How To Plant A Camellia In A Container or Planter

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This article provides instructions for how to plant a Camellia
by Brett · All Zones · Planting · 0 Comments · October 06, 2015 · 11,976 views

Planting a Camellia in a Container

When planting a Camellia in a container or pot, I recommend using a quality potting soil or potting mix, or a 50/50 combination thereof. Shrubs growing in pots appreciate a moist but well-drained soil. Constantly soggy soil can and often will cause root rot or other harmful or deadly plant diseases. You can also add some pumice (maybe 20%) to the soil mixture to help with drainage, especially with shrubs that really need a well-drained soil. Pumis is an excellent soil conditioner, as it is highly porous providing excellent water, air, and nutrient holding capabilities. Pumice will not decompose or compact over time and is very lightweight. Agricultural grade pumice can usually be found at local feed stores as a product called Dry Stall. The particle size is about 1/8". It's a good idea to wash the product before use to remove the fine particles. If you can't find Pumice you can substitute with perlite.

Also make sure to choose a container with drainage holes at the bottom and one that that will match the size of your shrub when it's mature, or one that is large enough to allow for 2 to 3 years of growth before shifting up to a larger size container. This might mean your planting pot would be 4 inches or more in width than the root ball of your plant.

Container color will matter as well. Not only will you want to pick a color of container that goes well with the flower and foliage color of your shrub, you'll also want to pick a container that matches the style of your home or other structures and other plants in the surrounding environment.

Many nursery & garden centers offer a wide variety of containers to choose from. Before heading out to buy a container take pictures of your home and the surrounding environment. Doing so will help you to choose just the right color and style.

Step-By-Step Container Planting Instructions

Step 1
Before filling your container with the soil mix, we recommend lining the bottom with shade cloth or a porous landscape fabric. This will keep the drain holes from becoming stopped up with soil.

Step 2
To remove your shrub from the container it was growing in, firmly grasp the base of the plant and gently lift and remove it from its container. If the root ball is stuck in the container either cut the container away or place the plant on it's side and gently pound on the side of the container to loosen the root ball. After having removed the plant from the container, gently loosen some feeder roots around the surface of the root ball. If rootbound, you can gently spray the sides and bottom of the root ball with a stream of water from a garden hose. This will help to wash away some soil from the exterior of the root ball making it easier to loosen roots.

Step 3
Pour a small amount of your soil mixture in the bottom of the container. Set the shrub in the container and make necessary adjustments by adding or removing some soil so that the top edge of the root ball will sit 1/2 to 1" below the rim of the container.

Step 4
Backfill with your potting soil around root ball, tamping as you go, until the level of potting soil is even with the top edge of root ball.

Step 5
Water thoroughly until water starts to drain from the holes in the bottom of the container. Add more potting mix if settling occurs during watering.

Step 6 (Optional)
Apply a 1/2" layer of wood chips or spaghnum moss to soil surface to help conserve moisture. Stone mulch can also be used.


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