Alabama state flower – Camellia
Alabama – The Heart of Dixie.
The state received its name in honor of the Alabama River flowing through its territory. Translated from the Indian “Alabama” means “the collector of plants” – that was the name of the tribe of Indians who inhabited the banks of the river.
Floral symbols of Alabama are famous for excellent flowering. Evergreen camellia is widespread in the decorative floriculture of many states, it is a beautiful flower native to Japan.
In regions with a warm climate, the plant can be grown in the garden. With proper care, camellia grows well and blooms at home.
Depending on the species, a shrub plant can reach a height of 3 to 12 meters. The glossy leaves of the plant are oval. At the ends they are blunt or sharp. Large single camellia flowers in diameter can reach from 5 to 15 cm. They consist of five petals and many stamens. The color of the petals can be red, pink, white. There are also bicolor petals with various stains, spots, dots or dots. Each flower of the plant blooms for a month.
Main species of Camellia:
Japanese camellia (Camellia Japonica)
Spreading decorative bushes 1.5-6 m high with a plentiful amount of flowers. Flowering occurs in December-April. Among gardeners, Japanese camellia varieties are especially popular. They are grown in room conditions, greenhouses and gardens. In Japan, they are considered the main plant of the country along with sakura and are often used in floristry.
Chinese camellia (Camellia Sinensis)
It grows with tall bushes or trees up to 10 m high. Therefore, it is also referred to as a tea bush. Large fragrant flowers are painted white or cream yellow. They are often added to tea blends. Chinese camellia grows in China, Kenya, Georgia, India and Japan. In Russia, it is found in the Krasnodar Territory. It blooms from late summer to mid-autumn. Indoor is usually not grown.
It grows on the mountain islands of Japan, and its other name is Sasanqua. It is indicated by three hieroglyphs – mountain, tea and flower, which most eloquently characterizes it. This type of camellia is commonly used in a traditional Japanese tea ceremony. The species has many colorful varieties and frost-resistant hybrids. It is suitable for indoor cultivation, as it differs in small dimensions. Many of its varieties are classified as camellia home.
Bushes with thin branches can grow up to 2-5 m. Leaflets of the lower part with a fluff, which is a distinctive feature of the species. The color of the petals is familiar – from snow-white to red-pink shades. Varieties with raspberry-red flowers of an asymmetric form usually prevail. Abundant flowering of mountain camellia occurs from November to January.
It got this name for the presence of a thin mesh on the petals. Flowers differ in a wide range of colors – from snow-white to dark shades of pink and red. They have subtle aroma.
The flowers of garden varieties are especially mottled; some hybrids have yellow stamens in the center. The most famous representative of the species is “Captain Rose”.
Namely, it is the basis for the creation of hybrid varieties resistant to cold. The bushes grow to 1.5 m and delight the eye with large flowers of pink-raspberry, red-burgundy shades. Among garden varieties, the species is considered the least whimsical.
Evergreen spruce up to 10 m tall is grown on the expanses of the mountain regions of China and near rivers. This camellia blooms with large white flowers in September and October. They grow it not for the sake of beauty, but to get valuable camellia oil from the seeds of the plant.
Temperature and humidity.
Camellia is a short-day plant. Only a 12-hour daylight will have enough flower bud development. However, at this time, it is required to observe the room temperature:
- The temperature should be within 18C-20C. At lower temperatures, camellia will not bloom.
- If daylight hours will last less than 12 hours, then for flower bud development the temperature will need to be lowered to 8C-10C.
- Camellia blooms in winter from December to February. During this period of time it must be kept at an air temperature of 8C to 10C. If the room is too warm, then the buds will begin to fall from the bushes, flowering may occur ahead of time, the quality of the flowers will deteriorate.
How to grow camellias in pots and in the garden.
Camellia loves soil from an acidic pH, or at least a neutral one. A tip for growing camellia in pots is to choose the soil suitable for acidophilus plants, as in the case of azaleas.
Camellia does not like stagnation of water. When caring for camellia at home, it is necessary to ensure that the room has increased humidity. The plant requires regular spraying. Water for this must be settled and have room temperature. If there is no settled water, then it can be boiled and cooled. During flowering, the plant should be sprayed carefully. Water should not fall on the flowers. To choose the position of the camellia pot on the balcony, avoid the sunniest area and prefer shade. In fact, the sun is too strong and can burn the leaves of your camellia.
To increase air humidity, a flower pot can be placed on a pallet with wet peat or expanded clay. A specially acquired humidifier will also have a good effect on the development of the plant.
It is customary to cut camellia before transplanting, so that the roots of the transplanted flower can independently feed the plant. Camellia is pruned after flowering, before spring growth begins. Most often, it is customary to cut a third of the branches every few years, but if you want, you can cut 2/3. In addition, circumcision is used to thin out the crown and stimulate flower bush growth. Thanks to circumcision, you can independently control the density of the flower. Mountain camellia can be cut without fear, but mesh camellia must be cut delicately.
How and when to prune camellia?
How to prune camellia bushes?
When to transplant camellia bushes
Young camellia flowers need to be transplanted often; adult camellia plants are transplanted once every 4 years. As a matter of fact, camellia is not transplanted, but literally transferred to a new pot. Pots for camellia should be wide. The transplant is carried out very carefully, it is important not to damage the root system of the flower. The root neck, which is located between the roots and the trunk of the plant, should not be sprinkled with ground. Transplant a flower after flowering is completed. The first time after a transplant, you need to spray the flower every day.
Propagation of Camellia plants
Growing and caring for camellia in a pot begins with the proper propagation of the plant. There are two ways to propagate camellias:
- Propagation by seed is the most common way. Freshly picked seeds are sown immediately, because they quickly lose their “germination”, as they contain a very large amount of oil. Seeds are sown in a mixture of sand and high peat (1: 1). If you increase the temperature to 21 ° C, then the seedling germination rate will increase significantly, given that their growth lasts from 2-3 weeks to one year. When two leaves appear on a sprout, the sprouts are transplanted one by one into pots with a diameter of 10 cm. Flowers sprouted from the seeds grow faster and easily adapt to various adverse conditions. Some varieties of camellia can bloom in the third year after sowing.
Another way of propagating camellia is propagation by cuttings. How to plant camellia using cuttings? Cuttings ripened in the second half of summer are cut with four developed leaves. They need to be immediately planted in sand or a mixture of peat and sand (1: 1). The tip of the cutting is dipped in phytohormone and try to ensure maximum burning of the lower soil. After this, you need to wait until the stem is rooted, it takes about two months. For propagation, adult cuttings must be taken – young shoots are not suitable. To flower bloomed faster, cuttings are grafted onto plants that have grown from seeds.
To impart a plant shank you need three weeks before the start of the spring vegetation. The resulting sprout is abundantly watered, then you need to reduce watering, this will contribute to aging.
Camellia is an ornamental plant with a long flowering period. It perfectly complements both the home interior and will be indispensable in landscape decoration. In order for the bush to bloom, it is necessary to surround it with care and love.