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Tough camellia -- Amazing story

Posted by tired_of_digging z10 (My Page) on
Sat, May 1, 10 at 15:56

Back in 2006, I bought two camellia bushes. The two were grown in their pots side-by-side, inside a raised bed filled with many shade-loving plants, most of which were in the ground.
I had a plan to build a collection of specimens, mostly hybrids, which I intended grow for cuttings. One has died a short while after I bought it, but the other has survived. The propagated cuttings were intended for growing and selling as mature plants, as an extra income. However, work and extra-income activity did not mix well. There were numerous difficulties organizing things, although the technicality of propagating the cuttings did well. Too often, things were moved from one place to the other to make-up for lack of space, other things were forgotten and dehydrated, too many hands spoiled the soup, a dog was brought and there was no time for fencing in mid-winter. The raised bed became nothing more than a doggy-litter. 2007 was the beginning of the credit crisis. Commodity prices went-up for a while and I paid too much taxes. Debts accumulated and years of savings have evaporated. I don't remember what was left in the garden, but I could smell the litter from the street. Too busy for doing anything else but work.
Contrary to grower's recommendations, my father occasionally watered the surviving camellia bush with tap-water. In my country water is too alkaline ("hard"). Leaf litter and occasional coffee grounds was the only nutrients it received. Last week, I noticed that despite all that, the bush was doing well and is covered with lush new growth. There were no yellow leaves and no signs of high-pH stress. Tomorrow, I am going to repot it and move it to a brighter location. With some luck, I will take some cuttings while pruning it. Hope they will root and grow...

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RE: Tough camellia -- Amazing story

Congratulations! I also hope you are successful with the new cuttings!

This part of Texas has a lot of alkaline soils and my camellias have tolerated the alkalinity well. I do ammend the soil in Spring with garden Sulphur though and sometimes, not always, I will water by hand using water from a rain barrel.

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