How to grow Sasanqua camellia

Growing Sasanqua camellia hedge

Sasanqua camellias are a very attractive and evergreen shrub. They make for wonderful hedges and screens, pot plants, general garden plants and espaliers. I love seeing a vibrant row of them forming a Sasanqua camellia hedge, during flowering season they simply stunning. Flowering season occurs during late summer to early winter when they bear masses of pretty, lightly fragrant, single or semi-double flowers in pinks, whites, reds and sometimes bi-coloured.

If you have ever wondered how to grow Sasanqua camellias in Perth then look no further. Sasanqua camellias are a relatively easy flower to grow, and there are a few tricks to successfully growing Sasanqua camellias in Perth, Western Australia. Get these right and you will be laughing.

When to plant Sasanqua camellia in Australia

The best time to plant sasanqua camellias is autumn to winter. Although in most parts of the country can be planted year round.

Where do Sasanqua camellias grow best?

Sasanqua camellias thrive in slightly acidic soil (a pH of around 5 to 6). They grow in light shade but also tolerate full sun. A site with morning sun and afternoon shade is the ideal planting location.

How much water do Sasanqua camellia need?

Although sasanqua camellias grow in full sun or shade the more sun exposure, the more water your camellias will need. They will perform well in full sun, but need less water and are less stressed with a little shade. During the hot summer months the soil should not be allowed to dry out and may need watering daily. But twice a week is plenty during the rest of the year.

How big do Sasanqua camellia grow?

Sasanqua camellia form a dense evergreen hedge 2 to 3 metres tall in three to five years if cared for correctly.

How to grow Sasanqua camellia in Australia

Growing Sasanqua camellias at home in the garden is pretty straightforward. Sasanqua Camellias with exposed stamens are adored by bees and camellia flowers can also attract birds to your garden.

  1. Choose a well drained spot in the garden that receives full sun or part shade.
  2. Enrich the planting area soil with a high quality Dynamic Lifter Soil Improver and Plant Fertiliser. In areas with heavy or clay soil, add gypsum and mix in well.
  3. Dig the planting hole twice as wide and to the same depth as the root-ball. Remove the shrub from the pot it was purchased in, gently tease the roots prior to planting.
  4. Position in hole and back-fill with soil, gently firming down. Form a raised or doughnut shaped ring of soil around the outer edge of the plant’s root zone. This helps keep water where it’s needed at the base of the plant. Water in well after planting to settle the soil around the roots.
  5. Mulch around the base of your plant with organic mulch like bark chips or pea straw, keeping it away from the trunk to avoid any potential diseases.
  6. Water deeply, two to three times a week, depending on weather conditions in your area.
  7. Feed every 6 weeks with high quality organic pellet based plant food for flowers during the growing seasons to encourage healthy green leaf growth, strong roots and flower growth.

Growing Sasanqua camellia in pots

You don’t need a large space to have your very own Sasanqua camellia. Growing Sasanqua camellias in pots is easy, fun and rewarding! In general growing Sasanqua camellias in pots is a great idea. Below are the steps on how to how to grow Sasanqua camellias in a pots;

  1. Choose a pot at least 40cm wide. Position in a full sun location and fill your pot with a high quality potting mix.
  2. Remove the shrub from the pot, gently tease the roots.
  3. Position in hole and back-fill with a quality potting mix, gently firming down the topsoil. Water in well.
  4. Once planted, keep the plant well watered but don’t let the water sit in a saucer at the base of the pot as this can cause root rot issues.
  5. Feed weekly with potassium rich liquid flower food to encourage healthy green leaf growth, strong roots and lots of beautiful flowers.

How to propagate Sasanqua camellias

Sasanqua camellias are an easy plant to propagate. I like to propagate sananqua camellias via cuttings. Cuttings should be taken in late December and into January when the spring growth has hardened off.

  1. Take your cuttings around 10 cm. long with sharp secateurs, making sure that only healthy, insect and disease-free wood and foliage is selected.
  2. Remove any excess leaves from each cutting, leaving two per cutting.
  3. Using a razor sharp knife, cut the base of your cutting just below a growth bud on a slant using a soft wood cutting board to prevent squashing the cambium layer. I like to cut about 1cm long, exposing the cambium layer at the lower end, which gives a much greater area to callus and produce roots.
  4. Cuttings may be dipped in hormone powder to aid germination.
  5. Place your cutting in tubes or tapered cell propagating trays. The container should be filled with a propagating mix and firmed to the brim and well watered. The cuttings should not have more than half of their length covered by the mix.
  6. The well watered cuttings should be then covered with a plastic bag in a semi-sun location to create a high humidity environment for root growth.
  7. After 2-3 month roots should be established and you will be ready to replant in a pot around 10cm+

When do Sasanqua camellias flower in Australia

Sasanqua camellias are evergreen shrubs that flower over a long period typically from March to June in Australia. Individual blooms only last a day or two before the petals shatter and fall but the bushes can be smothered in flowers for many weeks during this time.

Best fertiliser for Sasanqua camellia

Feed every 6 weeks with high quality organic pellet based plant food for flowers during the growing seasons. Here in Australia Yates Thrive Natural Roses & Flowers Organic Based Pelletised Plant Food is a good option.

When to prune Sasanqua camellia in Australia

The best time to prune sasanqua camellias is at the end of the flowering season in March and June and before new growth starts. While Sasanquas are the last to shoot it is advisable to prune them first so that is one job finished before the rest of the plants need pruning.

Companion plants for Sasanqua camellias

Some popular choices for companion plants for Sasanqua Camellias in Australia include Rhododendrons and Azaleas.

Where to buy Sasanqua camellias in Perth

Many quality nursery will sell Sasanqua camellias when in planting season. You can also often find gardenias in Bunnings.

Sasanqua camellias problems

Camellias’ reputation for being a hardy garden shrubs is well deserved. Like all plants Sasanqua camellias do have a few problems and are subject to a few diseases and insect attacks.

  • Aphids and Thrips – Control Aphids on Camellias by hosing them off, squashing them, or use a pyrethrum spray.
  • Caterpillars – They can be seen in rolled up leaves where they make their homes. A simple spray with an all-purpose insect spray will sole major problems.
  • Camellia Yellow Leaves – This can be caused by mineral deficiency, also by cold weather or over watering.
  • Buds Dropping Off Camellias – If this occurs try changing your fertilising time, do not over fertile and do not fertilise in summer or autumn. Bud drop can also be caused by extremely dry soil.

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