The Q&A Archives: Rooting Camellias

Question: Is it true that to get a camelia to grow you can root it in water until it sprouts and then plant it in the ground? Does it need to be pollenized?

Answer: Some plants will root easily in water but others need special circumstances to encourage roots to grow. You can try all three of these methods to see which works best for you. Try rooting a cutting in plain water. If it does produce roots you can pot it up until it grows a substantial root mass, then plant it in the ground. A second way is to take semi-ripe stem cuttings in the late summer, dip the cut end in rooting hormone, and plant in a container of potting soil. You'll know the cutting has rooted when new leaves begin to grow from the stem. Finally, you can layer a branch from a healthy camellia. Bend one of the branches down so it lays along the soil. Make a slight nick in the bottom of the stem, hold the injury open with a twig or small stone, then bury the wounded part of the stem in the soil. Allow the end of the branch to remain above ground. Within a year new roots should form at the site of the injury and you can cut the newly rooted branch away from the parent plant and plant it in the ground.

Camellias produce flowers on their own and do not need a second camellia to act as a pollenizer.

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