How to espalier camellias

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Flowering trees and shrubs are used for landscaping a yard. When desiring a different approach to your design, try espaliering a camellia shrub. Espaliering is the technique of training a shrub or small tree to grow against a flat surface, securing its branches to allow a sprawling effect. It requires patience and frequent maintenance, but the technique could bring your camellia to the focal point of your landscape. Camellias come in cherry red, rose, shell pink and white. The soft falling petals produce a colourful carpet along the surface of the espaliered camellia.

Skill level:

Things you need

  • Camellia shrub
  • Screw eyes
  • Wire

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  1. 1

    Select an area that is suitable for the camellia shrub to grow. Camellias love an acid soil and enjoy full sun with light shade.

  2. 2

    Choose the slow-growing camellia sasanqua for espaliering.

  3. 3

    Locate a stable flat surface, such as a fence, wood siding, or a brick wall for the camellia to grow against.

  4. 4

    Train the branches by tying them against the fence. If the camellia shrub is growing near a brick wall, attach screw eyes to allow wire to be strung across. As the branches grow, secure them to the wire, in a stretched out appearance.

  5. 5

    Wait until the blooming period is over before pruning. This prevents the removing of future blooms. Espaliering is high maintenance, that requires constant care in securing the branches. Depending on where you live, late summer through fall and into winter, the camellias will be in bloom.

Tips and warnings

  • Be aware of the variety of camellia you choose. Camellia japonica, for example, grows into a large tree.

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