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Approximately 6 months ago, a neighbor had uprooted several nice camellia bushes and laid them out on the sidewalk to discard. I offered to take them, and immediately replanted them. I believe they were out of the ground between 12-18 hours, maybe a bit more. The leaves slowly died and I cut all of them back to about 18"-24" off the ground. The wood looked healthy, but nothing has happened since. On several, the wood is getting increasingly grey. What should I make of this? Are they done for, or do I need more patience? I had another neighbor who cut her camellia back and it took 18 months to come back. I live in LA area. Thanks so much!!! (I can add photos if that would be helpful!)

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Maybe there wasn't enough root on them? I hope they recover for you anyway but as they are evergreen and the leaves fell it doesn't sound too hopeful.

16 Feb, 2012


I'd wait a bit longer, but if your neighbour wrenched them from the ground, rather than carefully extracting all the roots intact, then some will inevitably not be able to stand that shock. Also, Camellias don't really like a sudden drastic and hard pruning, it's always a risk if you do it - a general light trim yearly suits them much better.

16 Feb, 2012


It does sound like they are goners, Ben. Scratch a bit of the bark off of the remaining branches, and if it is moist and green inside, there is still hope. You might be able to bring them back by watering them with a mixture of Superthrive (1/4 tsp. per gal.) and white sugar (2 Tbsp. per gal.). I would also give them filtered shade, at least until spprouting is well underway.

16 Feb, 2012


I uploaded a couple quick photos. I did, in fact, cut back some more bark and there is healthy, greenish wood (although it is relatively hard, I was expecting something softer with growing wood). So they may have a chance? Do I uproot them again, risking more stress, and pot them to promote better rooting until they begin to grow back? Or leave them alone?
Thanks again!

16 Feb, 2012


No, don't move them again. Follow Tugbrethil's advice above.

16 Feb, 2012

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