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Camellias Orange And Lemon Trees

Dear reader, did you ever see a large Camellia plant in full blossom? If you have not, I will risk my reputation by saying that all other flowers within my knowledge, barring the rose, dwindle into insignificance when compared with it. It excels the finest rose in doubleness and form of its flowers, and puts the virgin lily to shame for spotless purity and whiteness; if it only possessed fragrance, it would be unquestionably the Queen of the floral world. What I shall have to say in regard to this plant, I hope will have the effect of introducing it into many homes where it has hitherto been little known. Few outside of professional florists have undertaken to cultivate the Camellia, for the reason, we suppose, that it is thought to be quite an impossibility to raise and bloom it successfully outside of a green-house; this is a mistake, although many believe it otherwise. I contend that Camellias can be as easily and as successfully grown in the window-garden as the Rose or Geranium. Camellias bloom in the winter, and at no other season of the year. Plants should be purchased of the florist in the fall or early in winter, and such plants as have flower-buds already formed; those plants, if kept in the right atmosphere, will bloom profusely, but they must have an atmosphere of 50 deg. until the buds are all expanded, after which there will be no danger of the flowers blasting. As soon as the bloom has all passed off, the plants should be taken from their cool quarters, and placed with the other plants in a warm temperature, and watered freely, to encourage a vigorous growth previous to removing them out-of-doors in the spring. As soon as all danger of heavy frosts is over in the spring, the plants should be taken from the house and removed to some shady location, under a grape-arbor, in a pit or frame covered with shades; here leave them standing in the pots "plunging" the pots in earth or sand to prevent too rapid drying out. The summer is the period in which the flower-buds are formed that bloom in winter; the plants should be kept growing, and watered freely throughout the summer. They must be left out-of-doors as long as the weather will permit, but, on the approach of frost, take the plants into the house, and let them stand in a cool room, where the temperature is not over 50 deg.. This is the critical time, for if they are removed into a warm temperature of 70 deg. or 80 deg., the buds will all blast and drop off, and no flowers will be produced. If the plants are large and well-budded, a succession of bloom will be yielded throughout the entire winter. There are a number of varieties, embracing colors from red, pink, variegated, etc., to the purest waxy-white. The Double White Camellia Japonica, the white sort, is the most valuable for its bloom, the flowers being sometimes four to five inches in diameter, exceedingly double, with the petals imbricated, and of a waxy texture, and are highly prized by florists, who often charge as high as one dollar per flower for them. They are invaluable for funeral occasions, when pure white flowers are required. Plants are multiplied by either grafting or budding them on the common stock; it is almost impossible to raise plants from cuttings; they are slower than the Azalea to take root.

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