I have 3 camellias in gallon pots that I rooted from
cuttings about 2 years ago. They are about 2 feet tall
now. When should I plant them, and what type exposure
do they do best in? Thanks!
Hello, maeran! The soil must be well draining & slightly acidic; the plant should be located away from other trees or shrubs with shallow root systems so they all do not end up competing for water. The planting location must also provide some protection from the hot drying afternoon sun during the summer. While the best time to plant is between fall and spring, any time is fine as long as the plant is properly cared for.
Plant 1" above the surrounding soil; build a small berm around the root ball to collect water if you wish. Mulch with about 3-4" of any type of acidic mulch and water in the mornings when the soil feels dry to a depth of 4". Do not water when the soil feels moist or wet. You want to keep the soil as constantly moist as you can.... easy to say... harder to do, I know...
Fertilize with about Â½ cup of cottonseed meal or with a general purpose slow-release fertilizer (per label directions). The A.C.S. suggests fertilizing in three periods between your date of last avge frost in spring through September or monthly with cottonseed meal. You can use weak fertilizers like coffee grounds, liquid fish and liquid seaweed any time during the warm months but stop all fertilizing around August/September.
In alkaline soils, an application of garden sulphur or iron-chelated liquid products is needed at least once a year; I apply mine in the spring but you probably do not need to do this in the acidic heaven of Georgia.
Good luck with your shrubs,
Here is a link that might be useful: Planting and care of camellias by the A.C.S.