Camellia rosthorniana 'Cupido' - a tale in three and a half acts

 Act 1 - Prologue

That 2014 is now eight years ago is somewhat disturbing, I am sure it was only yesterday but years come and go so swiftly these days.  Our story opens in 2014 when life seemed so much simpler.  I was in love with Camellia rosthorniana 'Cupido'.  It was fairly new to the market and it felt like all the trendy kids were growing it.  Never having been a trendy kid I was outside looking in and I wanted in.  I obtained a fairly small Cupido, I planted it into the garden and after a few months of it looking quite good it turned up its leaves and died in the winter.  I sighed, I cried, I moved on.

November 2014

Act 2 - The Tempting

It is now winter 202/22 and the new year plant offers are landing in my inbox tempting me to buy buy buy.  I am resisting and yet..... there is a 3 litre Cupido at a good price and I am tempted.  So tempted.  I have not tried to grow it three times yet so the 'three times and you're done' rule does not yet apply.   I also think I know what killed off the original plant.  I think my thick clay soil was just too soggy for it over the winter and that it needs better drainage.  I have lovely acidic soil that my other camellias love, but I have positioned them in less claggy areas than where this one was plonked planted.  (Claggy is a technical term). 

I have also been rejuggling the Courtyard Garden.   Long staying plants have now been planted out into the garden and so there are gaps.  I don't mind gaps, gaps are opportunities, gaps are new plant opportunities.  Gaps are good.

So did I buy one, well of course I did.  That is so much a daft question I hardly feel it necessary to answer.

Act 3 - The Homecoming

Ta da!  The Cupido arrived quite swiftly and my oh my am I happy with it?  YES I AM!!!

Firstly, despite knowing how big a 3 litre pot is, I was surprised at how big the plant is.  It is a goodly sized healthy looking shrub covered (and I mean smothered) in buds.  I am over the moon with it.  The plant arrived during a particularly cold snap and so I decided not to put it outside straight away.  I put it into the conservatory to begin with to wait for a milder day so it could ease itself into the cold.

I already had some ericaceous compost and so potted it up so it could go into position in the Courtyard Garden.  There are exciting times ahead for the Courtyard Garden, this year is going to see some changes...... but more of that another time.  

It is covered with buds, I am so excited waiting for them to open.  

Epilogue (is this the fourth act?)

So dear reader what have we learned about this tale of lust and greed?  (did I not mention it was a tale of lust and greed? Is that not obvious?).  Well we (I mean I) have learned a couple of things.  Firstly: size matters.  A goodly sized healthy plant is already set up well to succeed.  Whilst I often buy small young plants because that it what my budget stretches to, I know that a better sized plant will often have a better chance of thriving.  Secondly: the lesson I never seem to learn; give the plant the conditions it needs and it will thrive.  Think to yourself 'oh it will be ok there' without proper research will oft result in sadness and wasted expense.  

I shall keep you updated as to the progress of this newly beloved shrub.

Stay safe and be kind.

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  1. I have one of these plants too and although mine was put in a pot and is still growing, it has never seemed to be happy. I was going to bin it, but I think I will give it another chance and try it in a slightly less shady position to see if it does any better.
    Good luck with yours.
    Best wishes

    1. I hope yours does recover. I think they might be divas.....


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