Winter flowers: Camellia
The camellia is perhaps one of the most beautiful flowers with very unique feature of being able to resister to the intense cold of winter. Its origins in the Middle East make it a potted plant, but also from the ground that we can recognize and find in over 70 different species (pictured a camellia japonica Countess lavinia Mays), while its resistance to cold (-15 ° up to approximately C!) allows not only to survive the winters but also already starting to sprout between the months of December and February depending on the variants.
Recommending to keep still your camellias in areas not too exposed to the wind (are plants undergrowth), here is what are the best-known varieties:
its most attractive feature is certainly the height that can be reached in the course of time: if well preserved camellia japonica is able to exceed a height of 10 m !! This variety can stand the cold more than others so keep the shelter in the winter in a cold greenhouse or allevatela to prevent the flowers, to sprout, they burn or go ruined.
unlike the japonica, this camellia blooms already in November (until March) but reaches “only” heights of no more than 7 m. Very resistant to the cold so you must repair it or protect it from the wind only if you live in particularly cold areas (high mountains, Nordic Countries, etc.)
the mention only for its peculiarity, though, as the subsequent types, blooms until spring. Its leaves are in fact used to produce tea. In Italy it is used for ornamental purposes (its white flowers are magnificent) but if you have one at home and you are able to work fine leaves, it is said that does not leave a good product.
The other varieties, such as Camellia Oleifera, and Rosiflora reticulata, prefer spring blooms and then the care of traditional plants.
As with many other plants, including the Camelia be followed not too obsessively. Being a plant from the undergrowth, it would be better to reproduce as closely as possible to its original condition of life that is twilight, almost total absence of currents and, most soil moist but not stagnant. Watering must therefore be constant in Summer (or hot weather) and weekly (unless excessive rain) in winter. The important thing is to make sure that the soil remains sufficiently moist and not dry.
As for fertilizing and pruning, camellias do not need major repair, but only in constant touch ups (pruning) for, if necessary, correct crooked branches. Beware Finally, the snow! Although camellias withstand the cold well, apparently, do not like much snow deposited on their leaves for a long time. If you can, make sure that swing away!