First fall-blooming Camellias are here!

bill_ri_z6b(Zone 6B)October 12, 2013

Yesterday the first few blossoms of my "Snow Flurry" opened. I estimated over 700 buds on the plant! If the weather stays reasonably mild, they will bloom into December.

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Thyme2dig NH Zone 5

Bill, you must have magic dust or something! That's A LOT of buds. How nice you'll get such a great show. Your garden is really so beautiful and such a nice, interesting variety of plants. I always enjoy pics of your 'snow flurry' as well any pic of your garden. Do you find you have microclimates there with all the rock, stone and gravel you have?

Have you tried any spring blooming camellias?

    Bookmark   October 12, 2013 at 2:22PM
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claireplymouth z6b coastal MA

700 buds?!?! The poor thing is going to explode and faint away like a Victorian damsel. Get out the smelling salts!

Claire

    Bookmark   October 12, 2013 at 5:13PM
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bill_ri_z6b(Zone 6B)

Thyme,

I suppose the rock walls act as a heat reservoir to some extent, and the stone mulch out in the front xeric garden (cacti, yuccas, hesperaloe, lavender, ice plants, sempervivums, etc.) acts a bit to retain some warmth, but more importantly for succulent and desert plants, it keeps them drier in winter by keeping them above the soil.

I have four spring blooming Camellias. Two are "April Blush", one "April Dawn" and one that I think is "April Kiss". That last one was mis-labeled as "April Dawn" but it's not.

Here is "April Blush". The larger one is about 6 feet tall and 4.5 feet wide. This past spring it had over 200 flowrs.

This is "April Kiss"

And finally "April Dawn"

    Bookmark   October 12, 2013 at 5:19PM
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mjc_molie(z6 CT)

Yikes! Your "Snow Flurry" has over 700 buds!

(Speechless here, Bill.)

    Bookmark   October 13, 2013 at 9:34AM
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bill_ri_z6b(Zone 6B)

Molie, the plant is about 7 feet across and maybe 5 feet high. The buds form in clusters of 3-7 along the stems, so maybe 25-30 per stem. If I have a chance, I'll post a photo of the whole plant.

    Bookmark   October 13, 2013 at 10:24AM
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mjc_molie(z6 CT)

Thanks, Bill. I'd love to see full shots of your Camellias to get an idea of their eventual growth.

I've been researching Camellias to find one that would "fit" into my yard with its relatively windy conditions. I fear that the winds will do more harm than cold temperatures. However, several years ago I planted a Hydrangea --- not hardy in our zone --- in a very sheltered location and it has thrived. So we'll see.

Molie

    Bookmark   October 14, 2013 at 8:45AM
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bill_ri_z6b(Zone 6B)

Molie,
I took this last fall, but it's a pretty good example of how "Snow Flurry" grows. This one tends to spread rather than grow tall, and the stems and branches are softer than the spring blooming types. As you can see, there were many flowers already past (petals all over the ground) and many, many more white buds all over it. And this year it's bigger of course. I took it with my phone camera so not that great. Meanwhile, I am looking for a photo of "April Blush" and I'll post it when I find it.

    Bookmark   October 14, 2013 at 10:41AM
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Thyme2dig NH Zone 5

OMG! I Love that shrub! It looks so different from the southern varieties my parents have. What a great looking shrub. And such a blooming powerhouse. Does it get any fall color? Or am I asking too much from one beautiful shrub?!

    Bookmark   October 14, 2013 at 5:35PM
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bill_ri_z6b(Zone 6B)

Thyme-
Thanks! Well being evergreen (one reason I like Camellias!) it doesn't lose leaves so no fall color (other than the flower show!). My spring blooming camellias probably look very much like the ones with which you are familiar. I'm looking for a photo of one of those now and will post when I find it.

    Bookmark   October 14, 2013 at 7:38PM
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Thyme2dig NH Zone 5

Darn. I was half hoping it was like leucothoe which is evergreen but goes through changes of leaf color. 'Snow Flurry' will be in my garden sooner than later! Thanks

    Bookmark   October 14, 2013 at 8:44PM
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diggingthedirt

That's beautiful, Bill - Snow Flurry is on my short list now.

    Bookmark   October 17, 2013 at 8:22PM
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bill_ri_z6b(Zone 6B)

DTD, thanks. You should have good results on the cape with Camellias. Sandy acid soil, and if you have a spot under some tall pines, they would love it. Are you growing some already?

    Bookmark   October 18, 2013 at 3:55AM
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diggingthedirt

I've tried a few times, but only with tiny ones, and once with a pair had been forced for a flower show. The big trees in my yard (and neighbors' yards) are maples, so most of my shade in the past has been too dry.

I do have one small one - slightly crowded - that's still young (maybe 2 years?) and hasn't bloomed yet ... ever hopeful, though! Maybe I'll go out and water it now.

    Bookmark   October 18, 2013 at 9:07AM
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bill_ri_z6b(Zone 6B)

DTD, they don't have to be in complete shade. If they get morning sun and then shade from the hottest summer sun they will be OK. So at the edge (if there is one ) of the maple shadow, they may work for you

    Bookmark   October 18, 2013 at 10:52AM
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