All Information About Hot Plant: Stewartia, An Ideal Small Tree

If you could just bring one tree into your yard or garden, it would have to offer interest for all seasons and beauty too. Stewartia is best at this job, from summer flowers to exceptional autumn texture to elegant peeling bark in winter. This Japanese tree is perfect to grow as patio or lawn specimens, borders, and woodland gardens. So, find more about the Japanese Stewartia here. Also, read about how to grow a Stewartia tree and take proper care of this remarkable thing!



As its name suggests, the Japanese Stewartia is a native to Japan. This tree is also known as Stewartia or Stewartia pseudocamellia. It is one of the most popular ornamental trees across the globe. The tree thrives in the hardiness zones of the United States Department of Agriculture 5 through 8. It features a dense tiara of oval-shaped leaves. This beautiful tree grows about 40-foot tall and shoots up to 24 inches a year.

More Information on Stewartia

It is difficult to start describing this tree’s ornamental aspects. Its pyramid or conical shape with dense canopy is pleasing. Branching starts close to the ground, such as crape myrtle, which makes it a nice entryway or excellent patio tree. People admire Stewartia for its summer blossoms, which look like camellias. The flowers appear for two months after its spring budding. These short-lived flowers keep on replacing one another rapidly. In autumn, the leaves blaze in yellows, reds, and purples prior to falling for revealing its spectacular peeling bark.

Noteworthy Characteristics

Stewartia Pseudocamellia is a slow-growing, pyramidal, small, deciduous tree. This tree is native to the mountains of the Korean peninsula and Japan. It could reach up to 60 inches in terms of tallness in the wild. However, in cultivation, it usually matures up to 40 inches over time with a slimmer canopy width. This Japanese tree could even be grown as multi-stemmed, large shrubs that reach about 15 inches. It has camellia-like, cup-shaped white flowers, which grow 2.5 inches in diameter along with showy yellow-orange anthers appearing in summer. Dark green, elliptic foliage of about 3-inch diameter turns impressive shades of burgundy and reddish-orange in autumn. Reddish-brown, exfoliating bark offers great interest and nice winter color. Camellia, Franklinia, and Stewartia all belong to the aceaetea family and blossom similar flowers. The genus name honors a 16th -century Scottish botanist, John Stuart, 3rd Earl of the Isle of Bute.


The tree is perfectly grown in moderately acidic, evenly moist, well-drained, organically rich sand loams in part shade to full sun. It does not perform great in clay, heavy soils, thin, dry soils, soils having poor drainage, and rocky soils. Stewartia cannot tolerate drought and needs consistent moisture. This Japanese tree prefers party shaded surroundings in weather like humid, hot summers. Also, afternoon sun should be shunned particularly in these weather conditions. If you are growing it in the colder hardiness range, then place the tree in a location protected from winter winds. The plants take some time to establish, where transplanting success becomes higher with the young ones.

Tips on Growing Stewartia tree


Some trees could tolerate different habitats if they are given extra care, but not the case with Stewartia. If this tree meets its need, there is no requirement of extra care. However, if conditions are not right, even extra care could not help it to adapt. Here’s what you should know about selecting the right variety and making an ideal environment.

Making the perfect space

  • People having a suitable spot with well-drained, acidic, fertile soil and partial shade could use it for growing a Stewartia tree. This becomes the landscape’s focus, where it grows.
  • Stewartia is perfect for all seasons. It features lustrous, oval leaves in spring. It boasts a profusion of cup-shaped, delicate white flowers in summer. In fall, leaves turn red and reveal the peeling bark.
  • It acts as a beautiful stand-alone specimen by a path, at the lawn’s edge, or at a wooden surface’s edge. It draws attention at the shrub border’s back, while keeping its companions like viburnums and azaleas short for showing off the trunk.
  • This tree looks striking rising from shade-tolerant groundcovers like periwinkle, asarum, or ferns.

Different varieties of Stewartias

Every Stewartia exhibits the same incredible features, which vary slightly from one species to the other one.

  • Japanese Stewartia is the most popular one, which rises to 60 feet in the wild and about 30-40 feet in gardens.
  • The close relative to that one is Korean Stewartia, also called S. pteropetiolata var. koreana. It features lively reddish-orange fall foliage and wider spreading flowers. It grows in a hardy zone 6 and rises around 40 feet.
  • S. mona delpha is a tall Stewartia, which reaches around 60 feet or 18 meters under ideal conditions. It features smaller flowers and grows in hardy zone 6.
  • Showy Stewarita (S. ovata var. grandiflora) and Virginia Stewartia (S. malacodendron) are two Stewartia varieties native to the continent’s southeastern part. The former one blossoms 4-inch large flowers and orange-scarlet fall foliage. It rises about 15 feet in tallness. The latter features large flowers and a compact size. Both of these varieties do perfectly well in hot, humid climates and grow in hardy zone 7.

Growing Stewartia

  • Choose a protected, shady site with acid, well-drained soil mixed with the organic matter.
  • Stewartia transplants badly and need to be planted in a permanent site when still young.
  • One can plant this tree in early spring with the intact soil ball for avoiding damage to roots. You have to keep this soil moist in the primary season.
  • Cover this root zone with a 3.25-inch-thick layer of organic mulch. Also, water it during droughts using a hose letting it drip slowly onto the soil for some hours.
  • Young trees will grow gradually for a few years and then, reach about 60 centimeters in height yearly until their full size.
  • They are untroubled by diseases and pests.
  • Pruning is not important except repairing any damaged limbs.

So, remember these tips and encourage your Stewartia to bloom by providing a suitable environment to let it thrive. Watch this video to know more!


Now, you can grow this beautiful tree in your yard or garden to add more charm. Use acidic soil for growing it with a pH of 4.5-6.5. Use organic compost so that the soil retains moisture. Provide some afternoon shade in warm climates and full sun in colder regions. This tree can live up to 150 years if given proper care. So, grow Stewartia and make the landscape a bit more beautiful. Post your comments below if you have any queries. Also, share the article with other landscape lovers who will enjoy growing this lovely tree!

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