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What do I do with a large Camelia


 
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Maeve Drogheda
Rank attained: Sessile Oak Tree
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Joined: 08 Feb 2011
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Location: Drogheda Ireland

PostPosted: Mon Apr 04, 2011 8:10 pm    Post subject: What do I do with a large Camelia Reply with quote

I have been given a large camelia, as a rememberance gift, as my Dad died two weeks ago, and so I want to do what is best for it. Should I grow it initially in a large pot, or put it directly in to the ground. I don't have acid soil so I have bought the right compost. It likes sun and partial shade and I have that and will grow to 200cm. Any advice from camelia growers would be a big help.

It is called Camelia Japonica, Blood of China.

PS forum has been a great help keeping me distracted.

Maeve
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Sive
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Joined: 18 Apr 2008
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Location: Co.Wexford

PostPosted: Tue Apr 05, 2011 7:50 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I am so sorry to hear about your father. My own father died around this time of year, a long time ago, and my mother often said she would not have got through her shock and sadness without her garden....she was always grateful that he died in the spring which meant she had six months of work in her garden as a way of coming to terms with her loss. I think nature has great healing powers. I hope it is the same for you.
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michael brenock
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PostPosted: Tue Apr 05, 2011 8:37 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

lovely story. if you grow it in a container it will always be dependent on water to be given to it but you will have control over the soil acidity and the fertility. I would select a sheltered well drained partially shaded area and put in acid soil and plant there.
michael brenock horticultural advisor (retired)
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Maeve Drogheda
Rank attained: Sessile Oak Tree
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Location: Drogheda Ireland

PostPosted: Tue Apr 05, 2011 12:31 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Thanks for the kind words and the information on the Camelia.

I am going to grow in in a large pot this year and see how I get on with it, and next year I have a lovely spot where my ceanothus is at the moment and will be cut down and dug out after it flowers, ( well the top 1/4 of it will flower, the rest of it is dead). It will be in a spot where we sit, and also where we can see it from the house, and watch it flower. I still have a couple of questions though.

1. Do I need to protect it from frost.
2. Does it need specialist feeding liquid.
3. Does it like morning sun - was advised it doesn't.
4. How much pruning will it take.
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Sive
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PostPosted: Tue Apr 05, 2011 2:45 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I have always heard that Camellias should not be exposed to morning sun. I don't think frost is a problem, rather that the flowers need to thaw naturally after a frosty night.
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michael brenock
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PostPosted: Tue Apr 05, 2011 7:32 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

if frost is not a problem then the early morning sun should not do any harm. if you have a choice of it being seen in a sunny place then pick a place facing South or south west rather than south east. There is no need to give it protection from the frost unless you are at a very high elevation. There is no need for specialised pruning except to cut back any bare straggling stem. Feed once a year with an ericaceous (heather) feed. Will do well up against a wall or fence. if put in front of other shrubs there is competition from roots.
michael brenock horticultural advisor (retired)
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aine
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PostPosted: Tue Apr 05, 2011 10:01 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

i am very sorry for your loss too maeve

i lost my mother 6 years ago and i can honestly say that the pain is still there. it is such a lovely gift to receive (remembrance gift)...each time you look out you can think of your dear dad

michael, think i'm a bit confused now...are you saying that a camellia can be planted in the ground with ericaceous compost added. i would love to have a camellia here but soil is lime (did ph test) and i had sadly ruled a camellia out at that stage?
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michael brenock
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PostPosted: Wed Apr 06, 2011 5:54 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

best approach is to dig a hole about 1 ft deeep and 2-3 feet in diameter, line it with black plastic bin liner and put a few holes 9-10 on bottom and sides. Fill it with ericaceous compost and plant the Camellia directly out of the pot without disturbing the roots. water well after planting . Add some compost and feed every Spring.
michael brenock horticultural advisor (retired)
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aine
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PostPosted: Wed Apr 06, 2011 9:21 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

thanks for that michael. never thought i would be able to plant a camellia here but i'm defintiely going to give it a go now
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Maeve Drogheda
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Location: Drogheda Ireland

PostPosted: Mon Apr 11, 2011 6:23 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Thanks for the advice. I am still going to leave it in a large pot for this year but I have a nice spot (where the escallonis used to live) and next year I am going to plant it here, sheltered and sunny, on a south facing wall.

It has not started to flower yet, but there are lots and lots of buds on it so when it does flower I will post a photo.

Sive and Aine you are so right, the garden connects me to Dad as he thought me all I know, and also keeps me too busy to be sad for long. Which he would hate.

Maeve
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