Every Summer my camellias along my entry walk look constantly droopy and I have to water and irrigate them every week. Now it's Winter, they look perfectly happy. I am coming to the conclusion that they have more of a need for water during the hot summer months here in Atlanta and far less of a need for water during the winter. Yes, it does tend to rain more in the winter but that can't account for all of the difference. It must have something to do with the fact that they need less water in the winter and need more water in the summer. Can anyone please validate this conclusion or shed some light on it for me? Thanks.
Watering needs Summer vs. Winter
In simple terms (there is probably some botanist on this site that can explain it in great details) the plant transpires a lot more during the heat of summer than winter. It is perfectly normal. Kind of like our bodies - the hotter it is the more you sweat, the more you need to replenish the water you just lost.
I water my camellias at least twice a week in summer and they have grown like proverbial weeds. I haven't had to water any established plant in winter because the ground is usually wet/moist and the temps are low enough to keep the plant from losing a of water through its leaves.
I live in the Atlanta area too so we have similar conditions. How do you water your camellias? For example I bought a 4-part nozzle from Home depot and water 4 at a time with a slow stream . . . slow enough to give the water time to sink down into the soil and not run off. So I'm just wondering what technique you use to water your camellias?
Where does one buy "micro sprinklers that run off a battery operated timer" ??
Sometimes I feel like I'm nothing more than a parrot, just copying back the words people put forward with no understanding of what they mean. Could you just tell me what a "Micro sprinkler" is?
It is a very tiny sprinkler but with this setup you use a lot less water than your conventional sprinklers. Have you heard of drip irrigation? Micro sprinklers use the same set up - a main tube (1/2 inch) and then spaghetti tubing that you tap into the main tubing. The spaghetti tubing can either have a micro sprinkler or a drip emitter (1/2, 1, 2 gallons per hour for example). The micro sprinklers come in different patterns (1/4, 1/2. or full circle). Go with the 1/4 circle when you need something in a corner for example and I prefer the 1/2 circle to the full circle because the full circles now only spray small jets so if the plant is not under one of the few jets then it may not get watered while the 1/2 circle sprays the full 1/2 circle. Anyway buy the micro sprinkler kit instead of the drip kit (about $20 to $25) and then add more heads as you need it. It has enough parts to get you started - a punch tool for tapping in the main tube, a very long main tubing, lots of spaghetti tubing, several heads, and the parts to connect to a garden hose.
The timers vary but Orbit has a 4 zone timer, a 4 port manifold (buy a brass manifold though since it beats the metal and plastic one provided), and 2 valves (you can buy the extra 2 valves separately). Set up is fairly easy and the batteries usually last 2 seasons.
Here is a picture of one of my timers. This is a single port and an extra port that is not on the timer. The bad thing about this timer is it doesn't allow for a 7 day cycle. The four port does.