Camellia

Belonging lo the same family of plants. Theaceae, as the tea plants of commerce, the camellias are very much more durable than was at one time supposed. In milder areas if planted in open woodland they will develop into fine specimen plants, giving a magnificent show of their waxy, single or double flowers in the spring. The varieties offered for pot cultivation are mostly hybrids of Camellia japonica and the colours range from white through pink to red.

When reared in pots they are probably at their best when overwintered in a cold greenhouse thai gives them a little protection from the worst of the weather, and during the summer months their naturally glossy leaves will do much to enhance the appearance of the patio, or terrace.

A peaty lime-free compost is essential and it will benefit plants if all watering can be done with rain water. Being slow-growing subjects, pruning is seldom necessary and when done should be confined to trimming untidy growth to a more pleasant shape. When grown as a pot plant indoors it is essential that the camellia should have a light window position in order to encourage growth and flower production. Keeping the compost moist in summer is important, with a little less water being given during the winter months - it is, however, essential that the compost should be free draining and pots must be well crocked. Due to a slow rate of growth potting on is not required very frequently, and it is important that all plants should be confined to pots that are relevant to their size. Loss of flowers and buds may result from erratic watering, 77 and from wildly fluctuating temperatures.

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