A Trusted Source for Camellias?

Discussion in 'Outdoor Gardening in the Pacific Northwest' started by wynn, Jan 20, 2008.

  1. wynn

    wynn Active Member 10 Years

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    Anyone know a source for camellias that propagates its own stock and is "as guaranteed as possible" risk free. I am looking for, among other names, a "Welcome Bell" variety.

    Please feel free to send me a personal email if you wish. Thank you so much for any advice.

    Wynn
     
  2. Ron B

    Ron B Paragon of Plants 10 Years

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    Risk free = ?

    When I Google camellia welcome bell this thread is the only relevant hit that comes up. How did you become interested in this particular one? Is it known to be in commercial circulation on this continent? Circumstances by which it came to your attention could indicate what is needed to acquire it.
     
    Last edited: Jan 20, 2008
  3. growest

    growest Active Member 10 Years

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    Hi Wynn--I assume you're concerned about SOD...the culprit in Pitt Meadows being infected camellias from the U.S. It really is unfortunate, as Monrovia has been very open and proactive about it's SOD management, whereas some other growers may be flying under the radar, and seem less threatening than they actually are.

    I've always been impressed by the Monrovia camellias seen here, stock at Gardenworks locations being one good example. Variety selection is good from there, with some of the newer hardier selections being available thru them. I would be quite tempted to acquire healthy looking stock, then keep an eagle eye on the plants for a few years to be extra sure...there are photos available online of the symptomatic damage indicating possible infection.

    That said there are a number of long-term propagators in BC, tho you would need a wholesale designation to order from most of them. One exception I know of would be Cloverdale Nursery, which has specialized in camellias for many years (awesome looking, and priced accordingly, espaliered plants available there also!)...

    Good hunting!
     
  4. wynn

    wynn Active Member 10 Years

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    Hi Ron, it is one that I am trying to acquire for a client who had one (a large specimen) in the past and would like to have it again. We're quite sure is the one called "Welcome Bell), a rather unique looking flower. It would be great to find it, but in the larger picture I would just like to be able to buy camellias again with an elevated level comfort. Nothing is risk free but I've been avoiding buying camellias for the past few years out an abundance of caution. If you can suggest any source that you've had good experience with, I would be grateful. Thank you.

    Growest, thanks for your take on it as well. I think this particular camellia may only be available with a specialty camellia grower. Thank you for mentioning Cloverdale - I'll check in with them.

    Wynn

    Wynn
     
  5. Ron B

    Ron B Paragon of Plants 10 Years

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    If you can find a supplier offering camellias other than those from the two big California growers that are the main sources for local garden centers try them - even without the sudden oak death problem the stock sent up is invariably terribly potbound and therefore pretty much worthless (except perhaps as stock plants to be propagated and then discarded). I have seen 5 gallon camellias with main roots in full view, on top of the potting soil shaped in a perfect square mere inches across - indicating absolutely no concern about keeping their products potted on and prevented from becoming deformed.

    How did you identify the 'Welcome Bell'? Could it actually be a another variety (there are a great many of them), similar-looking but easier to find? Or could a similar one be substituted?
     
  6. growest

    growest Active Member 10 Years

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    Ron --your comment about the rootbound camellias is appreciated. I do recall seeing lots of exposed roots on the imported plants...but honestly thought this was a "trick of the trade" to reduce shipping weight=cost...removing any loose media that wasn't absolutely necessary from the tops of the containers. I hadn't noticed the evidence of rootbound square liners that you mention, hmmmm. Definitely, such rootbound plants have a tough time establishing...I've fought for years with similarly rootbound rhodos, trying to get them to root out properly into the garden. Even tho the topgrowth on such plants is impressive, my experience is that they are very poor investments...a smaller plant with a healthier root system would wind up far ahead after a few years in the landscape.

    Wynn--I've also drawn a blank with that cultivar...the only vaguely similar named one is Lulu Belle, semi-double white...?

    Sounds like you may be in the trade, as you mention a "client"...if so, you might have the option of dealing with some other good growers here like Aldergrove, Erica, Kato's and Sidhu. North Star also has lots of liners, I don't think they grow them on but that could have changed since I last checked.
     

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