Camellias are favoured as bonsai for their flowers that appear in great abundance. There are over 250 varieties recognised today. There are three varieties that are most suited to groom as bonsai.

These species consist of Camellia japonica, Camellia sasanqua and Camela reticulate. The Camellia sasanqua is the most popular because it is the smallest and most compact out of all the camellia species. Its foliage is glossy and dark green in colour and the tree favours acidic soils.

Placement and exposure:
The most ideal position is morning sun or partial shade, it is important to protect your bonsai tree from frost.

Soil recipe used in repotting:
We all have our favourite recipes and these will change from time to time in order to provide the best conditions for our tree. My personal favourite and the one I have had the most success with is 1 part Akadama to 1 part Debco bonsai mix to 1 part fine sharp gravel. For the younger trees I would suggest pure Akadama and supplement with liquid fertilizing. Make sure that whatever recipe you decide on, that it is lime free.

Camellias I find require a combination of mineral and organic fertilizer in order to obtain the best flowering. For this reason I use a combination of 15 mls. of Maxicrop (mineral) to 15 mls of Nitrosol (organic) to 2 litres of water. This is to be applied once weekly, one cup full per Bonsai the day after watering. The reason for this is that there is even saturation throughout the pot or tray, thereby the feeder roots will accept the feed at a faster rate. This should be applied from the first week in August and continued until the last week in March. Then continue normal watering.

Best suited to informal upright styles also cascade or semi-cascade.


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