Planting out a camellia – a basic ‘how to’

We are often asked what to do when planting out a camellia in the garden.

Well, we have been planning to plant out as many of what we call the Tama no Ura family – seedlings that originated from Tama no Ura. These include Class Act, Ena’s Joy, Strike a Light, Tama Beauty, Tama Honnie, Volunteer, a couple of unregistered seedlings of ours – that sort of thing.

So today we planted out the first one – Ena’s Joy.

Here are some pics of the process.

We had pre-dug a hole some weeks ago and added composted material, horse poo and covered it all with mulch. So we re-dug the hole ready to go..

Keep in mind the plant’s needs when selecting your planting spot – well drained, slightly acidic soil, part shade for these japonicas.

Taking the plant from the pot, we see that the root ball is fairly solid so we loosen the root ball by ‘raking’ down the side of the root ball and across the bottom with a 3 pronged hand cultivator. This will take the roots out of that ‘pot’ shape and encourage new root growth when replanted. If it has been dry, it is a good idea to put the plant, pot and all, into a bucket of water – totally submerge it until the air bubbles are all out. This way we know that the entire root ball is wet through.

We found lots of worms enjoying the organic matter and poo so we relocated them to a safer spot for their protection.

Trial place the plant in the hole – this one was way too deep so we back filled so that the plant was still slightly higher than the surrounding garden. This allows for the soil in the hole to settle once planted and watered in. We always like to have the plant planted just a little higher than the garden. Position the plant so that it is facing the way you want it.

Firm in the plant – gently – I lightly tread around the root ball. It should not be packed down too tightly.

We added a light sprinkle of fertiliser, the plant already had fertiliser in the pot so it did not need much. We will add more in spring.

Place the name tag where you can find it. We always have the tag on the right hand side of the trunk when standing below or facing the ‘front’ of the plant. We like to have the name of the plant and a reference as to where or who we got it from. Stick the marker into the soil in your preferred position – somewhere you will be able to find it again.

Water the plant in. We have had 135mm of rain in the past 2 days so both the plant and the new position were nicely moist. We still used half a bucket of water.

Mulch – we used wood chip that has been standing for a few months – ready to be used. Any organic mulch is useful – avoiding mushroom compost; mulch keeps the moisture in, suppresses weed growth, insulates the soil from temperature extremes and adds nutrient as it decomposes. We always throw down some nitrogen rich fertiliser – blood and bone is useful – before we mulch.


Stand back and enjoy – or in our case – one down, 9 to go!

2 Responses to “Planting out a camellia – a basic ‘how to’”

Leave a Reply

XHTML: You can use these tags: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <s> <strike> <strong>