How to plant Camelia seeds?

joe_n_sc(7)September 21, 2006

I received some camelia seed pods from a relative that look like small apples. They are beginning to open up now and have a hard brown seed inside. I've never grown camelias from seed and need to know how to do it. Do they need cold storage to make them sprout? Any advice would be greatly appreciated. Thanks, Joel.

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forrestal(Gulf Coast z8b)

There are many ways, including the easiest which is just pushing them down into some soil near the surface until they germinate on their own -- duplicating nature. It may take a few weeks or a few months before they germinate.

The method I use is quicker and more dependable. Mix a handful of seeds with some moist (not wet) sphagnum moss, in a large ziploc bag. (Soak the moss, then wring out the water.) Zip up the bag containing seeds and moss, and leave it somewhere warm. (Our early autumn days are pretty warm here on the gulf coast, so I actually leave mine outside but not in direct sun.) Within a few weeks you will see the tap roots have formed. (Its like looking in a terrarium.)

Once they have germinated, remove the seeds and plant them. I put them all together in an extra pot or two, tap root down of course and seed planted just even with the the soil level. After they have sprouted leaves and grown for a few months they can be separated into separate liner pots. For soil mix, use something very light -- such as sand and perlite, or sand and a store bought planting mix which has a lot of bark. (Don't use potting mix which is dense and mushy.) Mix in the left over sphagnum moss from the ziploc bag.

Good luck, but be patient -- it takes a few years for the plant to reach blooming size. And you never know what you may get, each seed is a hybrid.

    Bookmark   September 21, 2006 at 9:10PM
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jared_sc(z7b SC)

Like Forrest, I poke fresh camellia seeds barely into the ground and let Mother Nature take its course. The key to success with camellia seeds is to plant them as soon as they're ripe. You don't want to let the lie around aging and drying out. It is essential to plant them while they're fresh. After planting them, forget about them. In the SC Piedmont, camellia seeds ripen in September and October.

    Bookmark   November 3, 2006 at 5:06PM
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