The Camellia Plant And Flower

Here is informatio on growing the camellia plant.

If you are thinking about growing Camellias you will already know that they are evergreen shrubs, and very popular because of their great beauty because of their flowers, form and also foliage. They grow in a habit form, have glossy leaves and exquisitve form. To take care of them requires work but is not difficult. They can also be grown in the house or outside, any care you give them you will reap completely in enjoyment.

Most Camellias at first were imported from Europe but now are grown in gardens from southeastern Virginia thru the Carolinas to Florida an along the Gulf Coast and even along the Pacific coast.

Camillas can actually endure a great deal more cold than is usually believed and some are grown in greenhouses. They belong to the Tea family of plants. There are a number of varieties also and because of duplications in the plants there really isn't an actual count. The classifications are divided into three catagories:

Simple: All stamens central, single, with 5 to 7 petals, semi-double, with more than 7 petals.

Double: All stamens converted to petaloids, imbricated, petals overlapped and Incomplete Imbricated, same as Imbricated but with a large unopened center. Also included are Tiered, petals arranged in tiers, and Irregular, petals in a compact mass without order.

Incomplete Double: Petaloids mixed iwth stamens, Petaloids small, Petaloids large and Petaloids small and large, mixed.

What makes the Camillias to my way of thinking so beautiful is that they are evergreen and also that they will bloom in autumn and winter. Don't think these plants are in any way tropical as they are not adapted at all to areas where temperatures are high year-round. They like a cool winter season, but if you live in an area with high summer temperatures with lots of rainfall and winter with light frosts you can grow Camellias. These plants do best when the thermometer doesn't go below l5 or 20 degrees.

The hardiness of the plants will depend on the condition of each plant, and please do remember that floweres and partly-opened buds are injured much more easily than the leaves and twigs of the plant.

I have found that Camellias need an acid soil with organic material and plant nutrients and the soil should be well drained and friable. If the natural soil you have already is not exactly suited to the growing of Camillias you'll need to replace the soil with soil that is made up of one-third well-rotted cow manure, one-third decayed leaves, woods mold and similar items and then one-third garden soil. Now this may sound very detailed but really it isn't, and with this new soil mixture you'll need to add about a six inch pot of fertilizer to say one wheelbarrow full of soil.

Now let's plant after we prepare the soil, we'll plant in small size (up to 12 or 13 inches in height) and most times we'll transplant with bare roots. Try to handle the plants in any sizes with a ball of earth to protect the plant always. Set the plants in the new soil just the same as the depth from which you transplanted them, take some good compost and fill in beneath and around the balls of eather, now pack firmly in place and water well. Be sure to keep the soil moist and the tops should be sprayed with a fine mist two or three times weekly for about two months, if you take the time to show them this special care you'll be very sure to get the plants off to a good start.

It doesn't matter if you grow the plants in a garden or in a greenhouse bed, the plants will require the same attention. When you prune the plants, do this during the dormant season after they flower, you can prune when you gather the flowers and branches that didn't make any flowers can also be pruned. I have discovered if I prune every year I won't lose many flowers and I do leave the shoot buds, the long, pointed green buds where the new growth has started.

I think once you have seen the beautiful flowers on these evergreen plants you will want more and more of them for your garden to enjoy. The work will be a pleasure.

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