How to Root a Camellia
The Camellia plant is an evergreen shrub that is native to Southeast Asia and grows to 4 to 6 feet in height. Camellia plants are also called Tea Plants, as the leaves are commonly used for tea production. The plant is propagated through the process of rooting stem cuttings taken in the summer months, when new growth is starting to ripen and turn brown in color. Cuttings rooted from the plant will produce an exact duplicate of the mother plant.
Take the Camellia stem cutting near the fifth node, which is a bud-like growth that appears at the leaf junction of the stem. Remove the lower half of the stem leaves, but keep the eyes, as the roots develop at those.
Create a rooting medium by mixing equal parts of course sterile potting sand and sterile peat moss. Moisten the medium with water so it is not dripping wet. Fill a 4 to 6 inch deep potting tray with the moistened medium.
Dip the cut end of the stem into rooting hormone, and gently tap off excess hormone. Stick the cut end into the rooting medium at a depth of 2 to 3 inches. Place the cuttings 2 inches apart in the tray, and gently firm the soil to hold in place.
Place a clear plastic covering over the tray to retain moisture. Place the tray in a warm location with indirect sunlight.
Mist the cuttings to keep the soil moist and environment humid during the rooting process. Do not over water the soil, as this may cause the cuttings to rot.
Gently pull on the cuttings to verify if there is resistance from root growth. Rooting may take up to six weeks. Transplant rooted cuttings in 4 -nch plastic potting containers filled with sterile potting medium or planted directly into a protected garden area.
Sanitize the garden pruning shears in a solution of nine parts water and one part bleach prior to making stem cuttings. Let the pruning shears dry completely before use.