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Camellias are an excellent addition to any Gulf Coast garden because they are so well suited to this area!
It is no secret to American gardeners that many of our favorite plants (and more than a few invasive nuisances) are naturalized citizens that emigrated from other lands, including the camellia. But the camellia itself may not be in on the secret, for while it is not native to North America, it feels very much at home in many regions!
The key to understanding where and how camellias grow is to first understand their native habitat. The camellia is an indigenous forest plant in southern Japan and the costal provinces of China where the climate is warm and temperate. This region features relatively mild winters, with summer months experiencing above average rainfall and high humidity. Its soil is slightly acidic (loose forest mold) and well-drained because of its natural slopes. These same conditions are conducive to azaleas, hydrangeas, and other plants of Asian origin.