Eazy Gardening

Cultivating Camellia Japonica ‘Carter’s Sunburnt’: From Propagation to Care

Camellia japonica ‘Carter’s Sunburnt’ is a beautiful and popular plant grown for its stunning flowers and foliage. Known by several names, including Japanese Camellia and Rose of Winter, this evergreen shrub is native to Asia and is widely cultivated in many parts of the world.

This article provides an overview of the plant, its cultivation and care, and potential pest and disease issues.

Overview of the Plant:

Commonly known as the Japanese Camellia, Camellia japonica ‘Carter’s Sunburnt’ is a member of the Theaceae family and is prized for its beautiful, showy flowers that bloom in shades of pink, red, and white.

The plant grows to a height of up to 10 feet and has a spread of up to 8 feet. Its leaves are glossy green, elliptical, and pointed, and can measure from 2 to 4 inches in length.

The flowers of the plant are large, measuring up to 4 inches in diameter, and have a graceful, cup-shaped appearance. The blooms appear in late winter to early spring, making it a popular plant for adding color to gardens during the winter months.

Characteristics of the Plant:

Camellia japonica ‘Carter’s Sunburnt’ is a hardy, evergreen shrub that is easy to grow and maintain. Its stunning blooms are the main attraction of the plant and are loved by gardeners for their vibrant colors and graceful appearance.

The plant is also beneficial to wildlife as it attracts bees and other pollinators to the garden.

Plant Cultivation and Care:

Growing and caring for Camellia japonica ‘Carter’s Sunburnt’ is relatively easy and requires minimal effort.

The plant prefers acidic soil that is well-draining, and shaded positions are also ideal. Here are some tips for cultivating this plant:

Preferred Growing Conditions: Camellia japonica ‘Carter’s Sunburnt’ prefers acidic soil that is well-draining and rich in organic matter.

The plant thrives in partial shade or full shade, making it well-suited for underplanting in large trees or in other areas with little sunlight. The ideal temperature range for this plant is between 60 and 70 degrees Fahrenheit.

Planting and Maintenance: It is best to plant Camellia japonica ‘Carter’s Sunburnt’ in early spring, after the danger of frost has passed. Dig a hole that is twice the size of the root ball and add some compost or well-rotted manure to the planting hole.

Place the plant in the hole and backfill with soil, making sure that the plant is level with the surrounding soil. Water the plant thoroughly to help settle the soil and reduce any air pockets.

To maintain the plant, apply a layer of organic mulch around the base of the plant in late winter or early spring. This will help conserve moisture and also suppress weeds.

Camellia japonica ‘Carter’s Sunburnt’ also benefits from regular pruning to maintain its shape and promote healthy growth. Prune the plant after blooming has finished, but before new growth begins.

Pest and Disease Issues:

Like all plants, Camellia japonica ‘Carter’s Sunburnt’ is susceptible to pests and diseases. However, with proper care and maintenance, many of these issues can be avoided.

Below are some potential issues to be aware of:

1. Scale insects: Scale insects are small, non-moving insects that attach themselves to the leaves and stems of plants.

They can cause yellowing of leaves and stunted growth. To prevent scale insects, keep the plant well-maintained, prune off affected growth, and apply a horticultural oil to control infestations.

2. Camellia petal blight: Camellia petal blight is a fungal disease that affects the flowers of the plant.

Symptoms include brown, mushy flowers. To prevent this disease, remove all fallen flowers and leaves from the plant, avoid overhead watering and apply a fungicide to control outbreaks.

3. Camellia tea scale: Camellia tea scale is a type of armored scale that affects the leaves and branches of the plant.

Symptoms include yellowing leaves and black sooty mold. To prevent Camellia tea scale, apply horticultural oil to control infestations, and keep the plant well-maintained.


In conclusion, Camellia japonica ‘Carter’s Sunburnt’ is an attractive and easy-to-grow evergreen shrub that is ideal for adding color to your garden during the winter months. It is a low-maintenance plant that prefers acidic soil and partial to full shade.

With proper care and attention, and by being mindful of potential pests and diseases, you can enjoy this beautiful plant for years to come. Plant Propagation Methods:

Camellia japonica ‘Carter’s Sunburnt’ can be propagated using either sexual or asexual reproduction methods.

Sexual reproduction involves the use of seeds, while asexual reproduction involves the use of vegetative parts of the plant, such as stems, leaves, or roots.

Sexual Reproduction:

Growing Camellia japonica ‘Carter’s Sunburnt’ from seeds is a long process that requires patience and specific growing conditions.

The seeds of the plant must be collected from mature pods that have fallen from the plant. The seeds should be placed in a container filled with a damp mixture of peat moss and perlite and kept in a cool, dark location for several weeks.

Afterward, the seeds are then sown in soil and kept in a warm, humid environment. Within two to three weeks, the seedlings should emerge and be kept in these conditions until they are large enough to transplant outdoors.

Asexual Reproduction:

Asexual reproduction refers to the practice of clonal propagation, where new plants are grown from vegetative parts of a parent plant. Camellia japonica ‘Carter’s Sunburnt’ can be propagated through layering, cutting, and grafting methods.

Layering is a simple method where a low branch is selected and buried beneath the soil, allowing it to develop roots. Once the roots have grown after several months, the branch is removed from the parent plant and should be potted in a sterile mix until mature enough to transplant outdoors.

Cuttings are another common method of propagation. The best time to take cuttings is in the springtime from current season’s growth.

Make sure the cutting is free of any flowers or buds and is at least 4 to 6 inches long. Dip the cut end into rooting hormone, place it into a container filled with well-draining soil, and cover the container with plastic wrap to create a humid environment for the cutting.

Once roots have formed after several weeks, the new plant can be transplanted outdoors. Grafting is a method of propagation where a Camellia japonica ‘Carter’s Sunburnt’ cutting is grown on a rootstock of another plant.

This method is more difficult but is commonly utilized in commercial nursery practices.

Plant Adaptations to Different Environments:

Camellia japonica ‘Carter’s Sunburnt’ is an evergreen plant that is well adapted to living in different environments.

It can grow in USDA Hardiness Zones 7B to 10A, which indicates that it is capable of withstanding a wide range of temperatures. Camellia japonica ‘Carter’s Sunburnt’ displays some notable adaptations to different environments, including the following:

Cold Tolerance: Camellia japonica ‘Carter’s Sunburnt’ is a cold-hardy evergreen shrub that can withstand freezing temperatures, and is capable of surviving frost damage.

This plant is well suited for cooler climates and can be grown in northern regions where other varieties of Camellia may not survive. Shade Tolerance: Camellia japonica ‘Carter’s Sunburnt’ is an ideal plant for shaded gardens or under the canopy of trees.

It is well-adapted to low light levels, making it an excellent choice for gardeners looking to add color to these environments. Acidic Soil Tolerance: Camellia japonica ‘Carter’s Sunburnt’ can grow in acidic soils, which is a soil type common in many regions.

This plant has the ability to tolerate soil pH levels of between 5.0 and 6.5.

Drought Tolerance: Camellia japonica ‘Carter’s Sunburnt’ is a moderately drought-tolerant plant that requires regular watering but will survive short drought periods. Regular watering is important to ensure that the plant maintains its ideal growing conditions.

Avoid over-watering as this can lead to root rot. Salt-Tolerance: Camellia japonica ‘Carter’s Sunburnt’ has a reasonable tolerance to salt-laden environments.

However, when possible, it is recommended to avoid planting the plant in coastal areas where salt spray may damage the foliage. Conclusion:

Camellia japonica ‘Carter’s Sunburnt’ is a versatile plant that shows remarkable adaptations to different environments and conditions.

This plant can be cultivated either by sexual or asexual propagation, and is best suited for cultivation in partial to full shade and acidic soils. With proper care, fertilization and a suitable growing climate, the Camellia japonica ‘Carter’s Sunburnt’ can provide colorful, vibrant blooms that add value to any landscape.

Usage of the plant in indoor settings:

Camellia japonica ‘Carter’s Sunburnt’ can also be grown in indoor settings with proper care and management. It is an excellent choice for adding color to interiors, especially during the winter months when outdoor plants start to lose their leaves.

Indoor Camellia japonica ‘Carter’s Sunburnt’ will require similar growing conditions as outdoor plants, but with a few modifications. Light: Camellia japonica ‘Carter’s Sunburnt’ requires sunlight to produce buds, but harsh direct sunlight can damage the plant.

It is recommended to place the plant in a bright location with indirect sunlight. East or north-facing windows are ideal for indoor plant growth, as they provide bright, indirect sunlight.

Humidity: Camellia japonica ‘Carter’s Sunburnt’ prefers high humidity levels and will require a humidifier to maintain the ideal range. Alternatively, the plant can be placed on a tray filled with wet pebbles to increase humidity levels in the surrounding environment.

Watering: Consistent watering is important to maintain the plant’s growth and prevent root rot. Water the plant when the top layer of soil is dry.

Proper drainage is vital, so the plant is not sitting in water. Temperature: Maintain indoor temperatures that range from 60 to 70 degrees Fahrenheit.

Do not place the plant near cold drafts caused by windows or air conditioning units. Usage of the plant in outdoor settings:

Camellia japonica ‘Carter’s Sunburnt’ is an excellent addition to any outdoor garden.

It can be cultivated as a focal plant or used as a planting for shrub beds in borders and hedges. If incorporating the plant in the garden, it’s essential to choose a suitable outdoor location for the plant to thrive.

Light: Camellia japonica ‘Carter’s Sunburnt’ is primarily grown in shaded gardens; the plant can tolerate direct sunlight, but morning or late afternoon sun exposure is best suited for the ideal growth of the plant. Soil: Camellia japonica ‘Carter’s Sunburnt’ prefers acidic soils with pH levels ranging from 5.0 to 6.5. In outdoor growth, the soil should be well-draining and rich in organic matter.

The plant can also thrive in large containers with soil that meets the above-given conditions. Watering: During the hot, dry season, make sure the plant receives regular watering to maintain the ideal growing conditions.

Ensure proper drainage of the soil to prevent waterlogging. Pruning: Regular pruning helps maintain the desired shape of the plant and promotes healthy growth.

It is ideal for pruning after flowering, but before new growth appears. Design Ideas for Use:

Camellia japonica ‘Carter’s Sunburnt’ is an excellent choice for both indoor and outdoor environments.

When planning for outdoor growth, consider the height and spread of the mature plant and choose planting locations accordingly.

Outdoor ideas:

– Camellia japonica ‘Carter’s Sunburnt’ can be used to create dense hedges that offer privacy and shelter.

– Double-flowered varieties can be used as a focal point in the garden, accenting flower beds or rock gardens. – Plant alongside other shade-loving plants like hostas and ferns.

Indoor ideas:

– Arrange Camellia japonica ‘Carter’s Sunburnt’ along with other shade-loving plants like Peace Lily. – Use them as a centerpiece on a table.

– Group multiple plants together in a pot to create a focal point. Camellia japonica ‘Carter’s Sunburnt’ provides beauty and versatility to any garden or indoor space.

It is relatively easy to cultivate and maintain, making it an ideal choice for both new and experienced gardeners. Whether for outdoor or indoor growth, Camellia japonica ‘Carter’s Sunburnt’ is an eye-catching plant that can add color and value to any setting.

Toxicity of the Plant:

While Camellia japonica ‘Carter’s Sunburnt’ is non-toxic to humans, it can be harmful to pets and horses if ingested in large amounts. The plant contains saponins, which can cause mild irritation to the gastrointestinal tract and skin upon contact.

Pets and horses:

If ingested, the plant can cause vomiting, diarrhea, and abdominal pain in cats, dogs, and horses. It’s essential to keep pets and horses away from Camellia japonica ‘Carter’s Sunburnt’ and to seek veterinary assistance if signs of poisoning occur.


The plant is non-toxic to humans and can be enjoyed without risk of harm while handling or ingesting the plant. However, it is always important to avoid consuming any plant in large quantities and to ensure cleanliness and hygiene when handling the plant.

Precautionary measures:

It’s important to ensure that pets and horses do not have access to the plant; and always choose alternative plants that are non-toxic if you have pets or horses. If consumed by pets or horses, seek veterinary assistance immediately.

For humans, routine hygiene must always be maintained when handling plants; wash hands immediately after handling the plant. It’s important to always have knowledge about the potential dangers of any plant you plan to keep at your home or garden.

In conclusion, Camellia japonica ‘Carter’s Sunburnt’ is an attractive and versatile plant that is well-suited for use in both indoor and outdoor settings. It can be propagated through sexual or asexual propagation methods and has unique adaptations to different environments.

It can add value to any garden or indoor space with its colorful bloom and easy maintenance. However, it’s important to take appropriate precautions with pets and horses as it can be mildly toxic if consumed in high quantities.

Refer to the following FAQs to learn more about cultivating and caring for this stunning plant:

– What is the best way to propagate Camellia japonica ‘Carter’s Sunburnt’?

– What are some common pests and diseases that can affect this plant, and how can they be treated?

– How much sunlight and water does this plant require, and what is the best soil type to use for growth?

– What are some key design ideas for incorporating Camellia japonica ‘Carter’s Sunburnt’ into indoor and outdoor settings?

– Is Camellia japonica ‘Carter’s Sunburnt’ toxic to pets and horses, and what precautions should be taken if keeping the plant around them?

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