Camellia, star of winter

Camellia, star of winter



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The name "Camellia" comes from the botanist Joseph Kamel who went to China and Japan and who made known in the 17th century this shrub with beautiful evergreen and varnished foliage. Appreciated for its brilliant and opulent flowering throughout the winter, the camellia offers indeed according to the varieties of flowers from November to the end of April. Most bloom in February / March but some start much earlier and others end in May. Very present in the garden with its thick and waxy petals, the camellia is available in sumptuous colors, from white to dark red through all the shades of pink. The single or grouped flowers are single or double and do not lack elegance with their golden yellow stamens. Often considered a delicate shrub, difficult to cultivate, the camellia should in no way frighten the gardener, on the contrary, provided you know this flower and its little secrets well!

What varieties of camellias to choose?

Are you seduced by this shrub that lights up the garden all winter? First of all it is necessary to know if your soil is acidic or calcareous. Because the camellia only accepts acidic soil rich in humus to develop well. If yours is limestone, unfortunately do not try to cultivate it unless you change your land, as we will discuss later. Have you decided? So it remains to choose from the many varieties that can be distinguished according to different criteria. Their flowering period Spring camellias flower in March / April or late in April / May, winter camellias, Camelia japonica and Camelia x williamsii are in flower from December sometimes until spring and finally the autumn camellias , Camelia sasanqua are in bloom from October to December. The forms and aspects of flowers - Single flowered camellia The single flower is formed by a single row of petals surrounding a heart of clearly visible stamens: "Yume", "Crimson Candles", "Versicolor", "Tulip Time", "Fairy Blush"… - Camellia with semi-double flowers The semi-double flower consists of at least two rows of petals: "San Dimas", "Adolphe Audusson", "Donation", "Peach blossom" ... - Camellia with double or shaped flowers anemone "Sugar Dream", "Bob's Tinsie", "California Sunset", "Takanini" ... - Camelia with double peony flowers "Anticipation", "Nobilissima", "Blood of China", "Margaret Davis"… If the choice can be aesthetic, the varieties with single or semi double flowers are also recognized as more resistant to temperature differences than the others. A word to the wise ... A palette of colors White, pink, red or two-tone? Which shade to choose? Add color to the garden… - White flowers "Quintessence", "Silver Waves", "Lily Pons", "Cinnamon Cindy", "Nobilissima"… - Red flowers "Coquetti", "Anticipation", "Manuroa Road", " Latifolia "," Paolina Guichardini "," Bonanza "… - Yellow flowers" Jury's Yellow "… - Pink flowers" Debbie "," Donation "," Désir "," Gloire de Nantes "," Comte de Gomer "," Tulip Time "," Interlude "...

Plantation and cultivation of camellia

As we explained previously the camellia needs an acid soil to develop. The soil must not contain the slightest trace of limestone. If your soil is not suitable you can always dig a trench 40 to 50 cm deep and use a mixture made of heather earth, leaf mold and peat. The soil pH should ideally be around 5.5 to 6.5 for a camellia. If your soil is neutral (pH 7), then add heather earth to the original soil. Plan for your shrub in a rather sunny location without it being too hot. This will avoid exposure due south. If the camellia tolerates temperatures of -15 ° C it is very sensitive to the alternation of frost and thaw, it will therefore be sheltered from North and East winds and icy air currents, by example at the foot of a wall or a compact persistent hedge. Once the location found, plan a planting hole whose volume will be at least double that of the root ball. If the root ball is dry, soak your container in a large container of water, drain and remove the container. You can then plant. Be careful not to do it during frost or when it snows!

Appropriate care

Protect your camellia from the cold The roots of the camellia are particularly fragile and fear frost. It is therefore essential to protect the base of the shrubs with straw, dry leaves, pine needles, and this in the fall. In regions where the winter is very harsh, we can cultivate the camellia in trays which we will return to a lighted and sheltered room unheated from November. Fighting drought The camellia dreads the dryness of the soil and the air. It is important to keep the soil moist with frequent and generous watering, especially in summer. Mulching the soil will also maintain good humidity at the base of the shrubs. Remember to bask the foliage in summer when it is dry and hot with non-calcareous water. The size of the camellia Camellia does not need to be pruned to flower. But its development is sometimes disorderly and a cut can then be made after flowering to discipline the branches and give a harmonious shape to the camellia. Also remember to remove dead wood or twigs that are too close to the ground or lying on it. If your camellia has suffered from frost, wait until the vegetation has resumed before cutting. Prune only what is really damaged above a new bud-bearing shoot. With these tips, there is no doubt that the camellia culture will enchant you. A fascinating plant, star of winter! video id = "0" / Our practical gardening videos