How do you espaliate a camellia sasanqua

We have a narrow area by the concrete driveway and wish to grow a camellia to have some colour in the winter without the branches scratching the cars. What is the best way to tie up the branches as they grow, should we have lattice or something similiar or should we put nails in the fence and tie up branches with hemp. Thank you.

yates

02 June 2019 12:30 AM

Dear Lesley,

Espalier camellias along your fence would make a beautiful display in the autumn/winter months. The first thing to do would be to pick a camellia that grows long arching branches that are suitable to train flat against a fence or trellis. One that comes to mind is one called 'Plantation Pink' which is a camellia sasanqua and would be available at good garden centres. If this variety is not available, there would be other varieties that would be suitable. Sasanqua camellias are able to tolerant more sun than a camellia japonica, so depending upon the site (full sun, part shade, shade) pick a camellia variety that suits the spot where you are planting. It might be wise to attach a trellis to the fence or wall as fences and walls tend to heat up and that can be detrimental to the growth of the plant. Plant the camellia against the trellis, then tie the lateral branches to the trellis in the desired directions using soft plastic ties or twine. Prune off any unnecessary growth and concentrate on training the leaders to grow horizontally. Allow the plant to flower each year and then do the major pruning after flowering. I hope in a few years you will have your espalier camellia looking a real picture.

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