A beautiful camellia flower blooming in a flowerbed
image by solrac_gi_2nd/morguefile.com
Many gardeners avoid growing camellia flowers, thinking it is too difficult to grow them successfully. With proper care timed at the proper time of the year, though, camellia flowers can grow abundantly in a shady patch of a flowerbed. As long as you fertilize the camellia flowers at the right times, prune carefully and water enough to keep them moist but not saturated, Camellia plants often thrive and perform a beautiful blossom show in a landscape.
Work a shady area in the autumn. Use the garden spade to work the soil down to a depth of at least 5 inches. Add 2 inches of compost or peat moss to the top of the soil and work this in well with the garden spade. Rake the surface of the soil smooth to finish.
Dig a hole for each camellia plant that is 1 1/2 times deeper than the roots of the plant (camellia plant roots grow near the surface of the soil) and two times the diameter of the roots. After digging the hole, replace a small mound of packed garden soil back into the center of the hole to elevate the plant. Place the camellia plant into the prepared hole and make sure that the crown of the plant sits approximately 2 inches above the soil level. Hold the plant with one hand and refill the hole with soil firmly around the roots with the other hand.
Create a ridge of soil encircling the camellia plant approximately 6 inches away from the base of the plant. This will help make sure that water does not pool near the plant. Fill the area in the center of the ridge (nearest the base of the plant) with shredded mulch. This will help prevent weeds, keep the soil properly moist and keep the roots cool in the summer and warm in the winter.
Fertilize the camellia plants only between April and September. Fertilize once every other month, mixing the fertilizer with water at half the recommended strength for best results. Water the camellia plants the day before you plan to fertilize. Do not fertilize during heat waves, to avoid damaging the plants.
De-bud camellias to encourage better blooming. Prior to the plant blooming, remove all but one bud at the tip of each stem so that the one remaining bud will grow as large as possible.
Prune camellias immediately after blooming to avoid removing blossom buds. Examine the plant carefully and remove any weak branches. Cut these branches off where they intersect with the main branch. Use the pruning shears to shape the plant into the size you desire. Simply cut branches back to where you want them to achieve the desired shape. Encourage a camellia plant to grow large by only snipping off approximately 1 inch from the branches. Keep a camellia plant its current size by snipping the branches back to approximately 2 inches shorter than the size you want it to be.
Protect the camellias from expected winter freezes by watering generously prior to the freeze and constructing a windbreak to shelter the plants from wind. If there are opened blooms on the plants, cover the plant before the freeze.