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|L och Laurel Nursery is a relatively new nursery that specializes in new and hard-to-find camellias. Living in Valdosta, Georgia for the
past 30 years, I became good friends with Hulyn Smith. It was great to see the flowers at camellia shows,
but plants that would grow those flowers were rarely available. So in the late 1990's, I decided to grow a few plants. With the
help of Hulyn and other good camellia growers, I started the nursery. Each year I try a few new varieties and discontinue those
that do not thrive under local conditions.
My fascination with plants started as a child and led to my obtaining a degree in Plant Science and a Masters in Plant Pathology. With my extensive knowledge of plants, I decided to try growing camellias a little different than other growers. Being a plant pathologist, I focused on ways to reduce the incidence of dieback in year-old plants.
All our plants are grown on their own roots from cuttings from
private collections. This practice results in plants that are not
found at local garden centers. We are also world innovators in
Another innovation at Loch Laurel Nursery is to grow camellias under red shadecloth. Using shadecloth other than black is called Spectrum Management. By changing the quality of light on the young camellia plants the red shadecloth improves growth and branching. Loch Laurel Nursery also practices root-pruning techniques to improve the root system of camellias from cuttings. These and other growth promoting techniques have been developed and successfully adopted by other camellia growers.
This year the nursery offers over 200 varieties of camellias and a few other winter-blooming plants, primarily for USDA Zone 8. These plants are excellent garden companions for camellias, adding interest to the winter landscape.