Autumn Camellia japonica, is simply amazing and should
be shouted from the mountain top. Unfortunately it has
to be the best kept secret in the world of gardening.
Each year, just like clockwork this incredibly beautiful
camellia starts loading up with its prized blossoms the
first week of October.
you grow camellias in the landscape you probably are
already missing the point. Early Autumn produces large
lavender-rose formal-double blossoms. It starts the
first week of October when we are having temperatures in
the mid to high 80ís and wondering if fall will ever
come. It starts blooming way before most Camellia
sasanquas (traditional fall bloomers) are thinking of
showing any color.
Camellia japonicas which we treasure, bloom after
Christmas and are susceptible to freezes. Last year when
the temperature reached 16 degrees every blossom in the
camellia garden that was opened, quickly turned brown
and we had to wait for those subsequent tight buds to
bloom. In the case of Early Autumn it was already
through and much enjoyed. It was asleep for the winter.
Autumn gives gardeners in zones 7-10 those magical Kodak
moments in a rare season, the fall. It, of course,
partners wonderfully well in a garden that is also full
of Camellia sasanquas, and fall blooming Encore azaleas.
Plan your landscape right and it will be like having
spring followed by spring.
Autumn was discovered as a chance seedling that sprouted
in 1986 in Ocala, Fla.. It first flowered in 1995.
Technically speaking it is considered an
early-to-midseason japonica that has long-lasting
formal-double blossoms. The plantís growth is upright
other camellia japonicas, Early Autumn prefers partial
shade or protection from hot direct sun. Prepare the bed
by incorporating 3 to 4 inches of organic matter and
till deeply. Notice that I said bed. It is so important
to put Early Autumn and every other kind of shrub in a
bed rather than simply digging holes in turf. Dig the
planting hole three to five times as wide as the root
ball but no deeper. Place the camellia in the hole and
backfill with soil, tamp and water to settle, and then
will most likely be critical the first summer, and that
is one of the best reasons for fall planting of trees
and shrubs. Research indicates that planting trees and
shrubs in the fall will give plants almost a full
growing seasonís advantage over those planted in the
roots of the plants will get established and continue to
grow all fall even when top growth has ceased. Next
spring when new growth resumes, the root system will be
able to supply all of the plantís needs. Feed a month
after transplanting with a light application of a
slow-released, balanced fertilizer. Feed established
plantings with a slow-released azalea-camellia
fertilizer after the flowers have fallen, applying per
Savannah we are in zone 8b so on our Judge Arthur
Solomon Camellia Garden trail we have more than 1,000
varieties including Camellia japonicas, Camellia
sansanquas, Camellia reticulatas and hybrids. Therefore,
we have the best of all worlds, fall and winter bloom,
winter and spring bloom and great summertime foliage as
pretty as a ligustrum. Even with all of that, Early
Autumns stuns every single visitor and it will do the
same in your garden too.