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***Moving 6 foot Camelia!!!!***

Hello, a neighbour is putting a new shed in and was going to chop down his beautiful 6' mature camellia (what a decision!) is there any way I can transplant it? Will have to be done next weekend or it'll be chopped down. It is covered in buds. Was going to ask him to water it for a couple of hours the day before and then give it a good prune. Will it survive or am I just wasting my time and my back?


  • BorderlineBorderline Posts: 4,688
    It's got to be worth a try. However, there is no need for the neigbour to water it. It's when it is re-planted, the watering in should be priority then. But, best chance for it to survive might be to chop it down a bit. This allows time for the shrub to recover rather than trying to put energy on the flowering.
  • pansyfacepansyface Posts: 21,568
    edited March 2020
    Could you give us a photo of it? (See advice here)...

    Also, where in the world do you live?
    Apophthegm -  a big word for a small thought.
    If you live in Derbyshire, as I do.
  • If it is going to be dug up anyway you have nothing to lose. To give it a chance, cut it back to the main stem leaving four or five branches trimmed back by half. Try to lift as big a root ball as possible to avoid too much root disturbance. You could also sprinkle rootgrow, mycorrhizaln fungi, in the planting hole and over the root ball to give the camellia a helping hand. You could well find it does not have a large root spread, hopefully. Make your planting hole approx. half as much bigger than the root ball and dig in plenty of ericaceous compost. Stake the bush securely and keep it more than well watered, for the rest of the year, after firming in with the heel of a large boot. Cross all of your toes and fingers and you could well have success. Continue loving and looking after it for at least two years and do not let it flower, remove any flower buds, yes, every one of them, to let it put all of its energy into developing a new root system.
    Camellias are pretty tough, they can be cut down to almost nothing and then will regrow. It will take a few years for them to begin flowering again but they will get there eventually if you are patient.
    Good luck.

    A friend gave me a sick camellia as a leaving present when I moved away. The leaves were yellow and dropping off and it was bone dry. The Garden Centre staff member told her it had a virus of some kind. Her blind faith in my ability to save it was scary to say the least. 15 years later I still have it, it flowers every year and was my introduction to the sasquana varieties which flower in October. It is not showy, a single, pale pink, small flower but I love it still and recently acquired 2 more sasquanas , white ones to keep it company. I did no more than repot my camellia into a larger container using ericaeous compost, gave it a long drink and stood it is a cool shady corner so cannot take any credit for its will to live.
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