The Q&A Archives: Camellia As A Hedge

Question: I have a place that is about 2 feet wide and 15 feet long that I want to plant a row of camellias -- I'm thinking about 4. I want to have the camellias create a border between my house and my next door neighbor's house. I would like the camellias to reach at least 5 feet in height. I like pink and white, prefer white such as Alba Plena or pink such as Pink Perfection -- I love the formal doubles. But what vareity would be the best? Something that I can shape into a topiary-like design -- tall, round top, all touching in a row. What is hearty and vigorous and blooms early through late? I know I'm asking for a lot. Thank you!

Answer: I've seen a hedgerow of camellias just as you describe and it was really attractive! These plants were carefully pruned to remove the lower brances, leaving a single woody stem with a topknot of foliage and flowers. If this is your plan, it's a good one. The important thing to remember about trimming hedges is that the top portion should be narrower than the bottom, to allow direct sunshine on the entire plant. If you trimmed the hedge wider at the top and narrower at the bottom, the top branches would shade the lower part of the plant. Sounds as though you plan to remove all of the lower branches and have just a topknot, so the camellias should be quite happy.

The most prolific bloomers include 'Apple Blossom' (white flowers blushed with pink), 'Jean May' (shell pink flowers), 'Setsugekka' (white with fluted petals), and 'Tanya' (deep rose pink).

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