How do you root a cutting from a Camellia?

blueberryhills(7 NW AL)March 12, 2009

In the "plants your garden would be lost without" thread, foxesearth mentioned rooted cuttings of Camellias. How do you root a cutting? My Grandmother had one in her yard that bloomed in the winter. In January and February, it would just be loaded with deep red, rose-like blooms. We tried burying a limb in the dirt underneath, but it would never take root. Are there certain conditions Camellias like better than others? Hers was on the west side of the house (actually too close to the house). I've always wanted a piece of it - but didn't have a clue as to how to do it. Grandmother loved to garden, she could grow anything. I, unfortunately, didn't inherit her green thumb. Thanks for any advice you can give me!!

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Nell Jean

Your grandmother's camellia might be 'Professor Sargeant' -- we'll not talk about the two that used to be here until DH decided to move them. Nevermind.

Burying a limb will work IF you cut into the bark and put a pebble in the cut to hold it open. Sometimes. It works better for azaleas.

I belong to the 'here, take this and stick it in the ground it will root' school of rooting cuttings as taught by Miss Billie Harvey. This brings up a multitude of questions from the person being told to stick a cutting in the ground:
Where in the ground?
How deep in the ground?
Should it be in the shade?
How often to water?
How do I know when it has rooted? -- and on and on.

Green thumbs are developed by trial and error. For every stem that roots, there are some that do not.
Get some cuttings, stick them somewhere and don't let them dry out, but don't agonize over them too much.
Type 'root Camellia' into Google or another search engine. Dozens of how-tos will appear. Here's a likely one with lots of tips, from a reliable source.

Nell

Here is a link that might be useful: Klaus Peper Tells How to Root Camellias

    Bookmark   March 12, 2009 at 8:50PM
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token28001(zone7b NC)

Nell, That is exactly the kind of advice my grandmother would have given me. Here, take this 'yellerbell' and stick over yonder in the ground. Make sure you stick it in the shade. Don't forget to dig it up before next spring or you won't get it out.

I've done that a lot this winter with forsythia, mock orange, and a few unknown items. They all seem to be developing buds, some even have leaves.

    Bookmark   March 13, 2009 at 9:49AM
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blueberryhills(7 NW AL)

Nell, thank you. I now have several cuttings (in a jar at the moment) and I'll try sticking them in the ground. I figured while I was there, I'd also try part of her lilac and rose bushes. We shall see ......

    Bookmark   March 13, 2009 at 10:08PM
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