Confused ...

muddytoez8Wa(z 8, WA)February 25, 2005

Confused about the best location for planting Camellias.

I live in Western Wa State, zone 8. I have read to plant in dappled shade, full shade and full sun. I planted a 3 ft tall Camellia on the southeast side of my house under the canopy of a cedar tree where it will get full shade. Now I am thinking I should move it now... sure would like input from Camellea growers... thanks.

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PeaBee4(9a)

dappled shade is the best. Full sun is usually not a good idea for most camellias. The bush can stand it, but the buds and blooms can get 'sunburnt'. Now, under that cedar tree may not be a good place because the cedar is going to take a lot of moisture and nutriment from the soil. If it's the only shade you have, I would take a chance and leave it. Just make sure that it gets plenty of water so that it doesn't dry out.

    Bookmark   February 25, 2005 at 8:49AM
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John_D(USDA 8b WA)

Due to our uniquely mild climate in western Washington, where sunburn is quite rare, camellias will thrive in full sun (though he leaves may begin to look a tad yellowish in very warm summers). But camellias are flexible: I have some fifty planted on both the north and south side of the house, most of them in dappled shade, several in full sun, others in morning or afternoon sun. All of them are thriving, though I have found that camellias getting too much shade will get fewer flowers or none at all. In a few cases I've had to increase their exposure to the sun by pruning out overhead branches to get them to bloom.

    Bookmark   February 25, 2005 at 1:27PM
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muddytoez8Wa(z 8, WA)

Thanks PeaBee and John .... I had planned to put the Camellia in a south facing corner of my house, sw, where it would get morning to noon shade and full sun most the afternoon. Sounds like it would do well there after all.
I'm happy if my plant it happy. : )

    Bookmark   February 25, 2005 at 2:37PM
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muddytoez8Wa(z 8, WA)

Well I decided, (final decision I trust), to get another Camellia to plant in the south corner of the house and keep the first one where I planted it .. good excuse to get two and see how they do.

    Bookmark   February 27, 2005 at 1:37AM
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John_D(USDA 8b WA)

That sounds like a perfect solution.

    Bookmark   February 27, 2005 at 2:20PM
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sandyhill(z-8a NC USA)

Most C. sasanqua & sinensis are ok with more sun than than C. japonica IME

    Bookmark   March 1, 2005 at 11:25AM
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muddytoez8Wa(z 8, WA)

Both my Camellias are japonicas.

    Bookmark   March 1, 2005 at 1:52PM
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John_D(USDA 8b WA)

Several of my japonicas are thriving in full Pacific Northwest sun, though I suspect they'd get fried in the South.

    Bookmark   March 2, 2005 at 7:22PM
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rastroud(z8LA)

In Louisiana, we grow in full shade to partial shade. They do best where grass does not grow.

Bob

    Bookmark   March 4, 2005 at 12:50AM
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John_D(USDA 8b WA)

But Louisiana is much farther south and has much brighter light (and hotter sun) that Washington State where muddytoez lives. Latitude matters.

    Bookmark   March 4, 2005 at 11:29PM
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Ron_B

Full sun is not good for Camellia japonica here. Really awful ones, with yellow leaves and scorching flowers are fairly common. Note that they grow, just look bad. Many garden hybrid plants are like that, able to put up with quite a bit without dying. Hardy hybrid rhodendrons, pieris and other such shrubs are also commonly mis-used in full sun positions. But like these, since we are planting them for ornament, camellias should be put where they look best. This is partial shade for C. japonica. Avoid open, east-facing walls: the flowers will be spoiled.

    Bookmark   March 5, 2005 at 10:40PM
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John_D(USDA 8b WA)

Ron:
You better tell my camellias they're misbehaving.

    Bookmark   March 5, 2005 at 10:59PM
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forrestal(Gulf Coast z8b)

I am loving this thread! It illustrates one of the most interesting things about camellias, which is how they respond to climatic differences, even micro climates. Take Hawaii for instance, where a few miles can make all the difference. Just a few feet in my garden sometimes makes a difference. A geographic region that gets more hours of summer sunshine will generally produce a greater number of larger flowers than a region with less sunshine. But without adequate range of hot and cold temps, and adequate humidity, some of the formal doubles may not open, but retics may be fantastic. And yet even an area with plenty of average sunshine can experience a below average bud set during an unusually rainy overcast summer, and the flowers may be smaller than normal. (Like us with hurricanes this year.) A Swiss garden gets about 2,200 hours of sunshine whereas an English garden may only get 1,600. Temperature and humidity also play a major role in how a plant performs and how the flowers open and whether they can be grown in the open without leaf scorch. And we haven't said anything yet about the role of soil and root system in heat/cold tolerance. Here along the gulf coast, our high humidity permits open fields of camellias cultivated in rows under full sun, especially nearer the ocean, but that would never work in other regions that require more protection. Some of the lushest camellias in our area (US Gulf Coast) are planted on country farms in full sun and have been there 100 years without a speck of scorching, yet a light shade promotes better flower quality. So herein lies one of the most intriguing things about camellias and the reason it is fun to compare gardens and experiences. Camellias are like children, they all seem to have their own personalities and often respond differently to the exact same environment. But with camellias, once they are happy they can live over 1,000 years, as some have in Japan. Just to think, one of us may be planting a specimen today that will be here in the year 3,000. Plant well !!

    Bookmark   March 6, 2005 at 12:41AM
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muddytoez8Wa(z 8, WA)

I did plant a second Camellia in the sunny sw side of my house. I am thinking I should mulch it, we are looking at a very dry summer here. What would be the best mulch for me to use? How thick should I lay it?

    Bookmark   March 6, 2005 at 11:52PM
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DonBrinser(z6 MD)

Between the latitudes of Washington and Louisianna, I live/garden in western Maryland. We grow the Ackerman hybrids quite well. (Forrest, I would guess you know or know of Dr. Ackerman & his work; I talked with him Friday, March 11.) Anyway, we avoid both full sun and morning sun; our winter mornings can be 8 degrees and clear bright sunrise, so shaded southwest, west, or maybe a northeast protected corner is best for us. Later today (Sunday, March 13) I will add a link to Ackerman's camellias to my GARDEN PAGE website. (Below)

Here is a link that might be useful: My Garden

    Bookmark   March 13, 2005 at 1:10PM
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Ron_B

Wood chips are best. But think about moving it to a shadier position, planting something that NEEDS a southwest wall to do well there instead - esp. if you aren't going to water consistently.

One can go around and around on a topic like this, when having to rely solely on what is posted as evidence, through the eyes of the person posting. I might visit some camellias or other shade plants that are described here as having been fine in full sun and see a reduced quality of greenness or leaf shape that they aren't aware of, or maybe even a source of shading that they have overlooked when describing their situation as full sun.

    Bookmark   March 16, 2005 at 12:14PM
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