New to Camellias, and confused...

cannahavana(z7a Knoxville)December 15, 2004

I bought my first Camellia while on a trip to Myrtle Beach during Thanksgiving weekend. It is a C. japonica Tama No Ura, three gallon size, 3ft tall. My confusion is when is the best time to plant it? I am in zone 7a in the Tennessee valley. It is currently living in my kitchen in front of my french doors.

Do I plant now, or wait until spring?



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I'm sorry that I can't help you with your question as I live so very far away.
However, I've been dying for this specific camellia for a few months now and haven't been able to find a single source.
Would you be so generous as to share with me where you purchased it? I'd be ever so grateful...

    Bookmark   December 16, 2004 at 11:50AM
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cannahavana(z7a Knoxville)

Hi James,

I bought it at True Blue Nursery located in Pawleys Island in South Carolina, just south of Myrtle Beach. They don't have a website or mail order. I came across them in the yellow pages while vacationing there and it is a wonderful nursery. I believe I bought it for around $20.

Good luck on your search!


    Bookmark   December 16, 2004 at 1:34PM
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Bummer! But thanks for the information, Rebecca. And congrats on your find. You will enjoy this camellia from everything I hear.

    Bookmark   December 17, 2004 at 7:20AM
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Zone 7a probably is on the borderline for camellias. If you plant it in the ground, wait until spring. Plant it close to your house for protection from the cold. When temperatures are below 20-25 degrees you may want to cover the plant to prevent bud drop. Meanwhile, I would keep the plant outside when temps are above freezing. Indoor humidity is much too dry. You could keep the plant in a container indefinetly. If you go this route of using a container, only move it into a container that is a couple of inches large than the conatiner it is in now. If you move it into a very large container, you will probably slowly kill the plant by over watering. Be sure the soil medium has lots of humus and has good drainage. Morning sun and afternoon shade is the best exposure.

    Bookmark   December 17, 2004 at 12:59PM
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forrestal(Gulf Coast z8b)

You have chosen well on the selection of Tama No Ura! Mine is a very free form camellia that has grown rapidly. I agree with Jim on the timing of planting in spring for your climate -- perhaps very early spring after the harsh freezes are over. That will still give the plant time to develop its root system a little before the hot summer. Be sure to plant it high -- high enough that it will not sink below grade when it settles. And keep it well watered the first year. You probably ought to keep it outside (where there is more humidity) and bring it in during harsh freezes until it is planted. It will be happier.

Down here on the gulf coast, the best time to plant new camellias is right now, but in colder climates I understand it is better to plant in spring.

    Bookmark   December 17, 2004 at 7:10PM
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cannahavana(z7a Knoxville)

Thank you both for the excellent advice. I have been reading conflicting information and just couldn't bear the thought of planting it out now in 20°F weather!

My chosen location will on the north side of my garden shed under tall pines. I don't see me moving it in and out everyday as it is rather heavy. I grow a lot of tropicals and bring many in to overwinter. My house is pretty much transformed into a green house for winter with the humidity hovering around 70% at 70°F. I guess my biggest concern is disrupting the dormant/bloom cycle by keeping it in the warm house all winter.

Thanks again,

    Bookmark   December 18, 2004 at 10:23AM
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jenny_in_se_pa(USDA7 Sunset 32)

jeepers - I was in the gallery to see what this cammie looked like and discovered that Camellia Forest in NC has this variety if you want to give it a shot at ordering.

Here is a link that might be useful: Camellia Forest Nursery

    Bookmark   December 31, 2004 at 7:47PM
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