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winter protection of camellias

Posted by doniki z5/6 NE Ohio (My Page) on
Mon, Oct 18, 04 at 23:28

I have had relatively good luck with the cold-hardy "Winter" series camellias, and wanted to try a spring blooming variety. When I was in the South, I purchased 3 Camellia Jap. Kumasaka's and planted them this summer up against my brick house (within 3 ft.) under the canopy of a large hemlock and a mature white pine. The space is within an "L" shape of the house, but faces the south- though it does not get much sun. I live in the city and the area is very protected. I have never protected the "Winter" series camellias other than with some wilt-proof and maybe a covering on the coldest nights. I know that the Kumasaka's will need more protection and was told that they would do just fine and bloom if I made a wire and burlap cage and filled it with oak leaves. Is that true? What else could I do...??? I really want to give these nice looking plants a shot.. they are full of buds. If anybody has any experience or suggestions I would appreciate it...

Follow-Up Postings:

RE: winter protection of camellias

The problem with the oak leaves or any kind of covering is that during the day when the temperture goes up above freezing, they need to be able to get light on the leaves. It's hard to determine how much darkness they can stand. the leaves in the frame would be difficult to handle.

The buds usually freeze when exposed to freezing temps for more than a few hours. That's why you want an early blooming type. They bloom before the temperture gets to be a problem. It's the blossums that are tender. The bush can stand a lot.

However, it's worth a try. We cover ours with blankets or bedspreads that can be easily removed.

What ever you do, don't allow plastic to lay against the bush. Moisture will condense on the plastic and freeze.

Since you have them so close to the house, look and see if you could lean a framework of boards or PCV pipe covered with plastic against the house to form sort of a mini-greenhouse.

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