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Rooting Camellias

Posted by pskemissy MS (My Page) on
Thu, Jan 3, 13 at 19:28

Hi. Could someone out there tell me the best time of the year in Mississippi to take Camellia cuttings. Also, what is the best way to root them?

There is a very old Camellia Tree(I'm not kidding; it's taller than a one story house) on the land next to me. It has dark red single flowers. I would like to root some cuttings. Attempted last year and failed.

Thanks in advance for any assistance on this project.

Follow-Up Postings:

RE: Rooting Camellias

Long time camellia growers will tell you that you can take cuttings at any time. For the novice in our area, I have found that for Louisiana, late July or early August is generally the time to have more success. Do you know the name of the camellia?

RE: Rooting Camellias

No, I'm sorry I don't know it's name. It has been there many, many years. I looked for shoots off the roots but there are none. It is a single flower, dark red with yellow stamens. Very pretty and the flowers stand out against the green leaves. My aunt planted it and would be approximately 90 years of age if she were still with us.

Thanks for the reply. I'll keep trying to make the cuttings root.

RE: Rooting Camellias

depends on the method of propagation as to the best time.
the most dependable method that i am familiar with is called air layering, done in spring after new growth begins to harden.
see the attached publication for directions. this method is almost fool-proof.
seeds can be collected and planted, too, but the plant will not be a genetic copy of the parent.
cuttings can also be rooted, as outlined in the same publication, around july.
grafting onto rootstock is another way to propagate but you need a compatible rootstock seedling.

good luck with your efforts.

Here is a link that might be useful: camellia culture

RE: Rooting Camellias

Jeff, thank you very much. I read the article and it was very informative. I'll keep trying until I get something to root one way or the other! In the meantime, I think I will search for it's name.

RE: Rooting Camellias

I've got my fingers crossed for one of mine.

I have a pair of camellia sinensis I planted last year that are still fairly small, so I keep an eye on them. They've handled the winter weather just fine, but a few days ago I found that one of them was broken. Good sized branch torn right off and laying down. No clue what broke it.

Seeing as how these things are hard to get ahold of as anything but seed, I stripped the branch down to all but a couple small leaves on the ends, smeared the broken end down with rooting hormone, stuck it in moist soil, and put a bag over it.

I greatly hope it will root, as I can always use more tea plants (and they're bloody expensive when I can get ahold of them).

RE: Rooting Camellias

I have to say the way that I love rooting camellias is air layering. Cutting through the cambian all the way around the stem removing approximately 1" wide. Place wet spaghnum moss around the are, after sprinkling a little rooting powder on the wound. The use of sticky cling wrap seems to hold the moisture in well. Cover with aluminum foil an secure both ends so no light is allowed in. I left mine in place 3 months and noted roots through the cling wrap, still not comfortable that I had enough roots, i left on the plant for an additional 3 months, when I check the whole thing was one big root ball. Will be doing more, if I can find the friends to let me do it to their plants and leave in place long enough to root.

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