I have a white camellia that has been growing in a pot for several years; it's now too large/heavy to move around. I'd like to plant it in the garden - your advice please, on the best location. There are two areas with enough room, one quite large and open, until recently home to a silver birch, that gets the sun for most of the day, the other in dappled shade from an acer with wisteria and honeysuckle growing nearby. Also how best to prepare the planting area, when to do it and how to provide protection in winter. Apologies, lots of questions - hope you can help. Thank you.
Pinkpeony, Camellia need a west facing sheltered spot, they do like sun but the root ball needs to be cool. West facing means they do not get early morning sun which causes damage after frost so some overhead shelter would be best, maybe the dappled shade.
The soil needs to be lime free dig some compost or leaf mould or manure (well rotted) into the soil as you dig the hole for the plant, I would put some grit in the base to give some drainage. Put the plant in at the same level as the soil of the plant is now and firm in the enriched soil around the plant, mulch the area around not touching the base stem and water in well.
Planting against a wall or fence will help against frost damage although you can always fleece the plant in frosty weather taking the fleece off during the day.
The normal way would be to plant in Autumn or March but putting a pot plant into the ground now whilst it is warn and damp will not harm it.
If your new position is more Northerly that is OK but you will need some shelter from the weather so a wall or fence is ideal.
Hope this helps
Thank you for your response - all the information I needed! West facing in the shade of the acer will be the new home - man with sack truck arriving tomorrow to help move it into placeI The camellia in its container has done very well over the years, so I hope it tolerates the move!
Thank you once again.
Frank has explained brilliantly. I have three very successful and long lived camellias against the west facing wall of my house. In fact my soil is the alkaline side of neutral and they appear perfectly happy; I believe they're not quite so fussy as rhododendrons as regards soil.