Re: [gardeners] camellias

Michael & Bambi Cantrell (
Sun, 3 Jan 1999 17:59:27 -0500


It must be a sasanqua camellia, as they are the ones that bloom in the
fall of the year.  Depending on the type, they can bloom in Oct, Nov, or
Dec.  Obviously yours is going to want to bloom early, in Oct.  :-)

It's situation sounds perfect, as you probably need the protection of the
house for it to survive.  I would suggest pruning it
now that it has finished blooming.  Prune now so you don't cut off next
flower buds by pruning after they have formed.
In the spring, when it starts its active growth period, fertilize with
a balanced fertilizer, possibly a azalea, rhodo, camellia fertilizer.
Even a balanced 10-10-10 or something like that would be ok.

Go ahead and have a soil test done by taking a pint of dirt over to the
County Extension Agents office.  Dig down about 6" and get a shovel-full
of dirt, and mix it up really well, put it in a plastic bag and take it to
the Agents office.  They will help you with it after you get there.
That way, you can tell what else your soil might need next spring.

I would also watch to make sure it gets enough water, since it is
so protected by the house.  It may be too dry for it to grow well,
and may need additional water.

I think it has *lots* of potential.  :-)  I grow several different kinds to
prolong the bloom period from the fall through to the spring, as they
all have their own season of bloom.

David in SC may have some additional tips as he tends and grows these
sorts of things professionally.
Good luck!!  :-)

Coastal Carolina

>Dear Bambi,
>  Camellias, eh!?  I just recognized one of my bushes out back as a
>camellia.  I had about 3 white blossoms in October - none since or ever
>before!  It's about waist high...very scrawny looking with only 3
>branches to it.  I was wondering what you might recommend for me to do
>with it?  What kind of fertilizers, plant foods, pruning etc?  It's
>situated in a three sided ell of the house, facing north, but protected
>on all sides but the one facing north.  Any hope for it?
>  Carolyn
>  Zone 7a
>  Bethesda
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