Large flower large, eastern red, double incomplete or sometimes semi-double. 11.5 cm in diameter and 4.5 cm deep; crinkled petals about 5.5 cm wide. Pink filaments, yellow anthers. The plants are vigorous, compact and durable.
The camellias are not afraid of the cold, and can bear very harsh temperatures; need to be positioned in a semi shaded but bright enough place, exposed to direct sunlight only during the coolest hours of the day. Sometimes it is advisable to shelter them from the wind, especially in areas with harsh winters. When the months of January and February are very cold it may be convenient cover with agricultural fabric plants with buds already formed, to prevent from frost the flowers.
Camellias need regular watering, throughout the year, do not tolerate long periods of drought, so it is necessary to be vigilant, especially with specimens grown in pots, because the soil might dry out excessively, and in that case it’s necessary to intervene with abundant watering. In order to obtain a rich flowering and vigorous shrubs is advisable to check the soil moisture even during the cold months, because the cold winter wind can dry out excessively the aerial part of the plant, and also the land. In autumn spread around the plants mature organic fertilizer, or slow release granular fertilizer.
We recommend a regular fertilization, using a specific fertilizer for acidophilic plants, remember that the use of slow-release fertilizer let you use a fertilizer once every three or four months.
Camellias prefer acid soils, completely devoid of limestone, the soil should be soft and deep, rich in humus. It may be convenient to periodically add peat to it, to avoid that with time it tends to have an excessively high ph. The plants grown in pots should be repotted every 3-4 years, using a specific soil for acidophilic plants.
The most common pest is the aphid, an insect that attacks almost all the species mentioned. Very often some varieties of Camellia are attacked from the cochineal.
The camellias do not require significant pruning and in autumn, we proceed by removing dead or ruined branches; after flowering we remove all the withered flowers and possibly shaping the crown. To get flowers of considerable size it is also possible to remove some buds if they are present in large numbers.
The Camellia can be easily reproduced from seed, even if the best method of multiplication is the cuttings, since the plants obtained from seeds of hybrid plants do not produce flowers identical to those of the parent plant. Another technique used is the graft. The graft of Camellia is often used to replace a variety to another, especially in adult specimens. The best technique is to engage the camellia grafting scion. It is called a scion a piece of branch with different gems (which usually is cut but can also be the branch of a potted plant). Among the various types of grafts scion one of the most used for the camellia is the grafting for approximation. This technique consists in creating a longitudinal cut by removing a part of the bark of the trunk in each of the two plants (the rootstock and the scion). The wounds are so dovetailed and have to be tied tight with raffia. After about two months we cut the rootstock (above the graft) and the graft (below the graft). The best time to make such a grafting is March-April. You can also use cleft or crown graftings.
N.B.: Since it is preferable that the scions remain at rest until the time of the grafting, it is good to pick them up during the winter and keep them cool.
CAMELLIA JAPONICA: CARE & MAINTENANCE
Partially shady place, where it can receive the sunrays during the coolest hours of the day.
Quite frequent and regular, once a week, making sure to let the soil dry between waterings.
Regular, using a fertilizer for acidophilic plants.