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Camellia buds and pyracantha tips

Hello All,

I have a two part question I'd really appreciate you're advice on if possible. Firstly, I have a couple of Camellia in pots which have budded up very heavily this year. Would they both benifit from me twisting off some of the buds now to concentrate energy into fewer buds but maybe better blooms as a result, and if so can I do it now ?.

Secondly, my friend wants to use a pyracantha hedge trained against a wooden fence as a deterrent to people hopping his fence as a shortcut, which irritates him greatly. Anybody who has a type / cultivar they could recommend or even some tips on growing it successfully would be most welcome. Thanks !



  • I’ve never heard of thining out camellia buds and if you did this I don’t think it would make any difference to the size of the blooms. You will find that the camellias will drop the buds it cannot sustain.

    Any Pyracantha makes a good barrier also Berberis is a good one.

  • JoneskJonesk Posts: 205


    i have a few Pyracantha- 'red firethorn' has RHS award of merit. It will certainly stop people climbing the fence - the thorns are brutal. I had to remove a lot of mine as the children kept hurting themselves on it but it's very pretty trained up some corner walls out of the way. Birds seem to enjoy perching within it but nothing  really seems to eat the red berries which add a colourful addition at this time of year.

    As for the camellia, I too haven't heard of thinning before. Mine do enjoy an early dose of ericaeous plant food in February before flowering. 

  • I agree that the Pyracantha is a brute when it comes to prunning it - the birds love the berries and the plant also produces pretty small white flowers too.

    We have a few new and established camellias in our garden and have never thinned out the buds.  The wind and natural wastage ensures that only the correct amount of buds mature into flowers. Showing one of our established camellias which is covered in flowers which it appears to be able to cope with easily.imageI must add that this bush/tree is over 100 years old, but even smaller versions will only produce an amount of buds that will mature into beautiful flowers for you Avid

  • Thanks everyone,  the general concensus seems to be that the camellia will drop any buds naturally so I'll follow the advice and just enjoy the extra flowers. I really wish that I could g wow them to their full glory Guernsey but I'm limited to pots for anything acid loving. Thanks also for the ideas on the pyracantha , jonesk and Chrissy , and l like the look of some of the berberis that I've see

  • Paul B3Paul B3 Posts: 3,068

    Try Berberis julianae ; the ultimate deterrent !image

  • ObelixxObelixx Posts: 29,154

    Camellias from their flowers in summer and thru autumn.  As long as you keep them well watered during this period and you feed them every spring and refresh some of their compost they will produce healthy flowers.

    Pyracantha make excellent wild life hosts - blossom, berries and evergreen foliage for added shelter - and can be trained to cover walls and fences if you put the supporting wires in before planting.   Prepare the soil well, water the plants thoroughly and then tease out the roots before back filling and watering in.  They will grow quickly enough.   As indicated, care is needed when pruning it to shape later on.   Berries can be red, orange or yellow.   The flowers are white.   Flowers on that berberis are yellow - in case that's a consideration.

    Vendée - 20kms from Atlantic coast.
    "We don't stop playing because we grow old; we grow old because we stop playing." - George Bernard Shaw
  • Well my friend has decided on a red berried Pyracantha hedge, however he now wants to know whether instead of planting directly into the ground he can use railway sleepers to a height of about 18 inches and width of same to house said hedge, and if so what would be the soil requirements to keep it growing well in such conditions. Would the inside of this need to be plastic lined , and what kind of lifespan could one expert from such a structure I wonder. Thoughts anyone ?.

  • Railway sleepers are ok except when they have been treated with a tar substance, the “proper”railway sleepers usually have had this treatment.

    Or are you talking about the wood sleepers that you get from a garden nursery or DIY place? Thease have not been treated but are still sold as railway sleepers.

    Also what is the reason your friend wants to creat a raised bed?

  • To be honest I'm not sure which he has in mind. He already has some shrubs growing from this sort of set up in his back garden. Initially he wanted to plant a hedge between the gap in the  stonework on top of a wall, so a stone trench basically of about 30 metres long, maybe six inches deep, and about a foot wide. This wall is backed by a wooden 5ft fence which runs the length of the wall. As this is unfeasible to grow in such a shallow trench he has the idea to instead use these, what amounts to large planters directly on top of the wall so he can dictate the height of the soil depth and  width to a more favourable condition, and has the fence to hopefully train the shrubs to as they grow. That's the idea anyway ! ☺

  • ObelixxObelixx Posts: 29,154

    He could maybe grow alpines and dwarf perennials in just 6" of soil but not a hedge.

    Vendée - 20kms from Atlantic coast.
    "We don't stop playing because we grow old; we grow old because we stop playing." - George Bernard Shaw
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