Camellia Assamica - sapling from seed, I need advices

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Camellia Assamica - sapling from seed, I need advices

Post  JanG. on Sat Aug 04, 2018 10:34 am

Hello everybody,
I have planted "something" without thinking again. Smile Because I love tea a I wanted to grow camellia bonsai tree. I have ordered some seeds, unfortunately (maybe unfortunately) they were var. assamica. I am not sure if assamica is suitable for growing bonsai style. Waht is your opinion?
But now to the point - is there something what should I or shouldn't I do? As I have read articles about camellia, it seems to be quite difficult to grow it in my climate. But even that it could be difficult and in spite of that I have only one sapling, I want to try it.
It needs light, it needs humidity, acidic soil - OK, but what more can I expect from this plant? I read that when it grows about 20 cm (about 8 in), it should be cut back - maybe to one half. Then I will try to put the cutting into a soil and see if it will develop new roots, so maybe I could have two plants in some time.
There is very less informations on the internet how to handle small saplings...

Please leave some comments.
I do not know what will be the result, if I will be successful, but the plant is already growing and I do not want to make step back now.





Thank you,
Jan
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Re: Camellia Assamica - sapling from seed, I need advices

Post  Marty Weiser on Sat Aug 04, 2018 3:25 pm

The thing to do now is to let it grow. It needs to develop roots and the trunk needs to lignify (become woody) before you do anything. The general rule is to only do one major thing per year to your bonsai - this year you sprouted a seed. Next year you can do the next major thing which will depend upon how much it grows and what sort of bonsai you want.

I did a quick search and C. assamica is a synonym for C. sinesis grown in the Assam region. They generally have a strong tap root so you will need to cut that in the first repotting which could be as early as next year, but should probably be no later than 2 years from now. Until then, fertilize lightly and enjoy the growth.

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Re: Camellia Assamica - sapling from seed, I need advices

Post  JanG. on Sun Aug 05, 2018 4:15 pm

Hello Marty,
well, I had it in quite small container, so today I pulled it out, kept everything as it was and put it into a bigger container. The bigger one will be better for one year growing.
The gravel and zeolit is only around to fill the rest of new space.
So I will see, if it was a good decision. Thank you.

Best regards
Jan



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CAMELLIA

Post  oldman on Sun Aug 12, 2018 9:55 pm

I am not aware of your capacity for delayed gratification, BUT my experiences with slow growth camellia sasanqua are colored by frustration.  The best way that I have found is to put it into the ground in a carefully chosen position in relation to the sun exposure and allow it to grow.  One less aggravation until it is bigger and robust.  You can control root ball size by selective spading to cut off roots while it is maturing .This also encourages fine root growth.  I have lifted them and cut back the tap root, then replaced them in the ground, upon occasion, and they survive quite successfully.  Good luck


Last edited by oldman on Mon Aug 13, 2018 7:23 pm; edited 1 time in total

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Re: Camellia Assamica - sapling from seed, I need advices

Post  Potawatomi13 on Mon Aug 13, 2018 1:22 pm

I grew a camellia from seed. It was about 4-5 years old and was being trained to be a cascade. Was about to have one flower for the first time(huge surprise)when we had a late spring freeze that killed about 10 of my trees including this one. Otherwise they are hardy here USA zone 8. I cannot remember if I had trimmed the tap root but think that I had cut part way off.

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Re: Camellia Assamica - sapling from seed, I need advices

Post  Leo Schordje on Fri Aug 24, 2018 2:15 am

Camellia sinensis var. assamica - I believe they are ''okay'' for bonsai. I've seen a few photos, mostly from Japan of fairly large, old specimens and they look nice.

Right now your seedling simply needs to grow. Do nothing. Right now it is too fragile, young growth is brittle, breaks easily. just let it grow.

When the seedling is about a year old, if needed, wire the trunk to put some movement in it. But don't do it now, the seedling is too young.

Camellia backbud reasonably well on old wood and if they don't, they can be grafted. So don't worry about forcing backbudding, just let the plant bulk up. get it bushy. You will want a trunk at least 2 inches to 4 inches in diameter, 5 cm to 10 cm in diameter. This means you will have to let it get at least a meter or two tall in order to get a trunk that large. Only after the trunk diameter is achieved do you cut it down to the size you want.

see the articles in the link, especially the one "Trunks, Developing Trunks", also "Growing Principals" , and the articles about maples are helpful in thinking about how to develop deciduous trees.
http://www.evergreengardenworks.com/articles.htm
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Re: Camellia Assamica - sapling from seed, I need advices

Post  JanG. on Sat Sep 22, 2018 11:28 am

Well,
thank you everybody Smile I think that thickness of the trunk could be an issue for me - mainly because of less space at home. However I will do my best. I have also some airpots, so next year I will repot it in this container. Now I have tamatind tree in airpot and my experience is that I really must care for watering. A soil in airpot dries really faster. However if it would help with root development, then I will give it a chance. I could let it grow up to 1 meter indoor, which is limitation. But If I will make small bush, then it could thicken the trunk the same way - by developing more shorter brunches instead of one or two long.
However as I checked what is my hardiness zone, possibly I could let it grow outside which would solve most issues. My zone is 6b. This is not super safe, but the plant could handle it. Somewhere I read that it is better to wait until the plant is five years old and then try to grow it outside. Also to keep it covered during winter. So, I will make decision later Very Happy
But if camellia did not make it in zone 8, then I am concerned about growing it outdoor in my 6b zone  Very Happy

Anyway now I will let it grow, next year I will replant it and then I will see.

Leo, thank you for that link. I have read a lot, but there seems to be some interesting details which are new for me. I like when I can study more.

Bellow you can see how my my camelia sapling looks now. I know that it is growing quite slow. I will move it in warmer room with more light.

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SELECTING BONSAI POTENSAI

Post  oldman on Sat Sep 22, 2018 7:31 pm

One of the problems I encountered when starting out in bonsai was the many different plants that I wanted to bonsai.  I learned from 'Mr Experience' that one of the many criteria for selection is looking at the adult tree from a bonsai enthusiast's perspective.  This attitude eliminates several varieties of plants.  Leaf size is important.  I bonsaied(?) a rubber tree, variegated, that is.  The leaf size actually did decrease to about one and a quarter inches.  But, several other issues with the art of  bonsai of a rubber tree made my elementary attempts at bonsai more difficult than necessary.  Bonsai is difficult with good stock, so why hamstring yourself by choosing a favorite plant that has a lot of hurdles to overcome; this includes inappropriate stock for your climate, available resources for the plant's healthy growth, slow growth rate, large leaf size, ungainly growth habit, accessibility of materiel, and difficulty in wiring, to name a few.  I had to compromise (hate that word). I continue to grow my unruly stepchild and I got an easy tree to work on, such as a juniper. Bonsai literature emphasizes certain types of trees because of, among several issues, ease of accomplishing your objective.  My objective is to have a good looking, appropriate miniature tree in a pot.   Camellia is a difficult starter project for seasoned professionals.  An example of an easier subject in my climate is the Mikawa yatsubusa maple I recently purchased.  Also, I am 73 years old and I don't want to undertake 20-30 year projects.  At this time of life, I want easily attainable projects.  Google 'easiest starter trees for beginners' for further info. I hope that this is helpful.

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Re: Camellia Assamica - sapling from seed, I need advices

Post  JanG. on Sun Sep 30, 2018 11:34 am

Oldman, I fully understand you. When I was younger, I never chose anything difficult. As an example I wanted to build a fighter jet scale model, so I took the one which seemed to me easy to build - but it was not as atractive as another ones in the shop. Finally I did not build it. It was just not atractive and it needed a lot of work anyway. Well, every person is different, but for me it is necessary to be attracted first. So then I am choosing what is intersting to me and I am ignoring the difficulty little bit.
On youtube I saw a video where somebody was talking about choosing bonsai tree species, so I know that it is more difficult to grow trees from climate zones that are different from yours etc.
But I need to try it anyway. To try if doing my best will be good enoug. So this is a reason why I do some crazy choosing Smile

Anyway I am trying to grow some rosemary bush and as next I want to try some cottoneaster and buxus. The buxus must work great, but I heven't been able to grow it from cuttings yet. I am doing something wrong. Now I have small piece of cottoneaster cutting only put in a water. Finally a small root appeared, so I guess it will grow. Smile In fact we had quite dry summer this year which also did not help to my efforts.

So, I am trying both - super easy and super difficult Very Happy
Maybe crazy but I like it. And I appreciate all of tips, opinions and advices that you can give me.
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Re: Camellia Assamica - sapling from seed, I need advices

Post  Leo Schordje on Mon Oct 29, 2018 3:04 pm

It is the total surface area of foliage that thickens trunks, so a meter tall bush with many branches will thicken a trunk similar enough to a 2 meter tall single trunk tree, if the total leaf surface area is similar between the two. So it can be done. I have a number of indoors for winter trees, and have similar compromises to make. In zone 6b tea camellias are only marginally hardy. I think I would grow it as an indoor for winter tree. I would protect it from nights cold enough to freeze the pot solid.

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Re: Camellia Assamica - sapling from seed, I need advices

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