Spring is here – almost summer weather – it’s hot and dry – pretty normal.
Our camellias are all full of new growth – a great time of the year but a tricky time as new foliage on the camellias is very delicate and prone to breaking off if not handled carefully.
We are not open to the public as a general thing at this time of the year – but we can be available by arrangement – and often are – whether you want one special camellia or a dozen or 100. We just ask that you call first – 54450333 – to confirm a mutually convenient time. We are at the end of the season so we might not have every variety – but we still have lots.
Around the garden, if you want to prune your camellias, last month was the time to do it – before the new growth starts. But now is better than not at all. A judicious prune refreshes established plants and keeps them to the size and shape you want. After pruning, give a fertilise using your preferred product, mulch, mulch, mulch and water. Keep an eye out for little insects like aphids in new growth – wipe them off, hose them off or use a systemic insecticide. Aphids can distort new growth, loopers and caterpillars can chew through new growth shoots. This can be an issue in newly planted small plants.
And the oft asked question – when is the best time to plant camellias? – we suggest late autumn and into winter, when the camellias are dormant ie not into active growth. This allows the roots to get established and the foliage acclimatized before the onset of our hot and often dry spring and summer. But many folk are still buying and planting camellias now – just make sure the soil is well prepared, organic material added, don’t plant deep, mulch and water in. Water daily until established.
Remember, sasanquas make the best hedges and screens and can handle the full sun – they also perform well in semi shade. In our SE Queensland climates, we recommend at least part shade for all japonicas and hybrids and reticulatas for them to grow and flower at their best. It is the sun on the dew on the flowers in the morning that does the most damage to camellia japonica flowers – so give them some shade.