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Camelia in a Pot...

Discussion in 'Other Plants' started by Sally Parker, May 17, 2018.

  1. Sally Parker

    Sally Parker Gardener

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    Just bought one home, got her from Morrisons for £2, so she's very small, but I think she's going to be beautiful one day!! :biggrin:

    [​IMG]

    Just a couple of questions if I may?

    Firstly, that is quite a large pot we have put her in, is that ok?? The pot we bought her in was really tiny, not much bigger than a seedling pot, so this is a LOT bigger!! Also, we have just put her in some multi purpose compost, but since read they like more acidic soil, So do you think this will be ok for now??

    I looked up on the RHS site about the plant and it seems quite complicated to grow them so they stay healthy and flower well, especially if grown in a pot and then there's the pest problems they can develop. Also, I think our water is quite hard here, so probably high in calcium, which isn't good as it makes the soil too alkaline, but we haven't got a water butt and there's no rain forecast for a couple of weeks now. So we'll have to use tap water. :frown:

    Any tips please on growing Camelias in pots successfully? I've always wanted a Camelia and don't want it to be an unhealthy specimen.
     
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    • Tetters

      Tetters Total Gardener

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      @Sally Parker I think you have answered your own question to some degree. No, the Camelia will not do well in ordinary compost, it needs to be ericaceous.
      The pot you have used is too big. It is always best to increase the pot size in smaller stages.
      You can get small bags of ericaceous compost uite cheaply, and it would be worth mixing in a little bit of horticultural grit to aid drainage.
      Hope you end up with a healthy happy plant. Good luck.:)
       
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      • Verdun

        Verdun Passionate gardener

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        Agree with Tetters. A smaller pot, ericaceous john innes and the addition of a small amount of grit.

        Actually, camellias are reasonably lime tolerant. Here they grow perfectly well in my neutral soil but if you are going to buy compost then go for ericaceous.

        I also think tap water is ok....better to water with it than allow the plant to dry out. :)
         
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        • Sally Parker

          Sally Parker Gardener

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          I have since checked and the compost is actually peat moss with organic matter, so it should be ok for now anyway. :smile:

          Do I really have to change the pot to something smaller?? :frown: Surely it will still grow ok in that large pot?
           
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          • Sally Parker

            Sally Parker Gardener

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            Thanks Verdun! Please see my reply above about the compost we used actually being peat moss based, so it's already quite acidic. :)

            Yes, will use tap water for now, but is there anything else I can add to the soil to combat any extra acidity from the tap water???
             
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            • Tetters

              Tetters Total Gardener

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              Wot you after then? :cool:
               
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              • Verdun

                Verdun Passionate gardener

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                Its not just being acidic Sally or being peat based. You need a soil based compost. A john innes type. An ericaceous john innes. Ask at the garden centre.
                Dont concern yourself about tap water or over think this. Get the right compost, a smaller pot and water it in. Simple :)
                 
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                • pete

                  pete Growing a bit of this and a bit of that....

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                  Peat based compost has lime added to make it ph neutral, so it is not acidic, unlike ericaceous compost which contains no added lime.
                  I can see why @Verdun says buy soil based ericaceous compost, it is better long term, but I dont find it that easy to aquire, peat based ericaceous is very much easier to find.
                   
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                  • Verdun

                    Verdun Passionate gardener

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                    Ordinary john innes is preferable to ericaceous mpc though. Camellias will grow in the former; after a season they will struggle in the latter.
                    People often lump camellias in with azaleas, rhodendrons, etc., as needing the same conditions and soil. You can, if you wish to, add flowers of sulphur to straight john innes to further acidify the soil :)
                     
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                    • pete

                      pete Growing a bit of this and a bit of that....

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                      It's all about feeding, yes I agree soil based has more staying power, but as I say, not easy to find soil based ericaceous compost around here, only seen it in one place.

                      I grow camellias in what is basically neutral conditions, in my garden, and without some help they do show signs of chlorosis, as I see often around here in other peoples gardens also, so I tend to think they do need slightly acid conditions.

                      Adding sulphur really is a pain, I've tried it in the garden for years, even sulphur chips that are supposed to have longer lasting effects, but not something worthwhile long term in my opinion.

                      I'm also growing a couple of Rhodos in the same area.
                      They look the best ever this year, been throwing all my windfall apples under them for the last two years.:biggrin:
                       
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                      • Gail_68

                        Gail_68 Beauty blooms in the garden as well as the heart.

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                        Hi @Sally Parker I brought a white camellia from a garden centre but more matured but I did get ericaceous compost which other members have stated..as I always ask the staff at the garden centres the best compost for the plant and I brought the pot they said it would last in for a couple of years...it only did a year in it as it was out growing it.
                        When I added it in to the garden it had the ericaceous all around it besides normal soil...I would personally do as members have stated a pot smaller and also ericaceous, as it would be a shame to lose the plant as it looks lovely and healthy :)

                        Mine in it's pot when first brought.

                        SDC15530.JPG

                        Moved to the garden and flower buds getting reading for 2018

                        SDC13182.JPG


                        Now this year after full flowering and new leaves developing

                        20180510_140114.jpg


                         
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                        • Sally Parker

                          Sally Parker Gardener

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                          Yours looks lovely Gail_68 :)

                          I hope mine does as well as yours does. But I'm going to have to leave in the peat moss compost for now and see how it does. I also bought some Sulphate of Ammonia powder this morning, which says is good to add acidity to the soil. So I'm going to add a little bit of that to the compost and water it in.
                           
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                          • Verdun

                            Verdun Passionate gardener

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                            Sally, no, I would not add sulphate of ammonia. Forget about the feeding for now; its all about the soil. John innes ericaceous is all you need. Sulphate of ammonia promotes rapid but sappy growth !
                            Careful about siting your white camelia....white flowers are more prone to browning in sun and suffer more from rapid thawing following frost. :)
                             
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                            • Sally Parker

                              Sally Parker Gardener

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                              Oh, I can't get any of that John Innes at the moment, so have just wasted my money (What little I've got!) on that Sulphate of ammonia. :( Won't it hurt just to give it occasionally?? Otherwise I don't know what to do with it, I can't really take it back. It says on the box it's a good cure for schlerois (Where the leaves turn yellow due to lack of acidity), so maybe I should just wait and see if that happens and then either try and get the Innes or give a little Sulphate? I don't want the sappy growth though. :(

                              My camelia is red, not white Verdun. :) I know it's a long way to winter, but I don't have a clue what variety it is, so don't know whether to cover it if we get an extreme winter again, or not. :what:
                               
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                              • Sally Parker

                                Sally Parker Gardener

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                                I'm getting all stressed now about trying to keep all my plants healthy, both pots and in the garden!! :( I've got so many now (Both in garden, pots and inside!) and have got to try and work out what needs feeding what and when and when to water in all this dry, warm weather too! :dunno:

                                I think it would be easy if it was just a handful of plants, but there are SOOOOO many, because I couldn't/can't stop buying them!!! :frown::redface:

                                It's like an addiction!!!! :runforhills::runforhills:
                                 
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