Novel with Camellias
The first description of camellia dates back to the 17th century. It was made by Jesuit monk pharmacist Georg Joseph Camellus, who was the first to bring this plant to Europe. The famous Swedish botanist Karl Linney named the plant camellia in his honor.
However, in the historical annals there are earlier references to this beautiful flower. In 1725 BC The Chinese emperor paid tribute to the infusion of camellia leaves and proclaimed it his favorite drink. This is not surprising: camellia is a close relative of tea. Both plants belong to the same family.
Some types of camellias are trees and grow up to 2 m in height. The leaves are leathery, glossy, in some species they are pointed, in others they are dull; can have a different shape (elliptical, ovate, oblong) and length (3-17 cm).
In nature, camellias prefer a subtropical climate. They grow in the south of the USA, in China, Japan. With us, you can admire gorgeous thickets on the Black Sea coast and in the Caucasus.
There are more than 10 thousand varieties of camellia. Her flowers are like peonies or roses. They can be white, cream, pink, red or have a motley color. Unfortunately fans of camellias, few species can boast of aroma.
The most common indoor plant is Japanese camellia from Southeast China. At its base, breeders received a wide variety of varieties, among which the most famous are Adolf Adüsson with red semi-double flowers, Alba Simplex with white non-double flowers, Betty Sheffield with white double flowers and pink touches and Pink Perfection with a cloud of pink double flowers. An unusual flower in the variety Tammia is a white star-shaped with a soft pink border.
Williams hybrids are very popular: they are easy to grow, unpretentious. From Japanese camellia hybrids they are distinguished by one feature: after wilting, the flowers fall off.
Camellia requires careful care, and beginner gardeners can have many difficulties. But it's worth it. In order to admire its magnificent flowering within a month or two, it is necessary to create all the necessary conditions for this royal person.
In Chinese medicine, Japanese camellia is used as an anti-cancer agent. A decoction of flowers tones the body, and also has anesthetic and antiseptic properties.
For camellias, ready-made soil for rhododendrons, azaleas and camellias, consisting of horse peat, perlite, vermiculite, sand, and ground bark, is best suited.
The soil mixture can be made independently. For example: 1 part leaf, 1 part coniferous, 1 part peat and 0.5 parts sand. The main thing is that the substrate is acidic, water- and breathable. Under such conditions, the bays are not threatened by the plant. In heavy soil, camellias quickly rot their roots. The pot should be wide; a large layer of drainage is laid at the bottom.
Some types of camellias are used in the perfume industry.
For example, essential oil is obtained from the leaves of camellia eugenol, which contains 97% of eugenol, a substance with a strong smell of cloves.
Camellias cannot be planted deep. When planting, carefully inspect the plant: between the roots and the trunk is the so-called root neck - it can not be covered with earth.
Camellias are transplanted from November to February, when they are at rest. Just in these months, camellias bloom. It is believed that during this period the plants can not only be rearranged - even rotated. But the paradox is that camellias bloom ... at rest! So at this time you can do anything with them. In the spring, they wake up - and a new growth begins. Thus, spring transplanting can interfere with the development of new shoots.
It is best to feed camellia once in the spring, when the plant woke up and began to grow. And this should not be done in the fall and during the rest period, so as not to provoke the formation of young shoots on the eve of hibernation.
Get special fertilizers for acidic soil plants or regular complex fertilizers containing nitrogen, phosphorus, potassium and sulfur, as well as trace elements (iron, zinc, copper, manganese, molybdenum, boron). When choosing a fertilizer, carefully read the label: avoid preparations containing calcium and magnesium - these elements are contained in sufficient quantities in tap water, and their excess in the soil can lead to the death of the plant.
When diluting fertilizer in water, reduce its concentration by 2 times compared to the one indicated on the label. And remember: camellias do not need a lot of fertilizing. Excess fertilizer can damage them.
© A. Barra
Watering and humidity
It is necessary to water camellia abundantly and evenly, preventing either overmoistening of the earth coma or its drying out. Water should be soft (you can add oxalic acid) and warm. Suitable melted or boiled. In winter, watering is reduced.
Some experts believe that camellias should be sprayed. Others believe that this is not necessary if the plant is in a cool and well-ventilated room or in the fresh air. In winter, it is advisable to place the pot with the plant on a tray with wet pebbles or expanded clay. If you decide to create a humid atmosphere for the plant, remember: spraying must be stopped as soon as the flowers bloom.
Lighting and temperature
A prerequisite for growing camellias is a cool and well-ventilated area. In winter, the optimum temperature is 8-10 ° C, in summer - 18-20 ° C, during flowering - about 15 ° C. At a higher camellia drops flowers. If in the apartment such a temperature is difficult to ensure, it is better to expose the plant to fresh air.
Camellia needs bright diffused lighting. From direct sunlight it must be shaded.
© Olaf Leillinger
Camellia growing in wildlife has been widely recognized as a decorative evergreen flowering plant. It is used for landscaping and creating landscaping in areas with mild winters and high humidity.
Camellias can be propagated seeds, grafting, layering, cuttings. Which one to choose depends on the skill of the grower. Vaccinations are easy for someone, someone for “you” with seeds, someone prefers to separate part of the bush when transplanting or root cuttings. Each method requires skill. Let us dwell on propagation by cuttings as the most common.
Alas, camellia can not be propagated if the cuttings are simply put in water. They are planted immediately in sand or in a mixture of equal parts of sand and peat land. The tip of the handle needs to be dipped in phytohormone and the bottom heating of the soil should be provided so that the temperature is approximately 25 ° С. Under these conditions, rooting lasts about two months. Be sure to select semi-freshened cuttings (olive color) - young green shoots are not suitable for reproduction.
© A. Barra
Author: Maria Pavlyuchenko