Shade Grade: A
A perfect broadleaf evergreen shrub for the shade garden.
Nuccio’s Bella Rossa Camellia
Nuccio’s Bella Rossa is a wonderful japonica camellia with stately, roselike flowers that bloom in succession from late winter to mid-spring. A great addition to the shade garden, this slow-growing shrub works well in borders planted en masse or as a container specimen. Can eventually grow to 20 feet but is easily kept small with pruning.
We carried this largish shrub out of the 2020 Pacific Northwest Flower & Garden Festival. I couldn’t decide if the stares we were getting were due to the beautiful blooms or because it looked like we were trying furtively steal out of the show behind a shrubbery. Camellias do well in shade and part shade, but I’ve read morning sun could potentially burn early frosted blooms, so we’ll see how it handles eastern exposure of its planting site beside the garage. I think this old-fashioned favorite complements the red trim of our old-timey house quite well!
UPDATE Dec 2021: After the easement was cleared this camelia was clearly getting blasted with way too much sun. I moved it into the large cedar pot on the deck that previously housed our dawn redwood. So far it survived the move, but we’ll see if it puts out any flowers after being abused (I’m sure it lost a lot of roots when I ripped it out of the ground).
UPDATE April 2023: We have flowers! The plant is looking a bit yellow and I’m not sure what the problem is, but it’s full of buds beginning to burst open. I’ve fertilized and added blood meal for additional nitrogen, hoping the leaves will green up over the next few months.
Boxwood, Ferns, Dogwoods, Rhododendron, Azalea, Nandina, Japanese Maple
03/2020: Planted in small dirt patch in front of sun room
08/2021: Moved to large cedar pot on back deck