Thursday, September 5, 2013

Plant Information Class Tour of Nuccio's Nursery

Seven hardy souls braved the 100 degree plus heat to show up at Nuccio's camellia nursery for a tour by owner Tom Nuccio. They weren't disappointed as Tom not only discussed the varieties of camellia they had to offer but  gave us tips on how to propagate them using seeds, cuttings and grafts.
Tom Nuccio shows off some of his species camellias from China and Vietnam.

These two and tree gallon pots are full of newly germinated camellia seedlings. Tom told us the trick was to plant the seeds as soon as the seed capsule ripens.
According to Tom camellias will root almost anywhere on the stem, so you need only one leaf node per cutting.
Tom shows us a newly rooted camellia cutting. 
Camellia cuttings root in Tom's mist house. 
Tom explaining that Dragon fruit cactus like climbing up smooth surfaces, like the bark of the citrus tree that this one particularly robust plant is growing on. 
Greenhouse full of newly grafted camellia plants. 
Tom's grafting secret? Mason jars are kept on the newly grafted plants until callous and new growth is observed. 
Tom points out new callous growth on a camellia cutting as well as a new leaf-bud. 
New growth on a camellia graft -Tom revealed that tipping the mason jar over just a bit the for two to three days before it is removed allows the cutting to acclimate before it is exposed to the drying southern California air. 
Tom also gave us a demonstration on how to do camellia cuttings. 
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