Will this camellia survive? :(

hylarieMay 15, 2013

Hello, I'm hoping someone can help me with this and give me advice on what to do.

I live in northeast Georgia (zone 7). At my old house, my great grandmother had planted a Japanese camellia beside our porch where it has flourished for many years. We recently leased the house to a guy who took the liberty to try to get rid of the plant DESPITE our telling him NOT to change anything on the property outside of the house without permission first. He "pruned" it back to a stump about 6" high. Nothing more.

My mother is devastated. That camellia is one of the very few material possessions she has left to remind her of her grandmother...so naturally I am desperate to see if there is anything I can do to help preserve it if it is in any danger.

Will this camellia survive such a severe pruning at this time of year? Is there something I can/should do to help it? And if it survives, is there a way I can move it? My mom used to make trips to our old house just TO check on that plant...so given this recent turn of events, if the plant makes it through this drastic pruning I'd really like to transplant it here at our new house for her.

If anyone can help me with this, I would be most appreciative! Much thanks in advance!

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luis_pr(7b/8a Hurst, TX)

As long as the roots are still alive & kicking and assuming they get the proper soil moisture, amendments (if any) and sunlight, it has a chance and it will be up to the shrub.

Not now, but later on, I would eventually give it a slow-release fertilizer high in nitrogen and potassium, low in phosphorus (no need to feed for blooms now). After that, I would use one high in potassium and less nitrogen. Probably stop all fertilizers about 2 months before your average date of first frost. A slow-release fertilizer (usually organic ones should last for 2-3 months per application. I would not fertilize during the winter months but I would provide some water every week or every two weeks if it is a dry winter.

An alternative: alfalfa, alfalfa tea and alfalfa meal all contain triacontanol, a natural root stimulant. You can use this to stimulate root growth that will indirectly trigger some above the ground growth.

But give it some time to recover from the shock before starting with any fertilizers. Kepp the soil moist but not wet; keep it well mulched and wait and see if it starts on its own first.

    Bookmark   May 15, 2013 at 8:12PM
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