Ah, the holidays….When people’s thoughts turn to lights, gift giving and that guy in the red suit. But in all the hustle and bustle, don’t forget you have some pretty special plants in your garden that may need your attention.
Cut Those Flowers!
Enjoy the season with your Camellias. Camellia blossoms have been a staple at our home for as long as I can remember. We use them to decorate for the holidays by adding them to our table centerpiece, fire place mantle, and in vases around the house. It’s so nice to bring a little bit of color indoors!
Prep For Cold Weather
Make sure your plants are well hydrated in the event of a cold snap. Dry plants will burn from being to dry. Keep your plants well watered during the winter.
Cover small plants with sheets or frost blankets, NOT plastic or heavy blankets. . Frost blankets are thin sheets of polyester fiber that can keep your plants up to 6-8° warmer. They are easier than blankets and if wet, the water and sunlight goes right through. They are also reusable for man years. We use Dewitt Frost Blankets and you can purchase online at various sources.
Mulch Your Camellias
Make sure your plants have good layer of mulch. Pinestraw, Bark, or any organic mulch is recommended and 3-4″ thick is a good idea. Mulching helps minimize the roots from damage in cold weather.
It’s best not to feed your plants during December unless they are indoors or otherwise protected from winter weather. If you feel you must fertilize, use an organic fertilizer such as Holly-Tone™ which is low in nitrogen and good for the roots.
Gene Phillips is one of the owners of Gene’s Nursery in Savannah, Ga. He is a 2nd generation grower and attributes his love of Camellias to his father, who inspired him to breath in the beauty that they bring to him but more importantly to others. In his ‘free’ time, you’ll find him wandering through old gardens, trying to identify flowers or taking countless number of photos to share with others! He also enjoys meeting people and comparing ‘garden’ stories.