Smith County Master Gardener
This is when we praise the “night owls” of the garden, those plants that insist on doing their thing regardless of cold and gloom, and there are few enough of them. Camellia japonica is one that gives us huge tropical- looking blooms right in the middle of winter’s darkness.
How treasured are these beautiful blossoms; how uplifting they are to a gardener’s soul!
Camellia japonica was introduced to America in the early 1800s. The plant was only found in the yards of the wealthy plantation owners for more than a century because unlike many other plant introductions, camellias are very difficult to propagate. Thanks to today’s technology, they are readily available.
I have found that if I bend a branch down to the ground and place a rock on it, it will usually root. That’s the way my grandmothers did it. It is not sure fire, but usually will work.
Gardeners and plant admirers need a big shot of color in the dreary days of winter, so my suggestion is go out and buy a camellia. You will thank yourself a million times every winter that you did.
By the way, bring in a bloom or two to enjoy indoors. Flowers are a sure way to make you smile.
Dee Bishop is a Smith County Master Gardener. She writes about plants that can be found within the Tyler Rose Garden.