Camellia - Flower Aristocrat
Like all evergreens, she lives a long time. For example, in Germany in an old Dresden park there is one bushy camellia of a very advanced age. Over 220 years, it has grown to six meters in height, but there is no sign of old age - from February to April it blooms and ... No, unfortunately, it does not smell. However, with her beauty, she can afford it. Not everyone is foolish to smell left and right - camellia is a serious flower.
Camellia - a symbol of heartlessness
As far as I can remember, a curious bush always grew in the grandmother’s garden along the fence. All year round he stood green, and with the onset of cold weather on his wax leaves bright double flowers flashed. Many times I asked my grandmother: what kind of miracle is this? And she smiled slyly and invariably said: “Ah, he gave me one boyfriend. It’s like camellia. That was a long time ago…"
So I did not manage to find out my grandmother's story. But I guess that here it is all about unrequited love. After all, camellia is a symbol of heartless women who lure, not loving, and easily break men's hearts. Be that as it may, but in my garden now comes a bush of camellia. In memory of grandmother's secret.
At first I tried to grow camellia in the room. He later found out that this plant is difficult to grow at home, because it loves coolness. In summer - no higher than 15 ° C, and in winter no higher than 10 ° C. Yes, indeed, cold-blooded beauties! Therefore, camellias grow best in open ground. Moreover, she is not afraid of even twenty-degree frosts.
Perhaps my first indoor experience did not succeed because I planted camellia in the spring, like all my seedlings. But it turned out that at this time the plant begins to grow actively and it practically does not tolerate transplantation. But when there comes a period of rest, you can’t imagine a better time. And what is surprising, from November to February the camellia is all in bloom, but at the same time ... already asleep. And therefore, no transplants are afraid of her.
I learned all this from a specialist in camellias. On his recommendation, I purchased a seedling and planted it in November in the most shady corner of the garden. When planting, he made sure that the root neck was not covered with earth. If this happens, the plant dies. We have quite acidic soil on the site.
Most plants do not like this, but camellia such soil is very suitable. In addition, it is important that the landing site is sufficiently moist. Camellia loves water.
And one more secret. The same specialist advised me to sprinkle under a bush of land scooped around oak, which I did. I must say, camellias really liked it, and in the very first winter, the bush shone with scarlet flowers.
I fertilize my camellias only in the spring, usually in April, when she wakes up and begins to grow actively. In general, the root system of a plant is designed so that it does not require a large amount of fertilizer. Moreover, in no case can you feed the camellia with manure and other organics.
Such fertilizers can cause excessive salinization of the soil, which is detrimental to the plant. Therefore, I use a complex mineral fertilizer for acidic soils, which includes nitrogen, potassium, phosphorus, sulfur. And I repeat again, you can fertilize only in the spring, and not too generously. I make the concentration of the nutrient solution two times less than indicated on the label.
Place for Camellia
Camellias are most affected by high temperature, heavy soil and excessive moisture. Once I noticed that the bush was drooping, the leaves began to fade and fall. That year we had a very rainy summer. With my misfortune, I again turned to a specialist. I must say, he did not reassure me. He said if the roots began to rot, then all, say goodbye to camellia. And then he suddenly advised: try replanting a little higher (my bush grew in a lowland). Transplanted.
Not immediately, but the camellia came to life, and for 10 years she has been alive and well. As for pests, they are not very attractive to them. I noticed a couple of times that I settled on aphid leaves. So I just washed it off with soapy water; she never appeared again. But they say that the most dangerous enemy of camellia is a spider mite, however, I have never had a chance to see it.