The camellia is a wonderful evergreen-type shrub that is popular in Southern landscaping. Camellias make great ground cover when found in compact form, and make great container plants. A camellia can last for many years if properly cared for. Here is how you can protect your camellia with mulch.
A camellia needs a slightly acidic soil. You can use an organic mulch, or a compost, to help with preserving moisture in the soil. If you choose to make your own compost mulch, you will want to avoid using diseased plants or flat live leaves. Flat leaves can keep water from entering the soil. Sawdust and straw also make great organic mulches.
When and How to Mulch
A camellia should have at least 3 inches of mulching to protect the moisture level in the soil. Since they have shallow roots, they need good drainage. It's best to raise the bed about 10 inches above the normal soil, and add the mulch on top of this.
With proper mulch, you shouldn't need to remove it before fertilization. This is why organic mulch is important. The organic varieties allow for better penetration of both water and fertilizer.