Some camellias grow just the way they want to ….

Camellia season is almost upon us here in South East Queensland – so we have been busy tidying our young camellias and making them look as good as possible.

Some need staking upright – and this process means that we take a good look at each plant.

The ‘Elegans’ family, Elegans, Elegans Champagne, Elegans Splendour and Elegans Supreme, as young plants, are often untidy, with short upright growth with invariably a vigorous branch shooting off at right angles, low on the plant.

Elegans Splendour – young plants with a strong branch at right angles

Elegans Splendour – new branches

Tying up the branches can result in them snapping at the trunk.

Another aspect that applies to all camellias is that a young plant may decide to put on a flower bud at a early stage, on the leading growth. Once this happens, the plant puts all its energy into developing the flower and as a result, no new growth will happen – until the following season. Ultimately, both plants will grow away the following season.

Plant on the left has developed a flower bud. The other has put energy into vegetative growth and is much taller.

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