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camellia culture questions

Posted by PoorOwner Northern CA (My Page) on
Wed, May 18, 05 at 12:52

Hi, my camellia is growing nicely, I would like to know if it would be ok to plant the camellia as a foundation plant. Close against a wall on my shed.

The shed has no underground foundation so roots would grow underground both ways, although it won't be watered on the one side, obviously.

The ground has surrounding grass also. Is this a problem?

The wall is facing north and get east morning sun.. and shade from the shed in the afternoon. But if it gets tall enough one day (7'+)? it might be exposed to afternoon sun on the top because that would be higher than the shed.
I am not really wanting to use a trellis or espalier.

The camellia is a japonica and it was purchased as a 5 gallon plant couple months ago, has been in the ground since but I have to move it right now.

Do you guys have pictures of camellia's against a wall? It is not ideal growing condition with the lawn, I know, but it needs to go somewhere.

Follow-Up Postings:

RE: camellia culture questions

My sister's had been planted by the previous owner of her house, about 5 or 6ft out from the garage wall of the neighboring house. That wall is south-facing. This is what it looked like the year after she moved in and before she put up her fence:

The far left of the 2nd picture shows a metal stake at an angle with a climbing rose on it that was right up against the garage wall (an FYI for perspective). The spacing was far enough to maintain foliage on both sides and not be on the property line, but close enough to provide some protection and give it a microclimate to eventually grow the size that it is.

Now with the 6ft privacy fence there, you can see what the spacing afforded with this mature tree:

So it's do-able but I would consider giving it some space (doesn't have to be that much as you could prune) if you want the pyramidal shape to develop when it is mature (the above one is at least 40+ years old) but still have it appear against a wall.

RE: camellia culture questions

I do not think it is a good idea. Camellia needs slight moist soil. I am not sure your house foundation area needs extra moisture.

Find a place with morning sun and afternoon shade. The location is sheltered, not at a wind tunnel.

RE: camellia culture questions

i have c. japonica 'rose dawn' growing in identical conditions to those that you propose. the front of my house faces north and the shrub is about 3.5' from there (i wish i had planted it a bit further but can trim back any branches that touch the house). the top has reached the edge of the roof and the lawn begins a few feet from the front of the shrub. it is doing just fine in this location. i will also say that, by mid-summer, the angle of the sun has moved northward so that this shrub receives almost full sun during those months. i would suggest cutting back the grass and mulch an area under the canopy of the camellia, as you would do with a planting bed and place the shrub 4'-5' min. from the wall. the shallow roots of the camellia do not need competition from the grass.
there are photos of my flowers in the gallery but i don't have a picture of the setting with the entire shrub.

RE: camellia culture questions

I have three camellias scattered throughout the front of the house and planted several feet away from the foundation). Because the cement foundation leeches lime -which raises the Ph- I keep and eye on the plant leaves and take appropriate action when I notice iron chlorosis (only once in the last three years). Luis

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