The Q&A Archives: camelias

Question: We live in San Luis Obispo, California. We can easilly grow fuschias but have difficulty with camelis and almost no luck with azaleas. Both azaleas and camelias are supposed to do well in our zone which is central coast, California. Any suggestions?

Answer: Climate-wise, camellias and azaleas will grow well in your area. However, they require acidic soil, which is something your garden can't provide. To plant these, and other acid-loving plants, you'll want to amend the soil with lots of peatmoss to lower the pH and make the roots happy. If you dig a generous amount of peat moss into the planting bed and then plant your camellias and azaleas, they should perform well for you. In the spring, when it's time to fertilize, use an acidified fertilizer, such as one formulated for camellias and azaleas. This should solve the problem.

Best wishes with your new plants!

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