Slow growers??

aggieroseMarch 4, 2008

I planted a red camelia this past May. It is about 3 feet tall. It has not put out a single new leaf since I planted it. It did bloom like crazy though and still has at least 30 flowers on it and it does look very healthy. Are they always such slow growers? How much growth should I expect each year?

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luis_pr(7b/8a Hurst, TX)

Hello, aggierose. Yes, camellias are well known for being slow growers. That is the reason very tall specimens in nurseries command such high prices: they are old shrubs many years (10-15) old.

While a rose bush can grow feet in one season, a camellia would grow inches. Because they are evergreen shrubs, they replace their leaves slowly. New uninjured leaves can stay on for more than a year, 2 years at the longest. Sasanquas usually shed leaves around June-ish (mid-to-late spring time / early summer time).

Your plant is concentrating now on developing a good root system so pay no attention to the lack of growth. Just keep giving the TLC that you have given it so far. It sounds like it likes your garden!

By the way, try not to accelerate growth by adding fertilizers as that does not work as it does with roses. Camellias react like other wooded plants by ignoring the extra fertilizer and absorbing only what they want. The problem with doing this is that extra fertilizer may keep them in growth mode during Fall/Winter. As a general rule, try not to fertilize after July or August. Once the danger of late frosts has passed, add about 1/2 cup of cottonseed meal monthly. Minor fertilizers like liquid seaweed and coffee grounds can be added during that time frame too.

Luis

    Bookmark   March 10, 2008 at 5:36AM
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