Newspaper article Sunshine Coast Sunday (Maroochydore, Australia)

Camellias Can Thrive Here; Create a Hedge, Plant a Bed or Put Them in Tubs

Newspaper article Sunshine Coast Sunday (Maroochydore, Australia)

Camellias Can Thrive Here; Create a Hedge, Plant a Bed or Put Them in Tubs

Article excerpt

Byline: Valerie and Gerry Zwart

MANY people would enjoy having some camellias growing in the garden because the plant makes an attractive addition with evergreen, glossy-green foliage all-year round.

But for a variety of reasons, gardeners may not have gone any further with the idea.

Well, we're suggesting that this is an excellent time to be deciding where you'd like to plant these colourful shrubs, what colours you prefer, the best height, even right down to whether you want early flowering, forms that flower late in the season or a mix of both.

It may interest you to know that there are hundreds of types of camellias, but the three most popularly grown in Australia are C. sasanqua, C. japonica and C. reticulatas.

C. sasanqua is an early flowerer that is the best for a hot climate, so is certainly ideal for the Sunshine Coast.

These can be grown in a sunny situation, preferably with afternoon shade during summer.

C. japonica is probably the most well-known of the camellias, which thrive in the light shade of a southerly aspect, while the deeper-coloured red and deep-pink varieties will tolerate an easterly position.

C. reticulatas probably produce the most outstanding flowers that will grow well up on the ranges where it's a bit cooler, but will grow in well-chosen areas on the plains.

This is an excellent time to decide whether you'd like to plant a hedge, create a camellia and azalea bed near an outdoor living area, grow one or more in tubs that can be moved seasonally to suit the plants, or perhaps use them at the entrance to the property, down the drive or flanking a staircase to the veranda.

Our best advice is to have your soil tested, have a good look at the various plants flowering now, and ask the advice of the nurseryman/woman and or follow the instructions on the labels: they're on there to help you grow plants that they've worked hard to produce just for you and me. …

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