late frost - protecting camelias

floweryMarch 17, 2007

Hi I'm new here and hoping someone can give me some advice.

I have a double Camellia bush that very much resembles the photo on the Camellia message board page on this forum.

Here's the thing, I decided to go against the norm when I planted this particular camellia, instead of close to the house like most I planted it at the edge of my yard. It seemed to be the best thing 'cause it grew 85% faster than the single camellia bush I planted next to the house.

But the problem is, as you know in NC we have late frosts as we will tonight and maybe tomorrow night. The bush is now so large I have a hard time protecting it each year. I feel somewhat obligated to save the blooms since I found out years ago my Camellia bush has been the talk of the community, and I would very much disappoint many if the blooms turn brown. I've even had strangers pull into my yard and ask to photograph the bush, so you see it's become more than just saving a loved bush for me, I feel the pressure from the community to keep the blooms from browning, and it's chocked full of buds and blooms now.

We are thinking of using the lift on my husbands box truck to reach the top and cover the majority with something, but what? A sheet maybe?

Or could I just squirt it with water in the morning before sunrise?

Any suggestions would be appreciated.

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rhizo_1 (North AL) zone 7

A sheet would probably help....a cotton sheet and not plastic. Can't answer about spraying with water; I know that that is useful for turfgrass and foliage but don't know about the tissues of flowers.

I will say that the buds are certainly hardier than most people think, though the wide open blooms...not so much.

I surely wouldn't feel pressure about something over which you have so little control. Mother Nature is the one in charge.

Good luck and let us know how your specimen fared.

    Bookmark   March 17, 2007 at 3:33PM
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flowery

Thank you Rhizo.

I will post to inform if the sheet, or I should say sheets, did the trick.

I have used the sheet method before and it worked but the temp. wasn't quite as low as expected tonight plus the bush was much smaller at the time.

Thanks again.
I have also done nothing and ended up with ugly brown buds and blooms. Amazing how beautiful blooms can turn so ugly with a little frost :(

    Bookmark   March 17, 2007 at 9:32PM
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