Camellias are Great for Pollinators

Jan 16, 2019

Hello Gardeners, I’m Amanda McNulty with Clemson Extension and Making It Grow. There is a huge push to grow native plants in an effort to help pollinators. But don’t throw out the baby with the bathwater – some of our most beloved non-natives are important food sources, too. Right now, camellias are coming into their glory. The cultivars that have single or semi-double flowers, that means they have functioning stamens and pistils, are used by European honeybees as a source of winter food – both nectar and pollen. This is the best time of year to add new plants to your garden, they have a chance to extend their root zone and will be better prepared for the hot, dry weather we’ll certain have come summer. There are some glorious fancy double and peony flowered cultivars but for the sake of our bees, do plant some of the equally lovely ones with less complex blooms, too.