Zn 11 Panama Looking for Others

panamahat(11 Panama)October 25, 2005

Hello --

Have been reading the posts hoping to find anyone in Panama who's growing Camellias. I was told Panama is not a camellia area but a neighbor here has quite a large plant which appears to be a Sasanqua. Hers is red and she reports that a similar "white" plant is also available. Haven't seen it yet. We're in the mountains near Costa Rica, have a year-round Springlike climate, and, even with the quantity of rain we receive, there is excellent drainage. Everything grows here, from apple trees and pines to gardenias, Spanish moss and, of course orchids, so am hoping even if Camellias have not been widely grown in the past, they may be in the future. Am looking for any information at all on propagating Camellias here as well as any other folks who may have experience in Zone 11.

Many thanks!

Panama Hat

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Virginia_Bill(z7 SE VA)

Hello PH, and welcome to the Forum.

I don't find it surprising that camellias will grow well in your location as outlined by your friend. I suspect that you don't REALLY have zone 11 conditions, due to being up in the mountains, although you are physically IN that zone. In your case, it isn't so much a matter of LATITUDE as it is ALTITUDE, with your height above sea level providing a more moderate clime than those nearer sealevel on the isthmus have.

I would expect just about any variety of camellia you can find to grow well, and while they can be ordered and shipped, doing so internationally can sometimes cause problems. You might try contacting some of the larger nurseries or plant importers for leads on locating specimens, since obviously from your neighbor, some varieties ARE available.

As to propagation, my favorite method is by far air layering. When done properly, I find it to have a near 100% success rate and you end up with a nice sized plant in just a year or so. One of the better written sets of instructions I have seen on the web is at the link below, and this is essentially the method I have been using for over 10 years now.

Keep an eye out for camellias in people's yards when you are out and about, and if you see one, request permission to do an air layer or 2. I have found that most people are quite willing to allow you to do so, especially if you offer to do a couple for them too. You may have to explain what you are talking about, but it is worth the effort.

I wish you the best of luck, and please keep us informed of your progress.



Here is a link that might be useful: Air Layering Camellias

    Bookmark   October 26, 2005 at 5:00PM
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If you are in Chiriqui, it's a good place for Camellias.
Sorry I'm french and don't speak english

Ten years ago I had a house in Los Santos.

Amitiés. Nepeta

    Bookmark   October 28, 2005 at 8:35AM
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