The camellias this year have been prettier than they have been in years. The buds are holding on the plant and the flowers are much larger than normal when they do open. I also noticed a lot of buds on my banana shrub, Michelia figo, this year. This particular shrub rarely has more than a few buds at a time and this year it is loaded.
Do you think it could be the abundant rainfall? I would have thought we had too much. Or, perhaps it is the more consistant temperatures. Usually we swing back and forth between hot and cold and this winter it was all cold.
I agree with you both. My camellias have never had such an abundance of blooms. We can only hope that the cold also took care of the insects that cause so much damage on camellias. I've also noticed an abundance of daffodil blooms and it looks like the tulips are going to do the same thing. Let's all get some pictures of our beautiful blooms and show them off. I could not resist the anemones at the nursery today. Does anyone elso love this plant as much as I do ?
I really think the consistent temps have had a huge effect - i recall the last few years the warm up started everything going and then the freeze killed it back and the saga went back and forth like 4 times during the winter so I'm willing to bet the consistent temps helped..but what do i know LOL!!!
I don't know if I just have great conditions for camellias or what but I have zero insect problems or any other kinds of problems. Stick them in the ground and forget. It doesn't get cold enough to stop a camellia from blooming here but I really don't know how well they grow in other places, if fact till I moved here I had never seen anything bloom during the winter. Except for pine trees nothing had leaves either.
It may be the salt air. I am not sure, but I too have few if any problems with my camellias. I can only think of one time when I had tea scale on a sasanqua. It makes me think I probably brought the scale in when I bought the plant.
This is a specis camellia Handelii that I just had to have recently. I found it at Massee Lane Gardens, home of the American Camellia Society. The flowers are just 1" across but just look at how many of them there are on each branch. The branches weep too, it is a really different looking camellia.
from what I've heard of camellias, they are not easy to establish, but once established, they are indestructable.
photo of ours. It was here when we moved in. As you can see, it's huge, and planted much much too close to the house. The birds (one set is cardinals) that reside inside sometimes peck on the wood of the house and can be heard in the living room!
I know this thread is about the abundance of camellia blossoms, but I have noticed an increase in my daphne blooms, too. My daphne has never had such a display of blossoms as I am enjoying currently. All I have to do is open the patio door and inhale its sweet perfume, which I do constantly. It's a real joy when it is in bloom.
Isn't it amazing! That is just how my banana shrub is this year; just covered with bods and flowers. It is nice to think that something positive came out of this hateful winter. I thought maybe the azalea flowers would have been harmed but now I am anxiously awaiting them.
Ardesia, that camellia is beautiful. I've added it to my "I want list". I probably should not have mentioned the cold keeping away insect and disease from camellias because mine are 40 year old bushes and I have almost no problems with them. When you live in mosquitoe heaven like we do the long cold winters help alot. Trying hard to find some good in such a miserable winter.
All of your pictures are beautiful.
Hemophobic: I am so jealous of your Daphne. I have the same one and it has been very slow growing. I received it from a friend who had rooted it for me from her bush. It is 2 years old and only about 12" high. Is there any special treatment or care for these beautiful bushes? I can almost smell yours when I look at the picture. Heavenly!
Thank you both for your comments. It smells divine! All I have to do is open the back door and the fragrance wafts in. Heaven!
BSD: I have given mine no special care. I just plopped it in that bed and it is now at least 3X3 and I have a couple of branches in a glass now that I'm hoping to root. That is a slightly raised bed and has good drainage and I think that's important for daphnes. I have one in Asheville that's in a totally raised bed and this is its first year to bloom for me. It's been in the ground for 4 years, so they take a while to establish and you'd best have it where you want it because they resent being moved. I'll never be without one because they smell like spring itself. So glad I could share it with you both!
BSD - I would trim it back if I thought it would come back. But, I've trimmed off blossoming branches as high up as I can easily reach. It hasn't come back on the low side AT ALL.
Having said that - I'd trim it back if you know how I can use the trimmed cuttings to create more! I love this and would like to have MORE and some to share with family members that are agaga at this one.
It has no scent, though. I'd love to know the names of some of the fragrant camellias I've heard of that would grow well here.
Bonjon -- Hi neighbor! :-) I wondered the same thing about using the trimmings to make new plants. I wonder if they're like some plants that you can put in a bucket of water and they'll root. Anyone know? I have a rather large camelia as well (about 15' tall), and I need to trim it back from the sidewalk and shed (so I can get through there). I'd love to create a few more of this plant if the trimmings will root. Anyone know?
Aw Shucks, I am afraid I have murdered more than my share of plants also. I am a do as I say not as I do gardener. Isn't it Tony Avant who says you have to kill a plant 3 times before you say it won't grow in your location.
Yup, Ardesia, that's "Pure" Tony! Even has a T-shirt to that effect. We've killed more than three to prove they won't grow here on this property, and I believe we now qualify as "professional assasins". The list is surprising to us, considerering everybody all around us produce beatiful plants of the same species. For example, Loropetalume. Who can't grow dat? Beautiful specimens all over Charleston in hundreds of different micro-climates, but we can't get one to last more than a year, let alone flourish. Osmanthus fragrans is another one (although an outlier). We've got two that we've had for probably 10 years, but they ain't happy! Puny, is the best I can describe them. A UPS truck ran over the roots of the bigger one, which didn't help it any! Clearly not happy. Ligularia, Indian Hawthorne, Plumbago, Acanthus, Echinacea, the failure list is endless. In spite of the endless hours hours we spent trying to "coax them" to fruition. It's a strange world we live in...(and yeah, we get our soil tested every year, so that's not the problem...) But the good news is, we've learned to go with the flow..."if it works, don't fix it"...
Osmanthus fragrans seems to be picky about where it's planted. I just needed something on the shady side of my house and the tea olives grew so well I dug a few up due to over crowding and transplanted them. Transplants have not found a happy home. Don't know what's up with that but it seems I got lucky on the first try.
Loropetalum chinense??/ LOL. That's a tricky little devil.
I have problems with brugmansias and it seems to always be with water and sun light. Can't seem to work out the right combo.
I also have a complete inability to use peat moss in anything. Tried, failed, drowned, death by fungus. Tried those peat pellets one year for seed starting, won't try that a again.
I share your frustration, core! It seems the more you fuss over them, the more recalcitrant they become. I've had good luck with a Brugmansia "Charles Grimaldi" in a spot where it shouldn't do well, but comes back reliably every year from the roots. It's shooting up foliage even as we "speak"... In a last minute "desperation move" before the first freeze last winter, I made two cuttings of this thing with the hope of offering them for sale at "Plantasia" (Charleston thing). They've both survived, and are flowering! Really strange to see a foot-and-a-half tall Bruggie with a 2' flower dangling from it...
That "Charleston thing", Plantasia, that Stono refers to is going to be held on April 24th on the grounds of the Gaillard Auditorium in downtown Charleston. All sorts of exceptional, and in many cases rare, plants will be for sale to benefit the Charleston Horticultural Society. The time is 8 a.m. to noon but you need to be there right at 8 to get the prime plant material. They also have a real yard sale with garden "stuff" at bargain prices. Admission is free and it will be held rain or shine.
Pray for shine, Ardesia! That year that we had cold rain (think it was '04, but it's permanently blocked from memory!) was horrible for us "worker bees"... But your advice is dead on! Get there early! In all honesty over the many years I've done this thing, most of the unusual/breakthrough stuff is gone by 9 a.m. It's kinda scary, how quickley the "good stuff" gets gone! We had a Mahonia "Tender Caress" selected out and set aside under the table, but it got gone in the melee. I'll be in the "Gold Medal Plant" thingie again this year...if you make it up here, please intoduce yourself! I've got some neat stuff to appear in "Members Favorites" this year...Some 2-3-4 yr old Key Lime trees, some 2 year old Vigna Caracalla vines, Hibiscuss Coccinea, Odontonema Strictum...etc. Should be a good year, in spite of the economy!
It's on my calendar but I may have all the kids home that weekend and they always trump plants.
I have a Mahonia "Tender Caress" in a container on my deck and it is a great plant. Although it was young it had no trouble with the wacky weather this past winter, it was blooming on the gloomiest of days.
I'm old enough to understand "trump" Ardesia!... We tried and tried all last year to get a Mahonia "Tender Caress", but it wasn't available anywhere, which I thought was really strange---considering we'd hyped it so much at CHS. Couple of weeks ago, I was sent to Hyam's in search of some strange Ardesia that I'd never heard of. Couldn't find it, but I DID find a Mahonia "Tender Caress" available for purchase. I snatched it up! And got off the hook for failing to find the Ardesia. Sometimes things just work themselves out...
I got mine as a promo at a national gardening confab and have been very pleased with it's characteristics and growth, it was just a baby when I got it. Picked it up at the Novalis booth. They had quite a few interesting plants that are being introduced right in our own backyard but seem to be hard to find around here. Go figure.
Most famous video game of all time. Something like 10 versions over time. Mario Brothers was the game that came with the first Nintendo game system and they keep making different versions as new machines come out.
been swamped with garden stuff, not been on here since I last posted on here. just now saw your comment on starting cuttings in bucket of sand.
any particular time best?
Because I spent six weeks cleaning house and yard for local iris society meeting at my house. Had new exterminator come in and told me I need to trim that camellia back - we had cockroarch infestation in house, he says they are getting on, falling on roof from the trees, from there getting in through hole somewhere. They are wood roaches, trees are their natural habitat, they are getting in from roofline. Unlike german cockroaches, not as bad, and one spraying OUTSIDE the house has eliminated them.
He says they'll be back unless I trim the camellia, then if that doesn't work, trim back VERY high up branches.
So, I gotta trim the camellia. Might as well make baby camellias, right?
Whew, you are one busy person. We also have to keep all the shrubbery well away from the house to keep the critters at bay.
I like to air layer camellias but if you have to trim quickly, I would try the bucket of sand. I believe it was Stono who told me he uses the sand bucket method. If my memory serves, you fill a bucket with damp sand, stick your cuttings and put it aside in a shady place for a while. I imagine you would use a rooting hormone and be sure to keep the sand moist. Good luck.
Ardesia's got it right, bonjon. I used a 5 gallon bucket that once held "Strongicid" (some horsey medicine) that a friend donated. Drilled a few small holes in the bottom, put about 8" of sand in it, filled the bucket with water and let it drain out. The cuttings were "green wood", and I did use rooting hormone on them. I covered the top of the bucket with translucent plastic (tied tight), and put it in the woods behind the greenhouse (dappled shade, no direct sun). Two months later I had 27 out of 30 very healthy rooted cuttings. To get the cuttings out without totally destroying the nice new roots, I gently filled the bucket with water and poured them out. Mistake. I couldn't pot them fast enough to keep the roots moist. So I potted as many as I could, left 12 plants in the bucket, misted them thoroughly, covered the bucket with the plastic, and went to make more potting soil... They all lived, though.