how to start from seed

vaherbmomApril 18, 2010

Hi all,

My mil gave me some camellia seeds from my husband's grandmother's garden. These will be a precious heirloom if I can get them to grow!

What is the best way to plant these, when/where should they be planted, and what special care do they need?

TIA!

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rhizo_1 (North AL) zone 7

Camellia seeds need to be harvested and germinated very shortly after they have fallen from the shrub. In other words, you cannot save them them without special handling.

I was given many seeds some time ago in moist, long leafed sphagnum moss. I stored them in the 'fridge in a plastic bag (in that moss) for several weeks and when I pulled them out they were all germinated. I planted them in a coarse textured nursery mix into their own small pots right afterwards.

If I had let them dry out for that same period of time, the would have died.

    Bookmark   April 18, 2010 at 10:35PM
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vaherbmom

Oh, how disappointing. I don't know how long these have been sitting around. Argh. Well, I guess I'll have to forget it unless someone can get more seeds at the right time. What time of year do camellias drop their seeds?

thanks for your help

    Bookmark   April 19, 2010 at 2:08PM
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jay_7bsc(8a)

I agree with rhizo_1 that it is essential to plant camellia seeds as soon as they are "ripe"; otherwise, you will have little, if any, success with their germination. In the Southeastern United States, seeds of _Camellia japonica_ ripen in late August and September--maybe into early October, depending on the variety. The seeds are carried in apple-like pods that burst when ripe. If seeds are allowed to fall onto the ground, many of them will germinate under the mother plant. If you look around your grandmother-in-law's camellias, you may find seedlings in abundance. If so, pull some of them up and pot them. I would do this while the seedlings are dormant. That should ensure more transplanting success. Camellia seeds are, however, as easy to germinate as garden beans. Just chunk a few fresh ones into the soil, stand back, and watch them germinate after a few months. You can expect to wait for years before seeing blossoms produced by your seedlings, and they may be entirely different in appearance from Mommer.

    Bookmark   April 19, 2010 at 4:33PM
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vaherbmom

Oh, how disappointing. I don't know how long these have been sitting around. Argh. Well, I guess I'll have to forget it unless someone can get more seeds at the right time. What time of year do camellias drop their seeds?

thanks for your help

    Bookmark   April 19, 2010 at 8:26PM
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theoriginaldawgone

First thing I would do is get a container of water and drop them in-- if any of them float--pitch them, next to nothing chance of them being viable. Then the ones that sink, soak them in hot water,about 115 degrees for 5 minutes. Then get you some canadian sphagnum moss and soak it in hot water till it becomes saturated, squeeze out the excess put the seeds in the middle, drop into a zip lock bag, place in warm/hot area(aprox. 90 degrees F) and wait till you see roots growing.I germinate a lot of seeds like that9 camellias, citrus). If you have it , you can add a eyedropper full of gib acid in the seed soak process.

    Bookmark   April 21, 2010 at 8:49PM
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