What planting mix should we use for a camellia hedge?

Q.

Hi, we are about to plant a hedge of camellias. Which is the best potting mix/garden mix to use for camellias?

Duncan and Cheryl Wright

A.

Hi Duncan and Cheryl, any mix rich in composted organic plant material is suitable. Tui have a potting mix / planting mix called Tui Superlight Potting mix which is a peat based mix which is perfect for camellias as they prefer slightly acid soil conditions, peat has slightly acid soil properties. It also contains a 6 month controlled release fertiliser for sustained feeding. You could also use Tui Compost, a blend of composted organic plant material, fine bark, blood and bone and gypsum. While camellias thrive in acid soil conditions, avoid using garden lime or dolomite lime around them as this will alter the soil pH, gypsum does not change the soil pH, but helps break down organic matter in the soil and releases nutrients to plants. The key to success is a free draining soil, rich in organic matter, feed camellias with a specially blended fertiliser for acid loving plants such as Tui Acid Food or Tui Enrich Roses, Camellia, Azalea & Gardenia in late winter and again in mid-summer. Add mulch around the trees to conserve soil moisture over the summer months, water regularly in the growing season. Lianne, Tui Team.

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