very autumn at Intelligro our customers drive into our retail area and are greeted with a spectacular mass of white flowers along the length of our driveway. At this time of the year, we get many enquiries asking what our hedge is. The answer is a Camellia Sasanqua Setsugekka, which is one of the more popular camellias. In New Zealand the three main varieties grown here are Sasanqua, Japonica and Hybrid types. Perhaps the most well-known though is Camellia Sinensis with the tips picked to be brewed into tea.

Camellias have commonly been planted as an individual feature tree or shrub, however today it is used in all types of situations, including:

  • Feature plantings
  • Hedges, screens and garden room dividers
  • Backdrops for garden beds
  • Large pots and tubs.

How to plant a Camellia

  • Camellias are generally best planted through from mid-autumn to early spring.
  • Choose an appropriate site for your plant. Sasanqua Camellias prefer full sun to part shade with protection from hot afternoon sun, whereas Japonica camellias do best in a mostly morning sun aspect. Always check your label for instructions.
  • Camellias grow best in well-drained slightly acid soil. A soil pH of 6.0 - 6.5 is considered best for camellias, however, they will tolerate a lower pH. A simple way to test the soil pH is grab a McGregors soil pH meter.
  • Dig your hole at least twice the size of your root ball. Once you have removed your plant from its container, tease out and separate the roots. Add plenty of Intelligro Garden Grow Compost to your soil. Add organic matter to stimulate biological activity in the soil.
  • Backfill the base so that the root ball is just below the surrounding ground around it. Fill in the hole with your amended mix and tamp in well. A handy tip is to build a berm about 50cm wide around your plant so that water is contained in it and goes to where it is needed
  • Water in well, and mulch with an Intelligro Bark Mulch around your plant to suppress weeds and retain moisture around the tree.
  • Water deeply at least once a week in hot weather conditions.
  • Allow a minimum of one metre between plants, and preferably more when planting a hedge.

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