camelia root starts

Asked May 25, 2018, 4:55 PM EDT

A gorgeous old camelia needs a new home and I'm looking for advice on best time and method for propagating starts.

Clackamas County Oregon

1 Response

Thanks for your question regarding camelia propagating. June is the optimal time for successful camelia japonica softwood propagation. Softwood cuttings are taken from the current year's growth. The plant is ready for cutting when the twig breaks with a snap when bent. If you feel uncertain about the ripeness of the twig, take cuttings at weekly intervals. The cuttings should not be longer than about 4 inches and obtained early in the day. Place the cuttings in a damp plastic bag, keeping them moist until inserted into the flat (but if necessary they may be stored in cool area for a few hours). Trim your cuttings as collected, with a razor cut the stem at an angle just below a leaf node and remove enough leaves so none will contact the soil when stem is inserted into the flat or pot soil medium. Pumice has been a very good propagating medium for me. Also remove any flower buds. The Arboretum Foundation of the Washington Park Arboretum printed and reprinted a very useful booklet entitled Cuttings Through the Year, edited by Joy Spurr. It contains the best propagating times and best propagating techniques for most plants in month-by-month calendar guide. Written for beginner gardeners, it describes these various propagating techniques in straight-forward language. Happy propagating.