Forum home Problem solving

Chinese camellia

Hi, I've saved (hopefully) a Chinese camellia that has been removed from a garden that's been cleared, the camellia is around 8' tall but only has a small root left maybe only 8" in diameter with 1 long thicker root, around a foot long.
 Don't think it's been out the ground long as still looks very healthy, no wilting, loads of buds and a good colour.
 I've potted it in multi purpose compost and will put ericaceous compost around the sides of the pot, is there anything else I can do to try and save the plant, feed ect? TIA


  • steephillsteephill Posts: 2,384
    I fear that there isn't enough root for it to survive but you can give it its best chance by removing all of the top growth. It would seem brutal but cutting it down to about a foot tall max will be the best option, there isn't enough root to support an 8 foot tall plant.
  • FairygirlFairygirl west central ScotlandPosts: 46,361
    I'd agree with @steephill - it still might not recover, but it's worth doing. 
    If you're keeping it potted for more than a few months, you need something heartier than compost too.  :)
    It's a place where beautiful isn't enough of a word....

  • I do have some well rotted manure, would that be ok thanks
  • BorderlineBorderline Posts: 4,639
    Is this a temporary measure to keep in a container? At 8 ft tall, it will struggle soon. If you can get it into the ground provided the soil is not frozen, there may be a better chance. Obviously soil needs to be neutral.

    Even though there are buds and it's looking great, in another month, it may suffer. It's best to prune back as mentioned so it allows the shrub time to settle in. Camellias don't have big deep roots, so it may be fine if you prune the top down so the roots can settle and form. Well rotted manure can be used if you mix it all in with compost rather than piling it in the base.
  • You can afford to cut the top growth back quite hard. Pot it up and let the roots catch up a bit. Camellias regrow from old wood —you can use them for hedging. This may be the only way to stop your plant from succumbing. When cutting back, ensure there is more of a balance between root volume and the part above the soil level.
  • FairygirlFairygirl west central ScotlandPosts: 46,361
    If you have a permanent place to plant it [neutral to acidic soil is what they need]  that would be better than potting, but the rotted manure will help if it's potted for a while.
    If it's only for a couple of months, I wouldn't bother disrupting it again  :)
    It's a place where beautiful isn't enough of a word....

Sign In or Register to comment.