Our Plant Pick: Camellias

Posted by Green Acres Nursery & Supply on Nov 10, 2016 10:11:24 AM

Our Plant Pick: Camellias

Camellia s. Kanjiro 001-515949-edited.jpg

Camellias are a hardy evergreen shrub native to eastern and southern Asia. They have a long history of cultivation there, as the leaves of one species - Camellia sinensis - are harvested to produce tea. Ornamental varieties such as the Japanese (Camellia japonica) and Sun (Camellia sasanqua) are commonly found in the United States, although there is nothing common about the beauty and diversity offered by this flowering shrub. 

GA_FOL_Janet-Camellia-s-WEB-658155-edited.jpgCamellia flowers come in six forms: anemone, formal double, peony, rose-form double, semi-double and single. These flowers come in white, pink, red or a combination thereof resulting in dozens of unique varieties. Sacramento is the Camellia Capital of the World, if you walk around the grid this winter you may be graced by the sight of 15-foot-tall camellia shrubs in bloom, some of them over 100 years old.

Despite their delicate appearance, Camellias are actually very resilient. They thrive in our climate when planted in rich, acidic soil with afternoon shade. Starting in late summer, fertilize with a low nitrogen fertilizer such as E.B. Stone Ultra Bloom to encourage cold hardiness and maximum flowering. Clean up flowers that have fallen to reduce your risk of petal blight, a fungal disease which causes rust-colored spots on petals. After bloom, prune to shape and fertilize again with E.B. Stone Azalea & Camellia food. 

Janet's plant pick is Camellias because:

"The sasanqua varieties start blooming in the fall, and then the japonicas go all the way through spring, keeping color in the garden all winter long."

Are you looking to keep your garden colorful this season? Check out some cool-season container ideas  Winter Container Ideas


Topics: Fall Shrubs, Winter, Flowers, Shrubs, Planting Ideas, Flowers for Shade, Camellias

Our Plant Pick-of-the-Week: Mexican Bush Sage

Posted by Green Acres Nursery & Supply on Oct 6, 2015 12:00:00 PM

Our Plant Pick-of-the-Week: Mexican Bush Sage


Mexican Bush Sage (Salvia leucantha) is an evergreen shrub for sun with fuzzy, elongated, grey-green leaves. In fact, everything about it is sort of fuzzy, especially it's stunning violet flower bracts which are borne most heavily in the fall. The actual flower is small and white, far less eye-catching than the velvety bracts which envelop them. Because it's the bract as opposed to the the flower which attracts the most attention, they hold their color very well over the course of their spring-through-fall bloom season. 

JennieSalvialeucantha-500224-editedEventually reaching 6' high and wide, Mexican Bush Sage is best suited to the back of the flower bed, where it will dutifully provide forage for hummingbirds and bees without using a lot of water. Like most woody perennials, this sage benefits from being pruned to shape it in late winter-early spring. Other than that, it is about as low maintenance as you could hope for in a plant.

In addition to the standard version pictured here, there is a dwarf variety known as 'Santa Barbara' which reaches a far more manageable 4' high and wide. There is also a pink and white flowered variety, and a variety called 'Midnight' where the both the flower and the bract are a deep, beautiful purple.

It's Jennie's pick-of-the-week because:

"Those bright purple flowers turn heads, and it's so easy to grow. I love this plant!"


Looking for less thirsty perennials?   Drought Tolerant Plants

Topics: Fall Shrubs, Waterwise, Fall Flowers, pollinators

Fall and Winter Shrubs for Sacramento Area

Posted by Green Acres Nursery & Supply on Oct 26, 2012 10:52:00 AM

Fall and winter shrubs for Sacramento
Shrubs.  How to pick a shrub that will thrive in our area?  It can be a difficult task when you are at a nursery with thousands of choices for the open spaces of your landscape.  Some people might say that they don't even know the real difference between a tree and a shrub when looking at a plant in your local garden center.  Well, size alone doesn't reliably distinguish trees and shrubs.  Better distinguishing characteristics include aspect and use.  One description of shrubs that seems obvious, but is helpful is from Sunset Western Garden.  Sunset describes shrubs as "carrying their foliage to ground level, revealing little or none of their branch framework."  Esentially, a tree, you can walk under, while a shrub you must walk around.  Shrubs are the skeleton of your landscape and provide a transition between tree canopy and ground level.  Shrubs don't have to be boring.  They can provide visual interest in their foliage and their flowers and fruits.  

When choosing a shrub, it is a good idea to think about several key components:
1.  Sun requirements.  
There are shade loving shrubs, sun loving shrubs, and those in between.  To encourage the shrub's survival, make sure you know the sun or shade hours of the area you are planting.  
2.  Deciduous or evergreen. 
Deciduous means it will lose its leaves, and evergreen, means it will keep foliage all year.  We have several suggestions for all types of shrubs, but our blog post today will focus on evergreen shrubs.

Fall Shrub Sasanqua Camellia 'Yuletide'

There are certainly top performing shrubs for our area that you should know about.  Some evergreen options with fall interest are as follows; Arbutus Marina, Camellia Sasanqua, Escallonia, and Plumbago.  Our favorite for the area are Camellias.  The Camellia Sasanqua 'Yuletide' variety is a classic.  The 'Yuletide' variety has a profusion of small, single, bright red flowers on a dense, compact upright plant.  The blossoms especially stand out because of the dark green, glossy foliage of the Camellia plant.  This shrub is a perfect choice as a colorful hedge or screen, an espallier or a border shrub.  It performs best in filtered sun and with regular watering.   

As we get closer into Winter there are other evergreen shrubs with Winter interest.  Some of those shrubs would be other Camellia varieties, Coleonema (Breath of Heaven), Irish Heather, Winter Daphne, Erica, & Azalea Kurume hybrids to name a few.  Winter Daphne is prized for its beautiful rosy pink flowers and has a lovely light fragrance.  A wonderful choice against a wall or near a patio or deck where the fragrance can be appreciated.  

Fall Shrub Nandina 'Filamentosa'

If you are looking for non-flowering evergreen shrubs, then we have two suggestions that give dynamic foliar interest year around.  Both bring graceful texture and color to any garden space and are hardier varieties.  First is Nandina 'Filamentosa' which is from the low maintenance Nandina family and is an excellent choice for mass plantings.  It is a delicate thread leafed cultivar growing 2'-3' tall.   Coprosma 'Karo Red' and 'Tequila Sunrise' are other great evergreen options.  The most alluring part of Coprosma is its jewel like foliage-highly glossed and brightly colored in distinct colors each season.  

Fall shrub, Coprosma Tequila sunrise

Living in Sacramento, we are fortunate enough to be in a zone where summer daytime temperatures are high, sunshine is almost constant during the growing season, and growing seasons are long.  However, it is important to remember that shrubs can be affected by frost damage and some varieties are more tender like: Plumbago, Escallonia, and Coleonema.  Anytime the temps are to drop below 40 degrees, frost cloth would be in order.  Frost cloth is availalbe in many sizes, but the standard is 10X12 sizes and is available at most garden centers including Green Acres.  Frost cloth is more beneficial than using a plastic sheet or a blanket because it allows both light and water to penetrate and is more breathable than the other options mentioned. 

Hopefully, you now have greater knowledge about some of our favorites shrubs for the area.  Happy planting and please click here to see our locations, browse our website for more information or download our free Planting Guide below! 

  Planting Guide


Topics: Fall Shrubs, Shrubs for Sacramento Area, Shrubs

Get Digging with Green Acres

Have questions? Drop us a line.

We are here to help you with all of your landscape and gardening needs.

Subscribe to Email Updates

Posts by Topic

see all