This small tree provides a show for every season. Clean green springtime foliage is the perfect backdrop for stewartia's camellia-like flowers in early summer. The showy blossoms begin as large marble-shape white buds. The sprouts open to reveal white cup-shape flowers with bright orange centers.
As summer turns to fall, stewartia foliage turns shades of bronze and purple to usher in the season. After the leaves drop, this small tree's peeling bark takes center stage. The reddish-brown bark provides interest through winter.
Japanese Stewartia Tree Landscape Ideas
Slow growing and reaching a height of 15 to 30 feet tall and 20 to 25 feet wide at maturity, Japanese stewartia is a good fit for small landscapes. Because it is a multiseason-interest plant, it is an excellent specimen plant for a front yard or a focal point plant near a patio or outdoor room. Pair this easy-care tree with low-maintenance shrubs, such as shrub roses, ninebark, viburnum, and spirea, to create a hardworking planting area that requires little work.
Growing Japanese Stewartia Tree
Japanese stewartia grows best in full sun or part shade and moist, organically rich, well-drained soil. In regions with warm summers, plant it in a protected location where it will receive shade from intense afternoon sun—the east or north side of a house or building is a good choice. Stewartia is commonly sold as a large, multistem shrub, as well as a tree. Check your local nursery for plant forms available in your area.
Plant stewartia in spring or early summer. Water plants regularly during the first year after planting to encourage a deep, extensive root system. Continue to water deeply during extended dry periods. Though pruning is rarely needed, winter is the best time to remove broken branches and those that are crossing or rubbing. Stewartia has no serious insect or disease problems.