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Now's the time to move a camellia.

Now's the time to move a camellia

Don't be fooled by camellias' swelling buds or open blooms. Right now, the plants are as dormant as they get; till late winter is the best time to plant them. To do as well as possible by these long-lived flower producers, follow the steps demonstrated here by members of northern California's Peninsula Camellia Society.

Select a site sheltered from midday sun and free from roots of greedy trees such as elm or ash. Rather than dig big holes in hard ground and amend the excavated soil, amend soil throughout the planting bed to a depth of 18 inches. Or, as was done for the planting shown here, completely remove the original soil 18 inches deep and replace it with a commercial planting mix containing a high percentage of organic material.

At the very least, dig a hole 14 to 16 inches deep and 3 to 4 feet across. Mix organic material with the excavated soil. In the center of the hole, make a pile of the amended soil and tamp it firmly to make a platform that will place the top of the rootball 3 to 4 inches above the surrounding soil line. Then proceed as shown.

Make a temporary watering ring just beyond the rootball. Fill it with water. Keep the rootball soil damp until rains take over. Then remove the watering ring.

Photo: 1. Remove camellia from container. If roots are matted, make four to six slices down outside of rootball

Photo: 2. Tease surface of rootball to free live, active roots. At the same time, trim off circling or dead roots

Photo: 3. Set plant in prepared bed with top of rootball 3 to 4 inches above soil level (only 1 inch for plant in gallon can)

Photo: 4. To complete planting, mound soil to cover shoulders of rootball; just beyond rootball, draw up more soil to make watering ring
COPYRIGHT 1987 Sunset Publishing Corp.
No portion of this article can be reproduced without the express written permission from the copyright holder.
Copyright 1987 Gale, Cengage Learning. All rights reserved.

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Date:Nov 1, 1987
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