals can be scattered along pathways or mixed into potpourri for a visually appealing and subtly fragrant addition to home decor.
    • The leaves of Camellia provide a glossy green foliage that can be used in floral arrangements to add texture and contrast.
    • In Japan, Camellia blossoms are used in traditional tea ceremonies as a symbol of seasonal beauty and impermanence.
    • Camellia wood, being quite hard and durable, is sometimes utilized in the crafting of small items such as handles for tools and carving intricate objects.
    • Gardeners use the dense growth habit of Camellia japonica 'Tricolor' for creating privacy screens or hedges in landscape design.
    • As bonsai, Camellia plants can be trained into miniature trees, providing an artistic hobby and living sculpture for enthusiasts.
    • Camellia petals can be used in gourmet culinary dishes as an edible garnish, adding a touch of elegance to the presentation.
    • Some cultures use Camellia flowers in religious and ceremonial practices as offerings or decorations due to their beauty and significance.

Interesting Facts

  • bedFeng Shui

    The Camellia is not used in Feng Shui practice.

  • aquariusZodiac Sign Compitability

    The Camellia is not used in astrology practice.

  • spiralPlant Symbolism

    • Admiration: Camellia japonica 'Tricolor', also known as the Japanese camellia, symbolizes deep admiration for someone. Its beauty inspires feelings of respect and awe.
    • Love and Affection: The lush, delicate petals of the Japanese camellia represent feelings of love and affection, often given to express romantic interest.
    • Perfection and Excellence: With its perfect form and striking colors, the Japanese camellia stands for the pursuit of excellence and the celebration of perfection.
    • Longevity: As an evergreen with a long blooming season, the Japanese camellia suggests enduring and steadfast life, embodying the concept of longevity.
    • Divine: Notably in East Asian cultures, the Japanese camellia is associated with the divine, expressing a connection to the transcendent and sacred.

Every 7-10 days
2500 - 10000 Lux
Every 2-3 years
Spring-Early Summer
As needed
  • water dropWater

    Camellia, commonly known as the Japanese camellia, thrives with consistent moisture and requires watering when the top inch of soil becomes dry. Typically, this equates to watering once a week, but the schedule should be adjusted depending on climate and weather conditions, aiming for about one to one and a half gallons per week for outdoor plants. During hot, dry periods, increase the frequency to prevent the soil from completely drying out. It's important to water deeply and slowly, allowing the water to soak into the soil without running off, which encourages deeper root growth. Avoid overhead watering to reduce the risk of leaf diseases, and water early in the day to allow any moisture on foliage to dry before nightfall.

  • sunLight

    Japanese camellias prefer bright but filtered light with protection from the intense afternoon sun. The best spot for the plant would be an area that receives morning sun and dappled shade in the afternoon, such as under the canopy of tall trees with spaced branches. Avoid full shade locations as they can lead to reduced flowering and leggy growth.

  • thermometerTemperature

    The Japanese camellia thrives in a temperature range between 60°F and 80°F. It can tolerate minimum temperatures down to around 10°F, but prolonged exposure to such cold can damage the plant. The ideal growing condition for camellias is a cool to temperate environment with protection from harsh winter winds and late frosts.

  • scissorsPruning

    Pruning the Japanese camellia is necessary to maintain shape, remove dead or weak growth, and to encourage airflow through the plant, thus reducing disease risk. The best time for pruning is after it finishes flowering, typically in late winter or early spring before new growth starts. You can prune it every year or every other year, depending on the desired size and shape of the plant.

  • broomCleaning

    As needed

  • bambooSoil

    The best soil mix for Camellia, commonly known as Japanese Camellia, is well-draining and acidic, with a pH between 5.5 and 6.5. A mix of 1/3 pine bark, 1/3 garden soil, and 1/3 peat moss is often recommended to provide adequate aeration and moisture retention.

  • plantRepotting

    Japanese Camellia should be repotted every 2-3 years, or when rootbound, ideally in the spring just before the growing season begins to ensure minimal stress and a speedy recovery.

  • water dropsHumidity & Misting

    Japanese Camellia thrives best in moderate to high humidity levels, around 40-60%. Providing a pebble tray with water underneath the pot can help maintain a favorable humidity environment.

  • pinSuitable locations

    • Indoor

      Place in bright, indirect light and keep evenly moist.

    • Outdoor

      Part shade, shelter from hot sun and wind, moist soil.

    • Hardiness zone

      7-9 USDA

  • circleLife cycle

    The Camellia japonica 'Tricolor', commonly known as the Japanese camellia, initiates its life cycle when the seeds germinate, typically in spring, given moist soil conditions and partial shade to full sun exposure. As a seedling, it develops a root system and a small shoot which gradually matures into a larger bush or small tree with glossy, evergreen leaves. It enters a vegetative stage, during which it grows steadily and may be pruned to encourage branching and maintain a desired shape. When the Camellia japonica reaches maturity, after several years, it begins its reproductive phase, producing showy flowers with a mix of pink, white, and red colors during late winter to early spring. After pollination, it develops seed pods that eventually dry and release seeds to complete the cycle. The plant's longevity allows it to go through multiple flowering cycles, and with proper care, it can live and remain productive for many years.

  • sproutPropogation

    • Propogation time

      Spring-Early Summer

    • Propogation: The Camellia japonica 'Tricolor', commonly known as the Tricolor Camellia, is most effectively propagated through semi-hardwood cuttings. This method usually takes place in late summer or early fall, after the current season’s growth has begun to mature and harden slightly. To propagate, choose a healthy stem and make a cutting of about 4 to 6 inches (10 to 15 centimeters) long, ensuring it has several sets of leaves. The lower leaves should be removed, and the cut end may be treated with a rooting hormone to encourage root development. The cutting should then be planted in a well-draining potting mix, kept moist, and placed in indirect light. Rooting can be enhanced by providing a humid environment, such as placing a plastic covering over the cutting, ensuring it doesn't touch the leaves. It typically takes a few weeks to a few months for the cutting to root adequately before it can be transplanted.