Taking camellia cuttings

Thursday, April 26, 2018

Friday nights are arguably the best part of the working week for many reasons, one of which being 'Gardeners' World' which at this time of year now offers a whole hour of outdoor goodness. We've become those people who get excited about it and watch conscientiously; taking mental notes of what we ought to be doing at the moment, taking inspiration and generally reveling in an hour of loveliness. The presenters are a perfect mix of individuals who all offer a wonderful level of expertise and enthusiasm, which on the part of passion is infectious although I'm trying to learn as much as I can. Also I feel a burning desire to shout out the names of any blooms I believe I can identify before they're named and feel extremely self congratulatory if I'm right.

In an article the week before last I watched Carol Klein take cuttings from Camellia bushes in order to grow a fresh batch. We've got some gorgeous camellias in full flower near us so after being shown exactly what to do I thought I'm going to do that for myself! So off I snuck with my snips to steal* some cuttings from two different bushes. Sadly I do not know either name for sure but one is a mid pink and has copious fluffy petals to the centre and the other is more of a red-pink with a tighter whorl of petals. There was a third bush but it looked straggly with light pink flowers so I thought I'd leave it be (and I didn't much care for it's flowers compared to it's neighbours).

I made a super gritty mix of compost, snipped each piece of twig in the correct places and stuck them in the side of the pots with the leaves hanging out and the shoots just above the compost. After a good water they were labelled and set aside. It will be months before they're ready to be moved on and although I can't deny I'm desperately hoping they 'take' and grow, it is a learning process and I mustn't set my hopes too high.

*I knew I had permission to nick these cuttings and the camellia bush owner was very pleased to know that more bushes were being created and also looked amused at my unabashed joy at having tried this new skill. We're all going to win here.

Have you ever taken cuttings and were they successful? I'd like to try more, with different bushes and shrubs I'd like to procure!

Take care,

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