Camellia cutting in spring?

landrover(northknoxville)March 19, 2005

I have a friend who has an amazing camilla bush or tree (it's about ten feet tall) that is covered with dark red rose-like flowers most of the winter here in TN. The other day she gave me a flower with a bit of branch and a node on it. I had it in a glass of water for over a week and the flower and wood still seemed perfectly fresh! Last night I put some rooting powder and put it in dirt. Will it grow? I would love to have a tree like that...

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forrestal(Gulf Coast z8b)

Yes it may root, if you make the conditions right. I would suggest putting a clear plastic cup (like a party cup) over the top, and make it airtight to create its own little greenhouse. You can make it airtight by putting sand around the outside of the cup and watering it, or put the whole thing -- Pot and all --in a large plastic bag. The leaves must remain very humid to stay alive until some roots form. The clear cup lets you see inside. The rooting medium needs to be very light -- such as 50/50 sand and perlite, moist not wet.

A better suggestion to obtain a pass-a-long of your friend's camellia, especially this time of year, is the process of air layering where you scrape a ring of bark off a small limb, wrap it in sphagnum moss for 3-4 months, leave it alone, and voila -- it forms a rootball in the moss allowing you to cut off the small limb. You now have a nice sized plant that may even bloom next year. I highly recommend it.

Here is a link that might be useful: Air Layering instructions

    Bookmark   March 20, 2005 at 8:17PM
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