Lower growing camelias

DeborahB1952(9)September 20, 2012

I am planting a camelia hedge that will be about 8 feet tall.

I am looking for complementary camelias that would grow to about 4 feet in the foreground. Any ideas??

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panchul

I wrote a comprehensive article in American Camellia Yearbook 2011 on low-growing Camellia sasanqua. You can either join American Camellia Society and read the article on their website or you can access it on sazanka.org

The bottom line - there are several low growing cultivars with different features:

Jewel Box - the smallest one, single white flowers
Dwarf Shishi - deep pink double
Tanya willowy low growing single pink
Twinkle Twinkle - small stars, difficult to grow
Winter's Rose - leaves are quite large, but grows very slowly, pink double

And many Paradise cultivars, but they are not available in the US, only in Australia, New Zealand and possibly UK.

Here is a link that might be useful: Blog on Camellia sasanqua

    Bookmark   September 20, 2012 at 11:58PM
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jeff_al

i would add two more that i grow to panchul's list:
'shishi gashira' is one of my oldest and is only 5' tall and almost twice as wide. rose-colored smallish flowers from fall through winter here.
'chansonette' is even shorter and will also spread horizonatlly. the color is similar to 'shishi gashira' but the flower is brighter pink and a rose-form double. very pretty individual flowers, as shown below.

    Bookmark   September 21, 2012 at 11:34AM
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DeborahB1952(9)

Thanks so much! Sound like great ideas.

    Bookmark   September 22, 2012 at 1:08PM
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nolefan_2006(FL 9a-ish formerly 8b)

Deborah, I hope I'm not offending you or highjacking your posting. I think my questions might be relevant.

Hi, Yuri, I'm a relatively new ACS member and I just read your article on Dwarf camellias. I enjoyed it greatly. Well written and insightful.

Where does the Marge Miller Camellia fit into this mix? Is this just a renamed Australian camellia that you referenced? Does anybody have information on how large this camellia will ultimately grow? I have read that it will be a great ground cover and I'm always looking for ground covers.

Jeff, your chansonette is beautiful. I planted 11 chansonettes last spring in an attempt at producing colorful ground cover. Can I keep them 12-24" tall without destroying the plant?

Open question for anyone reading this posting: If so, how do I prune this camellia to achieve a low neat ground cover look? I would think that I should prune it after it blooms, but that might be too soon because it will be winter in North Florida. How does one go about pruning without disrupting bud set and encouraging tender growth that could freeze?

Thanks,
Brad

    Bookmark   September 23, 2012 at 3:40AM
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jeff_al

that is a pretty tall groundcover at 24", brad. not exactly what i think of as low-growing (and with the density of a groundcover) and i suppose 'chansonette' could be maintained at that height but i would think not really much shorter. i never prune mine but its habit is showing a tendency to start to grow laterally at about 2.5' tall on its own.
the best time to prune is after flowering and before new flower and vegetative buds form. they should be fine and likely won't produce much new growth until after frosts.

    Bookmark   September 26, 2012 at 3:03PM
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luis_pr

1. Does anybody have information on how large this camellia will ultimately grow? Let me answer you this way... properly cared for, your great-great grandchildren could enjoy your camellias! I have seen some camellia specimens in Europe that are breath taking! Multi-story high and over 400 years old! Lord!

2. how do I prune this camellia to achieve a low neat ground cover look? How does one go about pruning without disrupting bud set and encouraging tender growth that could freeze? You are in uncharted territory but I would use espalier pruning techniques and see if they help you maintain the size that you want. Obviously getting a camellia that tends to grow sideways help. I was thinking of ShishiGashira. You will have to prune any stems that try to grow higher than 2.5' and allow side growing branches to grow. Since camellias are slow growers, you may be fine pruning in March and again in June but this touch-up type of pruning can really be done at any time. Pinch new growth if you need it more dense in an area. Give it a try and let us know how it goes.

    Bookmark   September 26, 2012 at 9:38PM
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butterfly4u

Jeff,
That is a beautiful picture of that camellia.
Thanks for posting it.

    Bookmark   October 17, 2012 at 1:22AM
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jamesmaloy

Well I actually logged on tonight to post about panchul's article and found there is already a post containing the information. I just found and read it last night. Very educational, informative. If you like camellias at all you should look it up and read it. Thanks Panchul for writing it I bookmarked it and will go back again.
James In Florida

    Bookmark   January 16, 2013 at 11:36PM
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