Shopping time?

luis_pr(7b/8a Hurst, TX)October 22, 2013

Oooh, check around to see if your plant nurseries have received new camellia stock! I went to visit a local nursery called Calloways for other reasons and saw that camellias had arrived. Oddly, there was a 20% off sale already (regular price $35). I would have expected a sale later in the season but hey, I will take a sale, even fake ones (when they raise the price and then advertise 20% off... LOL!!!!!) if the price is right or if I gottawantahave to have a plant. Ha! Have to go back again when I have time as I was there during lunch time. Everyone enjoy shopping! Luis

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vmr423(Zone 8b, SC)

So, which camellias are on your gottawantahave list right now?

There are 6 on my short list, but of course there are many, many other varieties that could tempt me into Acquisition Fever:

1) 'Joshua Youtz'
2) 'Leslie Ann'
3) 'Emperor of Russia Variegated'
4) 'Formosa de Young'
5) 'C M Wilson'
6) 'Margaret Davis'

Haven't seen a U.S. source for nos. 3 or 4, so probably in no danger there, but still would love to eventually obtain those. I'm also a sucker for purplish camellias, but understand most of 'em aren't all that purplish in warmer winter areas like we have in the SC Lowcountry.

    Bookmark   October 22, 2013 at 2:47PM
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luis_pr(7b/8a Hurst, TX)

I would love to grow one of those purplish ones. My list of shrubs varies by day, Currently, I am considering a list of early blooming sasanquas. The japonicas usually bloom around the time when the temps begin to zip up and crash and all that up-down causes them to delay bloomage sometimes. Problem is I have no shady real estate for new plants!

    Bookmark   October 26, 2013 at 5:28PM
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vmr423(Zone 8b, SC)

Perhaps a 'Shishigashira' (hiemalis) would be a good fit since it's fairly compact & sun-tolerant? Not technically a Sasanqua, but often referred to as such... Though if you get an ambitious sasanqua, it will soon provide some you with some more shade!

Margaret Davis was quoted as saying that her japonica namesake was quite sun-tolerant, if you have some non-shady real estate- but perhaps you already have one? I'd be interested to hear from anyone who has grown 'MD' in a sunny location...

My current fave sasanqua cultivars are 'Leslie Ann', 'Navajo' & 'Stars'n'Stripes', but currently the only sasanquas I have are a recently acquired seedling with a sweet cherry-pink, single flower (possibly a photo attached?), and an 'Egao Corkscrew' that isn't ready to bloom yet...

    Bookmark   October 30, 2013 at 2:08PM
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luis_pr(7b/8a Hurst, TX)

Great minds think alike! I already have Shishihashira, the only "sasanqua" around. I have been tempted to add a Yuletide since it is so common in the local nurseries.

I have not tried MD but the area here is pretty bad sun-wise. Hydrangeas that suddenly got full sun suffered sunscald and so did one camellia many years ago when the shed had to be torn down. I do not have it anymore and can't remember the name of that japonica. Dogs killed it in its "new" location.

Have not tried planting a sasanqua in near full sun though. Maybe I should. They are supposed to be more tolerant but jeez, those sunny 100-degree days for weeks on end is something that I would let a rose bush handle instead. LOL!!!!

I do not know why, but this year I just have this urge to finally see some bloomage and know that I have to wait as most start much later, Dec-Jan... if the weather does not trip them, confuse them and make them start even later.


    Bookmark   October 30, 2013 at 7:40PM
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vmr423(Zone 8b, SC)

I just realized that my earlier response vanished into the ether...

I believe that I asked about how your 'Shishigashira' is doing in your yard, and also mentioned that Bobby Green in Alabama has released a camellia that has 'Shishi' as a parent, but is purplish/blueish and is more cold-hardy. It's called 'Green's Blues', and might be a consideration, since you mentioned that you like purplish camellias, too. Apparently, the trick for keeping the blooms blueish is to keep the soil pH low...

Sun-tolerance is a relative term, I think. A camellia that can tolerate full sun in England or coastal CA may not be up for the Texas sun! So 'Margaret Davis' may indeed be sun-tolerant in some parts of Oz, but maybe not in areas with weather like yours?

I have the opposite problem from yours- we have lots of trees and shade, but very few areas getting full sun for growing veggies, etc. I would like to try a rose or two, but am not sure what would tolerate dappled shade, heat & humidity. I should probably stick to camellias, but a rose would be a challenge!

Are any of your camellias blooming yet, or are you still waiting? A little gib can speed things up a bit- I've had a few early blooms after practicing my gibbing on most of our plants.

Happy Thanksgiving!

Here is a link that might be useful: Green Nursery link

    Bookmark   November 28, 2013 at 12:24PM
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luis_pr(7b/8a Hurst, TX)

Shishi was located in the middle of Interstate 123, between Squirrel City on the one hand and Doggie Town on the other hand. It suffered badly. Shishi's main stem got split right down the middle. It was not a pretty sight. Kanjiro, I think, is my only remaining sasanqua and that one, is actually a replacement to the one I lost last year. Bought it last year, has flower buds but they are still small. I tell you what... this is a rough location for camellias. Bark, bark, Bow Wow. Hee hee hee. Lordy, Lord.

Yes, I have seen information about Green's Blues on the Internet and recently found it for sale locally!!! I have been visiting the place often and waiting to see the the blooms in person because I have not seen good, clear pictures of blooms and am concerned at the actual purple tone in alkaline (but amended) soil. But even those GB sasanquas remain bloom-less still at the local stores. I actually went to another store to see if theirs were blooming but nope. The bud size currently measures, oh, say just 1/2" or less.

Oh, and no, no bloomage yet here with most the japonicas although Debutante may be getting close. All shrubs have flower buds but it does not look like they are ready to open yet. Some years I just have to sit and wait for blooms like my dogs do when I serve them food. Can you picture that? Ha!

I ordered a gib kit from ACS about 100 years ago (don't remember when but a while back) and lost it when moving from one house to the current one so I am going to let Mother Nature do it her way. Have a Happy Thanksgiving!

This post was edited by luis_pr on Thu, Nov 28, 13 at 21:42

    Bookmark   November 28, 2013 at 12:43PM
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luis_pr(7b/8a Hurst, TX)

I saw more blooms on Green's Blues Camellias at the nursery today and decided that GB not for me. I like the form of the blooms but the color was a 'no', especially as the bloom gets older and the shade of pink/purple turns me off. I thought the blooms may have been damaged by the weather issues we recently had but I remembered that they look like a few I had seen before the cold weather hit. If you are considering it, I suggest checking it out in person just in case.

    Bookmark   December 13, 2013 at 5:27PM
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vmr423(Zone 8b, SC)

Aha! There is nothing like seeing a plant "up close and personal". And since it was a local plant, you know what the color will look like in your area. From what I read, it sounds like the color is somewhat pH dependent, so the closer to home you are seeing it, the more likely it is that yours will also look like that.

The color might fare better in our acidic soils, but I'm not in the market for hardy sasanquas at the moment.

My current infatuation is the japonica 'Tricolor' AKA 'Ezo-nishiki'. There's one blooming in our neighborhood with striped, variegated and pure white flowers on the same plant. So cool, and it's a nice-looking plant even when not blooming.

How many dogs do you have? I managed to split an 'Egao Corkscrew' without any canine assistance, thank you very much: I dropped it while repotting it. The stem split pretty near the bottom, but I tied it up with some string & it's putting out new growth a few months later. I'm hoping that the split part will grow out, and I can prune it all out eventually. Good thing it's SUPPOSED to look crooked...

Debutantes here are starting to bloom. A precocious one around the corner had lots of flowers, but most I've seen are still just getting started- how about yours?

I have a seedling I should send you a cutting from. It's about 8' tall, and is one of the earliest to bloom of the local japonicas. Pretty sure it's got some 'Mathotiana' ancestry since it does that 'blue around the edges thing' and grew up near our 'Mathotiana'. I'm not sure how old it is- possibly over 50- but it's pretty tough to have survived to adulthood without human assistance. It did get pruned a year or two ago, and seems to be enjoying the compost it's now getting on an occasional basis.

Picture attached, although the flowers look rather pink in this photo, and are actually more reddish..

    Bookmark   December 14, 2013 at 1:25PM
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vmr423(Zone 8b, SC)

Since I can't seem to post more than one photo per message, I'm sending a separate post with a photo of a flower from our volunteer camellia. You can kinda see the blue-ish edges- maybe it's tricking the camera into thinking it's more pink than it is?

I like the flowers, but the petals are often a bit creased/crinkly.

Both pix were taken yesterday, the 13th...

    Bookmark   December 14, 2013 at 1:40PM
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luis_pr(7b/8a Hurst, TX)

Tricolor reminds me of a striped one that I had before. It is so typical of striped camellias to develop sports like that. I love it too! I think that the virus which creates the striping also causes sports like that. One of my striped roses sports like that too but it does it as result of heat stress. I do not think viruses are behind the rose's stripes.

I have three pooches right now. A large golden mix, a medium labrador mix and a border collie mix. A german shepherd passed away a few years ago. I may get a fourth one. Seems like my sister's hubby likes to pick them and somehow I end rescueing them.

My Debutante buds look so-so. Some appear to have been damaged by the cold and are browning out but other flower buds in the plant appear to be doing just fine so I may get a little bloomage... we will see. None of the buds in the other camellias has opened or is close to doing that... and thanks to the hard freeze we had and the ice, I do not expect them to do so soon. I guess in a way, it is 'ok'. I can wait for the various shrubs to bloom later now but I would have preferred earlier blooms.

Wow that 50 y/o Mathotiana sure sounds tough if it grew with no human assistance. Sometimes that is good that one "forget" about them, you know. I have been know to kill even cactus upteen years ago! LOL! Gave it too much water.

I see you have the same problem I have when taking pictures. Getting those reds/pinks to come out a true color is a pain in the brain sometimes. Lucky me, my old digital camera is on its last legs (or maybe it is just the memory card) but I may splurge for a new one and see how technology has improved since I bought it, ugh, 15 years ago or more maybe???? I take and retake pictures a multitude of times and even change the time of day to try and get the colors right. Gets frustrating (and tiresome!) after a while.

That volunteer camellia looks real happy and my God, look at those large flower buds! I can see the blue tint you are taking about. Very nice!

Well, time to go back to bed and see if I can sleep. My allergies flared on Saturday and I sleep poorly since due to coughing. I am sure my pooches sleep poorly too as a result. Hee hee hee!

    Bookmark   December 19, 2013 at 4:10AM
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vmr423(Zone 8b, SC)

I hope your allergies are better by now? Do you have the infamous 'Cedar Fever' that is such a problem for many Texans? You have my sincere sympathy- allergies are not fun.

Looking at flower photos online, it seems that it is very difficult indeed to get a true red or bright pink when photographing flowers. I guess the light conditions need to be optimal, and then some good adjustments with the photo files once uploaded. I have a decent PHD (press here, dummy) digital camera- I take a lot of photos, and some turn out alright. I wish I had more of a clue when it comes to photography- maybe I will someday.

I hope you eventually get some pretty Deb flowers. With this roller coaster weather, it's hard for flowers to avoid some cold damage. Today's high was about 66F, but it was cold & windy on Friday, and we're expecting temps in the 20's tomorrow night & Tuesday. Urgh. I know the camellias will survive, but will the buds/blooms? Guess I'll be cutting some flowers tomorrow to bring inside.

I'm planning to learn how to take cuttings for propagation soon- if I can root a cutting from that tough old volunteer, let me know if you'd like one. Sounds like you need an early bloomer, but I don't know if you have room for a japonica...

    Bookmark   January 5, 2014 at 7:10PM
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luis_pr(7b/8a Hurst, TX)

Turns out I had a virus. Translation: a cold or flu. I had the flu shot earlier in the Fall and was not feeling icky like you are supposed to with flu so I assume it was a cold. Only a cough is left but it is a pain when I try to sleep or lay down.

I hear you about camera problems. My digital PHD model was built by Kodak at least 10 years ago. It is probably twice as big as the ones now in the market and I think its memory is failing since I cannot store as many pics as I once used to.

Reds were always a problem with this PHD. I had to review the pics taken right a way and then take more pics if the first one did not come out right. I would change the time of the day or the angle to see if that would help. Another problem was close ups. Sometimes the center of the picture was "off" when a flower picture in close-up mode was taken. Never quite understood but it happened only with close ups so it may be an operator error. Hee hee hee!

No camellia flowers so far. I may get penumonia before I get camellia blooms. Temps here have been flat out amazing. They get pretty cold (in the 10s thru 30) then back to the 60s or 70s; then they crash again. Someone at Starbucks said she would probably catch a cold at the rate this goes on this year. Yesterday and two days before I was wearing T shirts outside; the other days I was wearing a ski jacket!

Just in the last five days, we went from 69 to 25, back to 70 and down to 18. Average should be 50s in Dec, a little less in Jan but God, it has not been this roller coaster in a while. It would be more normal for us to stay around the high or the low for more days.

I am sure the camellia buds will stay closed and open much later now. I had one year where bloomage was interrupted in Jan and resumed in late March so we will see.

    Bookmark   January 6, 2014 at 2:42AM
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vmr423(Zone 8b, SC)

I sure hope you're feeling better by now- viruses are no picnic! You may already know this but honey is wonderful for a cough- it's anti-microbial and a humectant, so it heals and soothes.

We are in the middle of unusually prolonged freezing temps. This morning, the thermometer read 40F, and I started singing 'Heatwave'. The camellias here were just starting to recover from the last cold snap, so double-whammy! We probably won't really have much in the way of bloomage for a while- if we get more of this craziness, we may need to wait until next year to see some good-looking flowers. The ones that just got zapped were already pretty small thanks to the earlier freeze.

I hope you eventually see some nice-looking flowers this season. The early-bloomers did well here, and I'm hoping there will be some more flowers by mid-to-late February if the weather calms down here.

It's a respectable 50F here, and I am hoping and wishing that it doesn't freeze again tonight. But temps are supposed to head back into the 20's by Tuesday night. Urgh.

The local camellia show is today- I dunno that there will be too much going on with 'unprotected blooms', but I guess I'll mosey on over to see what's going on.

Hope you're staying warm, and are feeling better.

    Bookmark   January 25, 2014 at 1:23PM
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luis_pr(7b/8a Hurst, TX)

I think I finally got over the cough by the start of this week. At least I have not had a problem. Still, I had a nasty cough attack going to work on Monday. Silly me, I left home without taking cough drops or some liquid to calm things down. Lucky me, I was close to my exit and calmed down by the time I had to pick my order at Wendy's.

Usually blowing my nose or drinking a liquid calms things down. If that does not work then I try the cough drops. But I was out of all three.

Minutes ago, I went looking around the property (tranlation: I was checking the camellia buds) when I saw a cardinal looking for food on the empty birdfeeders. Added some seeds for the burds and took an obligatory peek around the camellias. I noticed that the ones on the north of the house have bigger buds than they did weeks ago and bigger than the camellias planted on the south side of the property, except for the Debutante. Its buds now look large but many are browning with all the up/down temps here too, I am not so sure that all of Deb's buds will flower.

I get the impression that, except for the Debutante, the other camellias decided on their last poker game to wait things out, bloom much later and let pansies provide all the color.

We should be like you temp-wise... on the 60s today and tomorrow and then we tank down again to the 20/30s. Sigh. Will take advantage of that and go out and catch some other thing that makes me sneeze. My money is on allergies next. Hee hee hee!

We do not have camellia shows here so enjoy!

    Bookmark   January 25, 2014 at 2:10PM
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