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 !
* 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.
* 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.
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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 !!!