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Ask RiotACT: Best camellias to grow in Canberra?

Peta D 10 June 2017 3

Ask RiotACT

Hi Rioters.

For several years I have been attempting to grow a hedge across my back fence. My preferred hedging choice is camellias. I haven’t had any luck to date. I’ve followed the advice I have been given which is not to plant in extreme weather. The camellias seeem to go ok for the first 6 months or so, but then they slowly die.

Someone mentioned to me the other day that it may be the variety of camellia that I’m trying. They also suggested where you purchase them makes a big difference. To be honest I haven’t paid a lot of attention to the variety of camelia’s I have purchased.

I’d love some feedback or recommendations?

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3 Responses to
Ask RiotACT: Best camellias to grow in Canberra?
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Maryann Mussared 3:53 pm 13 Jun 17

I planted three Marie Young sasanqua camellias 18 months ago. They are blooming prolifically now – clear mid-pink blooms. They also bloomed in spring. I put them in a row of large pots to create a hedge between two parts of my courtyard. They were under a metre when I purchased and although they can grow to 3 metres, they will be pruned regularly to keep them branching out. They are currently nearly 1.5 metres. Apparently, they also espalier quite well. They are suitable for hedging, they love the morning sun and are tolerating some afternoon summer sun, have lovely glossy dark green leaves, and I have put in a drip watering system. Willow Park in Pialligo have a really good selection of camellias most of the year.

Rollersk8r 10:22 am 13 Jun 17

After struggling with camellias for many years, both in pots and in garden beds, my advice is to plant pittosporums! 🙂 Yes, pittosporums don’t flower, aren’t as nice to look at etc – but they’re unbeatable as a fast-growing and hardy hedging/screening plant!

miz 3:59 pm 10 Jun 17

Assuming the hedge location is in at least some sun, you’ll need one of the sasanqua camellias (not japonicas) as the sasanquas can tolerate more sun.
I have sasanqua camellias (Beatrice Emily) surrounding my paved area and tbh they are most annoyingly high maintenance plant in my garden, especially during the hot summer – and that is just to keep them from carking it due to heat. They have been in for about 10 years and are still not properly joined up like I wanted. Whereas I have a viburnum (tinus laurestinus) hedge elsewhere that needs no attention whatsoever and is looking like a proper hedge already.
I personally would not plant camellias as a hedge again because if you lose one it spoils the whole hedge, and because of the work involved when it’s boiling hot!
But perhaps others have had different experiences.

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