It's October - Your Camellia To Do List

October is the start of Camellia Season in the USA and there are a few things you should be doing now to give you a beautiful Camellia season and healthy camellias!

Planting

If you live in Climate zone 8 or 9, you should be planting.  The lower temperatures and mild climate is ideal for planting.  Plants should be going into dormancy and will adapt much better to planting during mild winters.  If you live in other zones, you will want to wait until spring to plant.

Fertilizing

If you live in Climate zone 8 or 9, a fall application of Hollytone™ or other organic fertilizers that are low in nitrogen is recommended during October.  You don't want to give them anything that will encourage growth, so pay attention to the nitrogen.  If you live in other climate zones, wait until spring to fertilize.

Frost-Freeze Protection

Get ready for cold weather and be prepared to protect your plants from heavy frost or severe freezes.  This can be by covering, moving containers indoors, and making sure your plants are well hydrated before cold weather.  

Mulch

Applying a thick layer of mulch in the fall does several things.  It can provide a barrier to cold weather to protect the roots, it can add nutrients back to the soil as the mulch breaks down, and it also can slow down or prevent the spread of petal blight.  Petal blight, especially in the warmer regions of the south can affect camellia blossoms with a blight that turns them brown.  The petals fall to the ground where they wait patiently until late winter or early spring and the millions of spores float in the air and land on your new blossoms and the cycle just keeps going.  Applying a layer of mulch in the fall can help keep the spores in the ground and off your blooms.