How to Propagate Camelias

Overview

The camellia, an evergreen flowering shrub that's native to Asia, is considered an ornamental plant in the residential landscape because of its profusion of large flowers and glossy green foliage. Camellias thrive in acidic soil in USDA hardiness zones 6b to 9b. The easiest method of camellia propagation is by rooting cuttings. Take your camellia cuttings in the summer.

Step 1

Cut a camelia stem that is just beginning to turn brown. Make the cut at the fifth leaf node (small bump where the leaf joins the stem) from the tip of the cutting. Keep the cutting moist and out of direct sunlight until you plant it.

Step 2

Remove all of the lower leaves on the cutting, with the exception of three, at the top. If the remaining leaves are large, cut them in half.

Step 3

Combine equal parts of sand and peat moss, moisten it and pour it into the pot. Use a pencil to poke a 2-inch-deep hole in the soil for the cutting. If rooting more than one cutting, place the planting holes 2 inches apart.

Step 4

Stick the bare end of the cutting into the rooting hormone and then into the soil. Pack the soil around the cutting and mist it with water.

Step 5

Place four wooden craft sticks, adjacent to one another, into the soil at the edges of the pot. Cover the with a plastic bag, adjusting it so that the craft sticks hold the plastic away from the cutting. The soil should remain moist within this mini greenhouse but check periodically to make sure. The cutting should root within six weeks.

Things You'll Need

  • Sharp knife or pruning shears
  • Sand
  • Peat moss
  • Planting pot, 4 to 6 inches deep
  • Rooting hormone
  • Wood craft sticks
  • Transparent plastic bag

References

  • Virginia Camellia Society: Propagating Camellias by Cuttings and Seeds
  • “Manual of Woody Landscape Plants: Their Identification, Ornamental Characteristics, Culture, Propagation and Uses”; Michael A. Dirr; 1998
Keywords: propagate camellias, clone camellias, root camellia cuttings

About this Author

Victoria Hunter has been a freelance writer since 2005, providing writing services to small businesses and large corporations worldwide. She writes for Ancestry.com, GardenGuides and ProFlowers, among others. Hunter holds a Bachelor of Arts in English.