1.5 lit. HP
Camellia Early Pearly
Our most popular Camellia variety, used mainly as a hedge plant but can also be used as a stand alone ornamental.
Sasanqua. White with a tinge of pink. Small to medium formal double. Flowers autumn to early winter. Average upright growth. Popular for hedging. 2 - 3m unpruned.
(C. sasanqua) American Camellia Yearbook, 1972, p.129, Reg. No. 1187: A 5 year old chance seedling of c. sasanqua that first bloomed in 1969; originated by Dr Mervin B. Wine, Thomasville, Georgia, USA. Plant growth is upright, open and medium in rate with dark green leaves, 2.5cm long x 1.2 cm wide. A white, rose form double with outer rows of blush petals, about 4cm across and 1.2cm deep/ Blooms early.
Ref: International Camellia Register Vol 1. p 523.
In New Zealand leaves and flowers are slightly larger than described above.
Syn: C. Early Peony, Early Pink Delight, Early Prince, Early Scarlet Ball, Early Spring, Early Spring Scarlet. (Regardless of synonym names, in New Zealand the flowers are pink in bud but open pure white formal double about 6-8cm across.)
Use as a Hedge
Camellia Early Pearly makes an excellent hedge anywhere from 80cm up to 2 metres in height. For a short hedge plant at about 60cm apart. For a taller hedge plant about 80cm apart. If planted further apart the hedge will take longer to form, and may result in a triangular gap at ground level mid-way between all the plants.
Prune late winter after flowering. If pruned a second time in summer prune lightly so as not to remove all the flower buds. With C. sasanqua varieties flower buds form part way down the stem so light tip pruning should not greatly affect flowering.
Use as an Ornamental
Camellia Early Pearly can be used as a stand alone ornamental, but its form tends to be open rather than tight and formal like most Camellia japonica varieties. Prune to shape and size as required as outlined above.
Like all Camellias if the plant gets old and loses form, prune severely back to a stump 30 - 50cm high. After a few weeks new shoots will appear from the stump and the plant will reform.
Camellias will grow in full sun or partial shade. In very dark shade the plant may still grow but will likely lose all form as it searches for light.
Camellias do like a good rich loamy soil to grow in. Poor soils (clay, sand) will cause stunted growth, and foliage color may fade to a lighter green and even cause yellowing.
Ground should be average garden conditions. Excessive irrigation should be avoided once planted as excessive water can cause root rot. Root rot shows the same foliage symptoms as drought.
Plant at the same depth as it is in the container, give a good water to settle the dirt around the roots, and generally leave alone apart from pruning. A newly planted plant will only need additional water through the first summer, and then only 1 to 2 times per week in very dry conditions.
Generally, Camellias should require no fertilizer after planting assuming reasonable top soil. If fertilizer is required use an NPK with FE, and only a teaspoon fill sprinkled over the soil surface within the drip line.
After planting Camellias tend to do nothing for several weeks while the settle in. Most growth occurs mid spring onwards.