CAMELLIA SOCIETY WORKSHOP, by Larry Williams UF/IFAS Extension Agent

Unlike most outdoor blooming plants, camellias bloom when the plants are dormant during the months of October thru March. As you travel about in Northwest Florida this time of year, you may have noticed the vivid color displayed by blooming camellias.

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 may grow to fourteen feet or more. Size and shape are easily controlled with proper pruning. There are several thousand registered unique camellias (cultivars). Examples popular in our area are Pink Perfection, Professor Sargent and Debutante. Cultivars range in size from 1 1/2 inches to 6 inches in diameter. Flower forms include singles, doubles, rose, etc. Camellias are very hardy plants that provide an infinite selection of landscaping possibilities. Due to their popularity, the camellia has been designated the State Flower of Alabama. Also, Fort Walton Beach, Florida, is called The Camellia City.

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 be:

  • WHEREOkaloosa County Extension Annex, 127 NW Hollywood Boulevard, Fort Walton Beach.
  • WHEN:    Saturday, February 15, 2014
  • TIME:      9 AM until Noon
  • AGENDA:  Members of the Greater Fort Walton Beach Camellia Society will be available to answer any questions and provide demonstrations on the following topics:

    1. Planting and Care of Camellias – The special planting requirements for your new camellia and a monthly care calendar will be available.
    2. Propagation – There are several simple methods to propagate camellias that will be demonstrated. They include air layering, seeds and grafting.
    3. Gibbing/Debudding – Instructions will be given on how to improve the size and quality of your camellia blooms.
    4. Insects / Pests/ Diseases – Bring samples of any problems you may have for identification and recommended treatment.
    5. Gardening with Camellias in Containers – If you don’t have a place to plant them, consider employing camellias as a potted plant.

There will be a limited number of plants for sale, and a camellia bloom display. You are invited to come learn more about camellias and have a cup of coffee with us.

For more information, call Joseph Jenus, 850-862-452

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