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If you've never grown a camellia in your garden before,
then there really is no excuse, because you can choose
from more than 3,000 named varieties.
There are four species; Japonica, Sasanqua, Reticulata
and Hybrid camellias.
At Dural Lawn Mowing we like Camellias for the beauty of their flowers, although
very few have a scent. The flowers also come in many
shapes and sizes.
They are quite a tough plant and fairly easy to look
after although the soil should be kept damp and not
allowed to dry out.
They need acidic soil to survive, requiring a ph level
of between 5 and 6.5. Special potting mix is available
Camellias may be grown in pots, but need to be moved
to bigger pots to prevent them becoming root bound.
They can be grown indefinitely in big pots around 600mm
Most of the camellias you see growing in private and
public gardens are japonicas. Sasanquas are a bit hardier
and easier to grow but only have a very small flower
which falls very quickly.
The sasanqua is an early flowerer and is finished by
early June when the japonica takes over.
Japonica has many types of flowers and names, and colours go
from snow white to very dark red, almost tinged with
black. There is also one which comes out quite a deep purple
Japonicas start flowering in May and continue until
the end of September.
During the middle of July the reticulata starts flowering
and also continues until the end of September.
Reticulata is the larger flowering camellia. They do tend to require very regular pruning to prevent them from getting too tall with all the foliage and flowers at the top.
There are four main types of camellia flowers.
The formal double has lots and lots of petals. The informal
double has a "lettuce like" formation, but
is much smaller. Semi-doubles feature a massive column
of stamens in the centre. The double centre has a profusion
of little petals in the middle of a flower with large
Camellias need very little fertilising.
Though about the middle of August to the middle of September
is the best time to give them a push along.