Camellias are an easy plant to espalier and are well suited to grow against walls and fences.
They can also be used as amazing feature plants when trained to grow into shapes, such as hearts.
The art of espaliering is widely used with fruit trees, however it is now popular with many ornamental shrubs not only to save space but also to cover unsightly walls, fences and sheds.
If you have a space in the garden that is narrow then a Sasanqua type camellia could be the answer.
How to Espalier a Camellia
You can buy plants that have already been trained and this is a good way to start.
If you want to train your own, then start with a young plant with a natural open habit.
Look for a plant with long leaders to start with. Sasanqua types are generally easier to start with, Camellia ‘Avalanche’ is an excellent variety for this sort of work as is Camellia sasanqa ‘Setsugekka‘.
- You will need a trellis of some sort however wires can also be used.
- Plant the camellia as you normally would with the trellis or wires attached to stakes or a wall behind the plant.
- Use adjustable soft ties to fasten the leaders (long stems) to the trellis or wires. Prune away any unwanted growth.
- You need to leave a central leader to the height that want, and take the side branches and attach these to the supports with the ties.
- You should be left with a flat growing on a flat plain.
- Regular pruning will be required, however camellias are very easy to prune.
Espalier Camellias are available from the following nurseries
1052 Whittlesea-Kinglake Road Kinglake West 3757
Offering a specialist variety of Australian native Ferns plus Dendrobium/Dockrillia & Sarcochilus species & hybrids in pots, loose, or mounted. Species Cymbidium sauve and maddidum.