Camellia (Camellia) - evergreen, decorative-flowering shrubs or trees of the Tea family (Theaceae) Most species of the genus grow in regions with a tropical and subtropical climate, in Southeast and Central Asia, Indochina, Japan, Java, the Philippine Islands. Currently, more than 250 species of camellia are described. The most famous species is Camellia sinensis, or Tea Bush, from the leaves of which tea is made. Many types of camellia are used in indoor and decorative floriculture.
The leaves of the camellia are oval, leathery, glossy, with pointed or semicircular tips. Large diameter flowers, very decorative, of various colors. There are plants with white, cream, pink and red flowers. Camellias with bicolor, double flowers look very impressive. On the petals there may be small spots, stripes and color transitions, so we can say with confidence that camellias are not in vain considered the most beautiful and elegant plants.
The flowering period of camellias is long and lasts from the beginning of autumn to mid-spring. Camellias are widely used for landscaping and for creating landscaping. The leaves of the plant are used to produce essential oils.
Types of Camellia
The most common types: camellia, Chinese, mountain, Japanese, Williams. No less beautiful and hybrid varieties of camellia. Despite the fact that camellia is quite demanding and difficult to care for a houseplant, given the secrets of growing, you can achieve continued flowering and good development of the plant.
Care for camellia at home
Camellias are photophilous plants, therefore it is best to place flower pots with a plant on the windows of the western or southern exposure. It should be borne in mind that mountain camellia tolerates bright sunlight. But Japanese camellia must be shaded. The plant is very sensitive to sudden changes in temperature and absolutely does not tolerate drafts. Also, during the flowering period of camellia, it is not recommended to rearrange the flower pot with the plant from place to place, so it is best to immediately choose the best place to place the plant.
In winter, camellia can be kept on a glazed, insulated loggia, while the temperature should not be lower than 10-12 degrees Celsius. The climate of heated rooms adversely affects the development of plants.
Plants prefer moist air, therefore, to increase the humidity level in the room, next to the plant, you can place a container of water or place pots with plants on trays with moist expanded clay or small pebbles. It is recommended to regularly spray the leaves of camellia with soft water, but at the same time, water should not fall on the flowers or buds of plants, as this can lead to decay of the flowers or falling buds.
In summer, the plant should be regularly watered using filtered or standing water at room temperature. In winter, the frequency of watering is reduced. Neither a strong overflow of camellia nor prolonged drying of an earthen coma should be allowed. During the formation of flower buds, it is recommended to slightly dry the earthen substrate, but not until it completely dries.
With the onset of spring, after the appearance of the first young shoots, camellia needs fertilizer. For this, you can use complex mineral or organic fertilizers for flowering plants. When diluting fertilizer in water, it is better to reduce its concentration by 2 times compared to the one indicated in the instructions. Camellia does not need frequent feeding, and an excess of nutrients can even lead to the death of the plant. At the end of summer, camellia feeding is stopped, since during this period future buds are laid.
Camellias grow well and develop on acidic soils, so when transplanting plants, you need to purchase special soil for camellias or regularly acidify the soil with a few drops of lemon or special fertilizers. The earthen mixture should consist of high peat, sand, vermiculite, ground bark. Perlite. At the bottom of the flower pots lay a small layer of expanded clay. Plant transplants can be carried out from late autumn to February, as during this period camellias are at rest.
Young forms of camellias need regular transplantation; adult plants can be transplanted once every three to four years. The transplant must be carried out very carefully and to prevent damage to the root system of the plant. Between the roots of the plant and the trunk is the root neck, which cannot be sprinkled with soil. Pots for camellia are best chosen wide.
After flowering, you can trim the branches of the plant. It is also necessary to regularly inspect camellia for pests. For prevention in the summer, it is recommended for preventive purposes to spray and treat plants with fungicidal or insecticidal fertilizers.
Camellia is propagated by dividing the bush, side shoots, seeds, grafting, cuttings. More effective is the seed planting method. Since camellia seeds quickly lose their germination capacity, it is recommended that they be planted immediately after harvest. Sow seeds in flower containers with a pre-prepared soil mixture, which consists of horse peat, a small amount of sand and perlite.
The optimum germination temperature is 18-22 degrees Celsius. After the appearance of the first two leaves. Seedlings dive into separate seedling pots. Planted with this method, camellias can already bloom in the second or third year.
Varietal forms of camellias are best propagated by semi-lignified cuttings, which are carefully cut at the end of summer. Young, green shoots are not suitable for reproduction. Rooted cuttings in a moist substrate, while for faster rooting, you can cover the top with plastic wrap or a glass jar. For successful rooting, growth stimulants and rooting agents are used.
The most laborious method is the reproduction of camellia by air layers, however, with this method, varietal compact plant forms can be obtained that will please their flowering in the second year after planting.