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​Camellia ‘Desire’

Is this the prettiest camellia of all?


A vigorous, upright cultivar with deep green foliage and a medium to bushy habit. Flowers are perfectly formed, large formal doubles that fade from soft white to pink. The flowering period stretches from April to September. 



Camellia ‘Desire’ requires a shade to semi-shaded spot. Plant into free draining soil that has been enriched with plenty of compost. Avoid planting too deeply as this will set back growth. Ensure that the top of the potted plant’s soil is level with the existing soil upon planting. Water regularly and deeply, especially during the warm summer months. Pruning should be done annually, directly after flowering. Remove any dead or diseased branches and give your plants an overall prune back to a shape. Feed in early spring and autumn with a controlled release fertiliser. We like Kahoona, Thrive Granular Azalea & Camellia Food and Ferticote Rose, Gardenia, Azalea & Camellia fertiliser.



Photo - Robyn Mackenzie/


Pest and Disease

Camellias are typically hardy, pest and disease resistant plants. Scale and mites can become an issue if left untreated – to control; spray the affected plant with Eco-Oil or Natrasoap with good, even coverage. This may need to be repeated weekly until pests abate. Phytophthora root rot can also impede camellias. Symptoms include a gradual decline in vigour, loss of dark green colour, curling of leaves and excessive loss of older foliage. Feeder roots turn dark in colour, with larger roots following. This is more prevalent in boggy soils. An organically rich, free draining soil is the best defence. If root rot is present, spray the whole plant with Anti-Rot or RotGuard. 

Special Comments

Camellia ‘Desire’ has exceptional, large flowers that look surreal when cut. For excellent quality plants, take a trip out to Camellia Grove Nursery at 8 Cattai Ridge Road, Glenorie NSW. They are open 9am to 5pm 7 days a week, or give them a call on (02) 9652 1200. Check out their website at


Text: Linda Ross

About this article

Author: Linda Ross