Camellia japonica, which has a plant hardiness zone range of 7-9 according to the USDA, is the official flower of Alabama. These shrubs and trees are well-known for the huge pink, crimson, and white blossoms that range from 3 to 5 inches in diameter. Some people worry about camellia roots near their homes even though these plants do not have invasive roots because camellia roots develop in dense mats very close to the soil surface. There are a number of reasons why it makes sense to place them farther apart.
The Camellia Root System
Unless you cut the tree or shrub rather severely, the root system of a camellia plant is often the same width as the branch that has the greatest spread out growth. This indicates that the size of the root system will correspond to the size of the tree if the branches are pruned often. Can camellia roots harm pipes? This damage is quite uncommon, and in the vast majority of cases, it will only occur if you plant the camellia in a location that is too near to a building. According to the Missouri Botanical Garden, the typical height of a camellia is between 10 and 15 feet, while its width may range anywhere from 5 to 8 feet.
To begin, you need to determine the maximum size of the camellia that you want to grow and then leave that much space between it and the framework. A good general rule of thumb is to plant the camellia at a distance of at least 6 feet apart on soil that is somewhat acidic. This is an amazing idea. Due to the fact that the roots are quite shallow and may be rather thick and fibrous, it is not uncommon for them to grow into subterranean pipelines and foundations.
Planting Your Camellias
Pennington says that you may plant camellias in zones 8, 9, or 10 at any time of the year with the exception of the summer, in case you were wondering when you should do so. However, Pennington recommends planting in the autumn because it enables the seeds to germinate and establish themselves in the soil before the weather becomes too hot. Plant them in the spring rather than the fall in USDA hardiness zones 6 and 7, and make sure they are situated in regions that get light and partial shade.
When it comes to the distance between camellia japonica plants, the American Camellia Society recommends leaving at least 5 feet of space between each plant. Under trees, camellias are often a fantastic choice for planting since they give colour, texture, and a range of heights to the surrounding landscape.
Camellias should have their root ball crown raised two to three inches above the surrounding soil when they are planted because the roots need enough oxygen. During the first year of a camellia’s life, it is essential to water it on a consistent basis. You need to make sure that the moisture level across the whole root ball is enough. After allowing it to get somewhat dry, you should then water it again. Extensive mulching should be done in order to preserve moisture. When they have fully established their canopies, the canopies will provide shade on the roots, reducing the frequency with which you will need to water the plants.
Caring for Camellia Plants
Once they have been established, these magnificent blooming shrubs need very little maintenance. This should be the case as long as you place them at a sufficient distance from other things to avoid any harm. As a result, the soil should be watered to a depth of 14 to 18 inches so that it can maintain a consistent level of moisture (but not get soggy) throughout the year. You may use mulch even in the autumn and winter, but you should avoid using peat moss and avoid piling it too high. To prune them, use instruments that are sharp and have been sanitised, such as shears, saws, and hand cutters. You should prune the limbs so that they are level with the feeder branches they are attached to, but you shouldn’t leave any nubs since this might invite pests and illnesses.
It is possible to fertilise camellias in the spring using a fertiliser for acid-forming camellias or azaleas; however, you must wait until the blossoms have fallen off before doing so. If your camellia seems to be under stress or ill, you should avoid fertilising it and instead follow the instructions on the package. If it is necessary, you may do these steps once more in the middle of the summer.