FORT WALTON BEACH CAMELLIA WORKSHOP, by Larry Williams UF/IFAS Extension Agent


Camellias provide a vivid display of color in our Northwest Florida landscapes from October through March. Due to their popularity, the camellia has been designated the State Flower of Alabama. Also, Fort Walton beach is called The Camellia City.

In today’s article, Fort Walton Beach Camellia Society member Joseph Jenus provides information on camellias and invites you to a camellia workshop.

Camellias come in all sizes and shapes. Some types are bushy and short, others might grow to 14 feet or more. There are several thousand registered unique camellia cultivars. Examples popular in our area are Pink Perfection, Professor Sargent and Debutante. Flowers range in size from 1 1/2 inches to 6 inches in diameter. Flower forms include singles, doubles, rose, etc. Camellias are hardy plants that provide many landscaping possibilities.

As a community service, the Greater Fort Walton beach Camellia Society, which is over 50 years old, conducts a free yearly Camellia Workshop to introduce the camellia to area residents. This year’s workshop will take place on Saturday, February 16 from 9 a.m. to noon at the Okaloosa County Extension Annex, 127 Northwest Hollywood Boulevard in Fort Walton Beach. Members of the Greater Fort Walton beach Camellia Society will be available to answer any questions. They will also provide demonstrations on the following topics:

  • Planting and Care of Camellias – The special planting requirements for your new camellia and a monthly care calendar will be available.
  • Propagation – There are several simple methods to propagate camellias that will be
    demonstrated. They include air layering, seeds and grafting.
  • Gibbing/Debudding – Instructions will be given on how to improve the size and quality of your blooms.
  • Pest of Camellias – Bring samples of problems you might have for identification and recommended treatment.
  • Gardening Camellias in Containers – If you don’t have a place to plant them, consider potting camellias.

There will be a limited number of platns for sale and a camellia bloom display. For more information, call Joseph Jenus at 850-862-4526.

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