Plant japon­ica camel­lias

Gardening Australia - - YOUR PLANNER -

Now that sasan­qua camel­lias and their hy­brids (left) are in full bloom, it’s time to be think­ing about find­ing a spot for a japon­ica camel­lia or two. They are prob­a­bly Aus­tralia’s best loved win­ter bloomer, boast­ing an al­most per­fect com­bi­na­tion of ma­jes­tic flow­ers, tidy bushes and dark, shiny, dense fo­liage, with very few pests or dis­eases. Thou­sands of named va­ri­eties in­clude sin­gle, dou­ble and pe­ony flower forms, rang­ing from pure white to soft pink to full red.

‘De­sire’ is an in­cred­i­bly beau­ti­ful dou­ble va­ri­ety that has long-last­ing blooms with white to pale blush-pink petals, edged with deeper pink. ‘Love­light’ is one of the best per­form­ing pure white japon­i­cas, with large blooms that con­tinue up to Septem­ber, while ‘Grand Mar­shall’ dis­plays large, vivid red, in­for­mal dou­ble blooms.

Japon­ica camel­lias bloom quite well in the shade, and ac­tu­ally pre­fer dap­pled shade, as they can suf­fer from sun­burn. They make de­light­ful screens and hedges, and grow well in pots. You need to keep them well wa­tered af­ter plant­ing, but once es­tab­lished they are sur­pris­ingly drought tol­er­ant. Keep well mulched with a mix of straw and com­post, and fer­tilise with camel­lia food in spring.

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from Australia

© PressReader. All rights reserved.