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Its Camellia sasanqua Time!

Why grow sasanquas?

They are extremely versatile and can be used as individual garden specimens, in tubs, or creatively used as espalier, hanging baskets or topiary specimens.

Beautiful evergreen and prolific flowering sasanquas are the first to flower in early Autumn when there is not much other colour around.

When do camellia sasanquas flower?

Sasanquas flower from late March to the end of May. Japonicas will start to flower in May and go right through to September.

How often should I water my sasanquas?

Camellia sasanqua enjoy one or two deep soaking s a week; this is preferable to light frequent sprinklings. The deep soakings assist in carrying away accumulated salts which can build up from fertiliser use. The periods between watering allow the roots to breath.

What are the main characteristics of Camellia sasanqua?

Easily recognized by their neat glossy dense green foliage.  Plants will grow into a large garden bush or can be easily maintained as creative specimens.  Flowers won’t last long and it will depend on the prevailing weather, they can blow away in a breeze.

What are their soil requirements?

Good drainage is essential.  They prefer a soil which has high humus content, described as an acid soil with a pH of around 5.5 to 6.5. This soil can be purchased in bags or alternatively mix your own using course sand, loan, peat moss and well rotted compost. Remember your soil will be well worth your investment, it will mean the difference between a healthy plant and a struggling unhappy plant.

Should I mulch my sasanquas?

Yes!  This will help keep the top soil layer moist and cool. We use pea straw, but the sky is the limit use what ever is easy and cost efficient for you.  Shredded pine bark is every attractive with its dark brown finish and will also improve your soils condition. Make sure that you keep the mulch a few inches from the trunk of all your plants.

Can I prune my sasanqua?

Sasanquas have an extremely varied growth habits, so please ensure you select the variety to suit your application. Camellia sasanqua  can be tidy growers, dwarf compact or they can be long and  lanky depending on the variety, but when necessary they love to be pruned.    If your camellias have got too tall it’s easy to carefully prune the top foliage.  Camellias respond well to pruning for shape best done  immediately after flowering season.

Do camellia sasanqua grow in full sun?

Camellia sasanqua will tolerate a sunnier position as long as mulching, watering and soil preparation is attended to.

In general the darker red blooms are tougher and happier in more sun than the paler softer coloured varieties.

When do I fertilise my Camellia sasanqua?

If you would like to achieve optimum growth fertilise in early spring and again in mid summer.  Fertilizers such as slow release Osmocote are easy to use and perfect for plants grown in containers.  In the garden situation we use and recommend Kahoona. Always follow feeding with a good watering.

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Dianne Hall

Dianne Hall, January 21st, 2021

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