Camellia seeds?

FlaJasmineJune 18, 2004

Hi All,

I was offered some red Camellia seeds in a trade. Can seeds be collected from Camellias? If the seeds can be collected, do they grow true to the parent plant collected from?

Also, which opart of the flower are theycollected from? Are the seed pods/heads like Rose hips?

Thanks for the help.

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PeaBee4(9a)

Yes, some Camellias set seeds. I don't know about all varities but the Japonicas do. Sometimes, they will be true to the parent plant. Sometimes they will be even better. Usually they aren't as pretty, but still make nice green bushes. They form a big pod after the bloom drops off. Some will be as large as a half dollar and contain 4 or 5 seeds. The pod should ripen on the bush.

It will take a few years before you see any blooms on your seedlings.

    Bookmark   June 20, 2004 at 1:29AM
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jeff_al

the plant from seed might be similar in appearance to one of the parents, but will in fact be a cross between the two and not genetically true to either.
that is how we have so many beautiful named selections.
the only way a plant can be identical to one of these is if
it is cutting grown.
plant them and see what you get. might be something new and different.
the seeds will resemble a small nut.
i am not sure how long the seed remain viable, but they should be planted pretty soon after harvest in the fall to get good germination. make sure the seed you are trading for are fresh or have been properly stored.

Here is a link that might be useful: camellia culture

    Bookmark   June 21, 2004 at 3:21PM
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forrestal(Gulf Coast z8b)

What a great link, Jeff! Thanks for sharing it.

    Bookmark   July 2, 2004 at 9:58PM
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enloopious(9/10 SOCAL)

Ahh, I finally found something that will show me how to get those seeds to pop open. Thanks for the link. I have some Camellia Sinensis and was curious if they were gonna pop or not.

    Bookmark   July 9, 2004 at 2:03PM
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stb95123(CA-Z9)

ooh...I just found what I am guessing is a seed pod on my camellia. (Don't know much about what kind yet.) This may sound like a dumb question (very new gardener) but will I be able to tell when the pod is ripe? Right now it is a big, green glob.
Thanks,
Susan

    Bookmark   August 4, 2004 at 8:54PM
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jeff_al

susan,
the pods will turn brown and break open, revealing the seeds, when they are ready.

    Bookmark   August 5, 2004 at 11:09AM
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lucky_p

My dad has grown a number of camellias from seed, and while I wouldn't throw dirt clods at any of them, he's not yet come across 'the exceptional child'.
I know another fellow in Jeff's area who's been growing camellias, rhododendrons, and native azaleas from seed for better than 40 years, and he's indicated that of the thousands of rhodies & azaleas he's grown, only a handful were not 'keepers', but he's yet to grow out a camellia seedling that was equal to a good named-variety plant, so now he merely uses his seedlings as rootstocks to graft the newer prize-winning selections onto.

    Bookmark   August 5, 2004 at 7:14PM
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jane_socal(Sunset 23/z10)

Hey, Melody, I hope the hurricane didn't wreck your garden.

I've easily germinated lots of camellia seeds (and some have germinated under my bushes where they've fallen) but only one has bloomed so far: a dead ringer for its parent (guessing it was pollinated from the same plant). The others are too young (it takes at least 4-5 years) for blossoms, but I'm hopeful some of them will prove attractive.

    Bookmark   August 14, 2004 at 2:41AM
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forrestal(Gulf Coast z8b)

This is getting to be the right time in most places to pick the seed pods. I have picked a few already. Once you pick them, set them in a dry spot and the pods will soon pop open by themselves within a couple of days, revealing the seeds. I usually germinate mine immediately, placing them in a ziploc bag of moist sphagnum moss, and leave the bag outside where it is warm. Once the seeds germinate (2-3 weeks) you can move them to a pot. I put several germinated seeds in a single pot for a year or so, then separate them into individual pots the next year. This is a much quicker method for starting seedlings than planting them in a pot or in the ground. You save a whole year.

    Bookmark   August 14, 2004 at 10:08PM
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phytomaniac(z7 NC)

Thanks for the link and the info everyone. I too have some fruits ripening and want to start them so this is exactly what I was looking for. I have a large property and am concerned about deer damage, so I figured I'd start some seedlings and get a bunch going and if the deer bother them then so be it. At least they wont be lunching on a prized cultivar! Thanks all again.

    Bookmark   September 13, 2004 at 2:09PM
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sandrews44(Z9 CA)

Forrestal or anybody with insight,

Have you ever heard of soaking the seeds before planting, because I saw on another site that you should soak them first and then plant them.

What is your germination rate with this method?

    Bookmark   October 7, 2004 at 3:10PM
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forrestal(Gulf Coast z8b)

I think it depends on the freshness of the seeds. If fresh and germinated right away, I have found that no soaking is necessary, and germination rate is close to 100 percent using the ziploc with sphagnum moss. If its been a few weeks and they are dry, soaking seems to help but I still get a few duds. If they can't be germinated immediately, they can be refrigerated in a moist (not wet) storage bag and then germinated later with pretty good results. (Some people actually say that works better.) And finally, the lesson I learned this year, that if the dog gets ahold of the ziploc while you are germinating them, the rate is zero!! ^._.^

    Bookmark   October 7, 2004 at 11:35PM
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phytomaniac(z7 NC)

Anyone have an opinion on the black seed coat. I know they say to nick it to allow moisture in, but I have found that with a little care and a nut cracker I can remove the whole thing. The seeds then resemble a small gladiolus corm. Good idea or no?

    Bookmark   October 20, 2004 at 1:03PM
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laura_gardener_2009

If I'm not interested in harvesting seeds, should I remove the camellia pods on my sasanquas in order to increase the future blooms?

    Bookmark   August 3, 2009 at 10:40AM
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claudiajohnson

we are living in VA and we have a beatiful two tone Camellia bush in the yard we have some baby ones growing underneath the bush and we have lots of seeds "balls"/
in January we will be moving back to Kyrgystan Central Asia zone 6? i would love to take the small growths and some seeds with me to plant later in my garden.
any suggestions- should i leave the small plants in the ground just before we fly- the seeds should i pick them and put them in the fridge in a ziplock or should i dry them and store them in an envelope?

    Bookmark   September 2, 2011 at 12:07PM
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luis_pr

Camellia seed is best sowed right away but Camforest Nursery Folks say that you can also store seeds at about 40 degrees F in a fridge for several months.

But do you know if you will be allowed into the country with seeds or cuttings??? Here in the US, for example, you would not be allowed to bring plants and sopil from some places unless you go thru hoops.

    Bookmark   September 9, 2011 at 11:09PM
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luis_pr

in soil from some countries unless you go thru hoops.

    Bookmark   September 10, 2011 at 9:18PM
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theoriginaldawgone

Most of the plants that are heavy seed setters -- the seeds end up being like the seed parent , thats because they are " self pollinated"-- the are not usually better for that reason. Main purpose to utilize them is to use them as understock

    Bookmark   September 29, 2011 at 4:08AM
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