Cold hardy camellias

Thyme2dig NH Zone 5March 23, 2013

Howdy camellia fans! I'm doing some nursery hopping down in the Raleigh, NC area and stopped at Camellia Forest Nursery. Wanted to pass along that for Z6A/B they have about 60 varieties, both spring and fall blooming for anyone that might be interested in checking their website for varieties. Their $15 plants were quite a nice size. I picked up 1 fall bloomer to experiment with. Tempted to try a spring bloomer too. I've always admired Bill's pictures and finally jumped in and got one.

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bill_ri_z6b(Zone 6B)

Which fall bloomer did you get? My "April Blush" must have at least 150+ buds, and they're getting fatter now, even with this cold spring weather. Last year at this time I had many blooms open, but it was a lot milder then. Good luck!

    Bookmark   March 24, 2013 at 11:09AM
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Thyme2dig NH Zone 5

I got Autumn Spirit. It said it bloomed early so I'm hoping it won't have the buds/blooms nipped by an early frost.

I'm heading back down to NC next month and will be stopping back in there. Your variety is 6B, so I'm not sure I should press my luck that much, but they do have a number of 6A choices. I'll probably look for a later bloomer to be on the safer side.

I forget if you've mentioned it before, do you do any special winter protection? Or have you sited it where it is just happy in general. Thanks

    Bookmark   March 24, 2013 at 10:30PM
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bill_ri_z6b(Zone 6B)

I don't use any winter protection. One of the parents of "Autumn Spirit" is C, oleifera, so it should have good cold resistance. My "Snow Flurry" has C. oleifera as a parent too, and it has never had any kind of dieback or damage at all, barely a leaf was touched in over 15 years in the ground. And that includes some long cold spells such as the three weeks in January 2004 when the temperature dipped to -6 here and at or slightly below zero several nights, nor did the daytime highs ever get above freezing. Nearly all those nights got to the single digits, at best. So that was quite a test for it.

As for protection for your area, protection from drying winds is important. And maybe protection from heavy snow loads. I would think that some temporary structure of wood to support some burlap would protect it. Planting it close to the south or southeast side of a building or wall, etc. could also be a good idea.

    Bookmark   March 25, 2013 at 10:55AM
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