need help watering camellias with soaker hose

mwiegersOctober 12, 2007

I'm going to plant 12 new 3 gallon camellia bushes this weekend. I bought soaker hose to run along the line of bushes (hoping to make a nice hedge) and am wondering how to lay out the hose. I've not used a soaker hose before. Would you stretch it out to a straight line or wrap it around each bush? I was thinking of wrapping it around but not sure how close or wide to wrap it? (maybe 6 inches from the base? or wrap it at the drip line?) I'm afraid they won't get enough water if I just do it in a line. I have clay type soil, if that helps in predicting what the soaker will do.

Also, how long do I leave a soaker hose on so my bushes get enough water? Also, do I water every day? Every other? Any tips on knowing how much to water? Also what time of day is best to water? Morning, evening?

Thanks for any help you can give. I want to give these guys a good start!

Michelle

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brandyray(Coastal NC/8a)

I use several soaker hoses, but I am no expert on camellias. also, my soil is all sand. I set the timer for 3 hrs and let the soaker run the whole time. I prefer to run the hose behind the plants- but make sure the plants are not too close to a building or wall- don't want them to stay damp for long periods of time. You can put a layer of mulch over the soaker which will help retain the moisture and keep water off the foliage. Somebody else will have to help you fine tune your watering- I'm sure there is a rule about the soil being thoroughly wet to a certain number of inches to determine if the soaker has been on long enough. Once you determine that, you will know how long to leave the soaker on for. If you water thoroughly, I would think every other day would be enough for the first wk, then maybe every three days for another wk, then I would cut back again. In winter, once every two weeks perhaps. Hope someone w/ clay soil will chime in. Good luck, Brandy

    Bookmark   October 15, 2007 at 1:18PM
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mwiegers

thanks brandy, I'm glad to hear that you water for 3 hours, that's what I did last night. I was worried that would be too long...its hard to dig down to see how soaked the dirt is because the ground is very difficult to dig into. I also worry about disturbing the roots if I dig down too far. Do you water in morning or evening?
Michelle

    Bookmark   October 16, 2007 at 2:56PM
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brandyray(Coastal NC/8a)

Morning is always considered better, but during the wk, if I am going to water, it will usually be in the evening. It should not matter if you put mulch over your hose, or bury it slightly.
I have been surprised at how well my camellias have done in the drought. They are not part of my regular watering routine and are in unimproved sand, but they have been green and glossy all summer. (That is not to say that I did not water them at all, but that they did not get a good soaking water like I try to give my plants.) I put newspaper down around them and mulch on top. Also, 2 of those plants were new in the spring. So, I conclude that once they are established, they do not need to be watered often. Another plant that seems to be extremely hardy is cleyera. It is also a glossy evergreen, but I don't think it flowers. Brandy

    Bookmark   October 16, 2007 at 9:21PM
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winterose(z10 Calif. US)

Especially with clay, just make sure the roots aren't wet all the time. They will be very unhappy and eventually rot.

Here is a link that might be useful: Camellia Culture Article

    Bookmark   October 22, 2007 at 12:23PM
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