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Old 07-02-2015, 03:46 PM
 
Location: Phoenix, AZ
2,653 posts, read 2,104,548 times
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Anyone else growing camellias in the desert? I'm in Phoenix, almost hot as Bagdad, Iraq.

I have mine (3 or 4) in pots under a big shade tree. They tolerate the miserable summer without too much damage, but I have to apply zinc on a regular basis otherwise the new leaves come out small, deformed and scorched looking.

I'd like to hear from other desert gardeners who also grow camellias. Tips, suggestions.
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Old 07-02-2015, 08:01 PM
 
Location: Climate Zone Dfa/ Hardiness zone 6a, 46062
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Doug Stark, The reason behind the leaf scorching is likely due to the saline and alkaline soils that are characteristic of your climate in Phoenix, Arizona, Not trying to be mean, but the truth of the matter is that Camellias don't perform well in alkaline clay soils like what you have there in your desert climate, In time, depending on how much intensive care and work you put into amending your soil, you may, or may not, eventually end up losing those Camellias from your landscape, sorry, but Camellias are acid soil loving plants by their nature and are, from my experience, also have a high demand for moisture(I had a row that died off during the multi-year drought in Fort Worth, Texas), and in Fort Worth, the Camellias before they were killed appeared to be have iron deficiencies which was apparently because the soil near our house was too alkaline for them. Hope Your Camellias survive and Wish I could be of more help rather than being of the critiquing kind
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Old 07-03-2015, 03:49 PM
 
Location: Phoenix, AZ
2,653 posts, read 2,104,548 times
Reputation: 2812
Quote:
Originally Posted by Isleofpalms85 View Post
Doug Stark, The reason behind the leaf scorching is likely due to the saline and alkaline soils that are characteristic of your climate in Phoenix, Arizona, Not trying to be mean, but the truth of the matter is that Camellias don't perform well in alkaline clay soils like what you have there in your desert climate, In time, depending on how much intensive care and work you put into amending your soil, you may, or may not, eventually end up losing those Camellias from your landscape, sorry, but Camellias are acid soil loving plants by their nature and are, from my experience, also have a high demand for moisture(I had a row that died off during the multi-year drought in Fort Worth, Texas), and in Fort Worth, the Camellias before they were killed appeared to be have iron deficiencies which was apparently because the soil near our house was too alkaline for them. Hope Your Camellias survive and Wish I could be of more help rather than being of the critiquing kind
Thanks for the advice, Isle. Yes, fighting mother nature can get tiresome...
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