Bonsai Camellia

Bonsai Camellia tree’s have dark leaves with very beautiful flowers that are pink, white or red. It’s best grown as a bonsai in a upright informal position and when choosing a premade one from the store look for one which has small leaves. The tree is hardy and evergreen so it stops your garden looking empty during the winter months.

Originally the tree is native to China, Japan and Indonesia. Camellias are likely to flower when it snows and it can survive a cold climate however during longer periods of snow the tree should be covered and protected from the frost. The tree should not be left outside directly in the sun during the summer months, and instead it should be placed in shaded areas. Early morning sun can also be damaging to the tree during the winter months. It should be protected from heavy rain as the trees and branches are relatively fragile.

When growing your Camellia you must look out for vine weevils which will often arrive in compost during the spring months. Therefore extra care must be taken when you’re doing your repotting. Greenfly’s and aphids can be pest as well. You’ll probably notice some ants on the plant if there are aphids present, as the ants will be feeding off the honeydew given from the aphids. It’s fairly easy to remove aphids by hand however if you can’t do this, then a spray of insecticide should be able to finish off the job.

When wiring your camellia its best practice to use either copper or aluminium as they provide the best strength and flexibility. Wiring you camellia can be done during most of the year however it’s best to avoid this during the spring.  The wiring can be kept on the plant for a few years and thus some very unique shapes can be obtained.

Your Camellia should only be repotted every 2-3 years and it’s best to do this repotting after the tree has flowered. The soil used for repotting shouldn’t be alkaline; instead more acidic compost is needed as the camellia is best suited to this type of soil.

During the growing season plenty of water should be given to the bonsai and the soil of your plant should be kept moist throughout the year with extra water being given during the summer months. The best time to fertilize your camellia is after it has finished flowering, then a second application should also be given to it later on during the summer.

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