I have just been given a small Camelia in a pot that is covered with buds, will it flower if I leave it indoors over winter or should I put it outside ? Also when I put it outside what is the best location for it.
I'm not a camelia grower but Ma grew them, so I'll start off and give my two pennyworth - I'm sure someone who grows them will be along soon and give you more information.
I would keep it outside - I don't think it would like the warm dry atmosphere in a house.
It would be best where it is shaded from the morning sun - in the winter the buds can get frozen - that is fine as long as they defrost slowly, but if they face east or south east and get the morning sun that will thaw them quickly and the buds will be damaged. Ma had hers on the north and west facing sides of the house and never had a problem.
Remember that camellias are acid loving and hate lime, so water with rainwater only.
And this thread has reminded me that the other day as I rode the bus into the city I saw a huge camellia (probably 'Donation') in full flower - it was an absolute picture - in December!
I have a Camelia in the front garden north facing they are spectacular when they flower mine flowers in late Feb, and Dove is right sound advice using rain water only and being in the shade, mine has shade most of the day gets the final 2 hrs of sun and it thrives. Once it is established I shape mine to suit its position perfect round shape standing 4ft.
Also as Dove said I would put it outside I live in the Northwest and it is very mild at the moment I don't know where you are but they are a tough plant and should take to the outside straight away.
They're very tough shrubs, so as long as it's previously been outside and not cossetted in a GC or similar, then I'd follow the advice already given and put it outside. If you're not sure how it's been grown, then take a week or so to prepare it for the winter outdoors and keep it out of the worst weather initially till it's happy. They need plenty of moisture especially in late summer when the new buds are forming.
They grow very happily up here in Scotland so just replicate those conditions - lots of rain
Thanks everyone, never had a Camelia before so looking forward to it blooming, I will keep it in a cold porch until the worst of the weather is over.
If you put outside try to keep frost off the flowers when they open. Mine are large and in pots near the house facing north. House proximity gives a measure of protection.
You could pop yours inside if frost threatens.