Brittany with its soft and moderate climate is an exceptional area for camellias growing


This personal homepage indexes alphabetically with photography, the main camellias  I observed and photographed in the Brittany area. It can be a help to recognizing a variety  when one begins in the growing of these splendid plants. Also to improve and supplement this homepage, I'll accept all your remarks and your photographs of camellias !

Main species:

   * Camellia Japonica: most wide-spread; native of japan, it prefers the semi-shade but it also tolerates the sun.

    * Camellia Higo: it's a camellia with single flowers and a cluster of stamens in its center. It' s a variety of c. Japonica.

   * Camellia Reticulata: native of China, province of Yunnan;shrub of medium size in general and giving very large flowers which range from the pale pink to the dark red.

   * Camellia Saluenensis: native of Japan, very rustic, it' s especially used to produce hybrids.

   * Camellia Hybrid: it' s a crossing between the species above; many colors and shapes of flowers are available in this variety. They are very rustic.

   * Camellia Sasanqua: native of Japan, only species which accepts the sun well; it flowers in october and covers with small single and often very fragant flowers.

    * Camellia Hiémalis: looks like the Sasanqua by its good gets on well with the sun; very prolific variety , rustic, with blooming in autumn.

Plantation's conditions:

   * Site: semi-shade, under cover of trees with light foliage; except Sasanqua which tolerates a nonextreme sun. They should also be sheltered from cold eastern and northern winds.

   * Ground: it likes a  light, slighty wet and acid ground(PH6: it' s the case in Brittany) and a  drained ground specially well. A little  heather ground mixed with a leaf mould and the original ground  is very good.

Flower form:

single semi-double anemone form

peony form

imbricated bell form falling

 Propagating: following the advice of "Fanch Le Moal", the specialist in the Guingamp area (he has a superb collection of more than 4000 camellias in which there are 600 different varieties ! and his garden can be visited in march if you ask him); he used 4 different methods which all appeared efficient.

   * Seed sowing: can be done as from november in a vat filled by a balanced mixture of heather ground, brown peat and garden ground. The seeds must always be kept  wet after harvesting. The seedlings can be used as understocks after 4 to 5 years, or are used to obtain new varieties. The flowers of these seedlings appear after only about 10 years.

    * Propagation by cutting: it must be practised after midsummer in polystyrene vats containing 1/3 of garden ground, 1/3 of brown peat, 1/3 of big sand or very small fine gravel.

    - disinfect  the mixture with 2 liters of boiling water..

    - let the mixture get dry.

    - put the cuttings which will be taken from the shoots of the year and will comprise a leaf and approximately 5 cm of stem cut obliquely below the leaf.

    - lay out a pane on the top of the vat to avoid drying  and leave approximately 18 months.

    - remove the flower's buds if they appear.

    - then transplant into individual pots.

    * Air-layering: this method makes it possible to  quickly have seedlings of good size. It is practised from April to May on branches of 8 to 10 mm in diameter.

    - remove the bark all around the branch over a lengh of 2 cm.

    - wrap that section with moss soaked in water.

    - cover the moss with a first plastic bag then with a second one (in order to avoid evaporation).

    - tighten the ends of the bags with string or electric wire.

    - lay out an aluminium foil around the plastic bags , in order to control the temperature.

    - cut at the beginning of november, before the frosts, and put  in the garden or in a container (leave the moss on the roots).

     * Grafting: it can be practised all year long in plating on camellias of 6 to 8 mm in diameter.The best time is from April at August.

    - take the graft a shoot of the year.

    - cut obliquely the graft and the seedling receiver.

    - stick together the bark of the graft and that of the seedling.

    - bind with lead wire (no putty !! )

    - cover with a glass jar or a waterproof plastic film (choke) to avoid the air.

    - the starting of the graft occurs after 3 to 4 months.

Good luck !!!