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How To Grow Camellias From Cuttings: How To Propagate Camellias

Learn how to grow and propagate camellias in easy to follow steps. Camellias propagation of camellias is done using seeds, cuttings or layering, and grafting. Propagation of camellias from cuttings or layering is the easiest method, but you may be interested in how to grow camellias from seed.

Camellia Japonica Flower
Camellia Japonica Flower

While growing camellias from cuttings will produce the exact clone of the parent plant, but if you propagate it from seeds, the new plant may be different. The Camellia Japonicas and Camellia Sasanquas propagate quite easily from cuttings.

The camellia flowers look very beautiful and a camellia shrub becomes loaded with flowers in season and looks stunning, even with no flowers on it. So it is a good idea to propagate it and grow free plants.

Things You Will Need

  1. A healthy camellia bush you want to clone or duplicate
  2. A sharp knife or pruning shears
  3. Rooting medium
  4. Rooting hormone
  5. Plastic bag or Zip lock bag

Growing Camellias from Cuttings

When To Take Cuttings From Camellias 

  1. Camellia cuttings can be taken from mid Summer to early Autumn when the Spring growth hardens off. Take semi-hardwood cuttings from the current season’s growth from the stems that have turned from green to brown, generally in mid summer to early autumn (fall). 
  2. The all-green cuttings from freshly grown branches in spring will be too soft and may rot in the propagation process.
  3. In Australia, I take cuttings in December to early February.
  4. Do not take camellia cuttings in winter, they will not root.

How to Take Camellia Cuttings

  1. Take a sharp knife or pruning shears and first disinfect it with dilute bleach or alcohol solution.
  2. Cut about pencil thick, 4 to 6 inches long stems from a healthy semi-hardwood camellia branch.
  3. You can cut just below a node (leaf joint) or cut at the point where the new growth joins the old wood of the last year.
  4. Then remove all bottom leaves and cut the top two leaves into half to reduce water evaporation and the risk of any fungus when in pot.      
  5. You may lightly remove the bark at the bottom side of the cutting with a knife to expose the cells where the roots will emerge.

How to grow camellias, Prepared Camellia Cutting
Prepared Camellia Cutting

Rooting Medium for Rooting Camellia Cuttings

  1. Take a small pot having several drainage holes and fill in it the rooting medium. 
  2. You can use a mixture of potting soil and washed coarse river sand or perlite in equal amount as the rooting soil. The sand or perlite makes the soil free-draining. if water stands in the pot, then the cuttings will rot and will not root.
  3. Water well and place the pot in shade for half an hour to drain excess water.

Planting Camellia Cuttings

  1. Now apply rooting hormone on the cutting to encourage root formation. You may use commercial rooting hormone or can use a natural rooting hormone like aloe Vera gel.
  2. Make a hole in the soil and insert into pot 2 inch in soil, do not push.  Firm the soil around the cutting.
  3. You may similarly plant 4-5  cuttings in the same pot, at least a few will root, if not all.
  4. Do not water again.

Create a Mini Greenhouse

The camellia cuttings need high humidity and warm temperature to take roots. You can create high humid environment by making a mini greenhouse.

  1. Enclose the pot in a polythene bag and place it in shade at a warm place. The bag acts as a mini-greenhouse, creating high humidity inside.
  2. If the temperature is below 21°C, then place the pot indoors, may be in an ac room, away from direct air current. You can place the pot on a heating pad to encourage rooting.

Every 10 days. open the bag and mist the cuttings using a spray bottle or add a few drops of water to the soil.

Camellia propagation, Rooted Camellia Cutting
Rooted Camellia Cutting

When the Camellia Cuttings will root?

The question is how long does it take for camellia cuttings to root and produce seedlings. The cuttings will take 1 to 3 months to root depending on the temperature and cuttings. Too old cuttings will take more time to root.


Videos on how to grow camellias from cuttings


How to grow camellias from cuttings