Camellia Club of Mobile Inc. Newsletter
   Issue 8  Vol XII     April  2016

We hope all members will find time to attend the Club’s last meeting of the season, it will be held as usual at the Mobile Botanical Gardens.  The program will be dedicated to advice on pruning, fertilizing, spraying etc., as well as answering any questions anyone has on particular problems, like: why are some of my camellias getting yellow leaves, what’s eating holes in my leaves, what critter eats the top of a camellia bud, what’s the fuzzy white stuff on my leaves and why are some of them covered in what looks like black soot? Our super knowledgeable experts will be able to help with all these questions.  Further in this Newsletter is information on foliar feeding of camellias, including recipes and where you can obtain the specific fertilizers. 

Also at the meeting the members present will be asked to vote on acceptance of the updated Club Bye-Laws. A copy of these has been on our website for some time, if you have not read them please do so  we can replace the current out-dated Bye-Laws.  Your attention to this is really appreciated.  Thank you.

The Nominating Committee will present a slate of Officers and Board Members to serve during the 2016-2017 camellia season.  Members present will be asked to vote on this slate; nominations, of course, can be made from the floor.

This meeting we will also hold our annual Camellia Photography Competition.  Members are invited to bring along photos to compete in the four following categories:  1. Best Camellia Bloom.  2. Best Camellia(s) in the Landscape. 3. Best Camellia(s) with People and/or Animals   4. Best Camellia(s) in a Floral Arrangement.   Members present will be invited to vote for their favorites in each category and an award will be given to the winner in each.  Yes, you can vote for your own entry if you think it is the best!  Pictures don’t need to be matted or framed, but they should be from the 2015-2016 camellia season.  Voters will be given 4 pennies, one to be placed on your favorite in each category.

Jim Dwyer gave great talk on Mobile’s Camellia History  
All the members who attended the March meeting enjoyed a really interesting and informative presentation  by our Club Secretary, Dr. Jim Dwyer, on the history of Mobile’s camellia growers and the beautiful blooms they developed for the world of camellias.  I just wish there had been more time to read all the old literature Jim had on display, some of the really old nursery catalogues were extremely interesting.  Thank  you, Jim, for all the time and effort you’ve put into saving this historic information on the Mobile area’s most famous flower.  

Tim Payne, of the Gainesville Camellia Society, published a most interesting article  entitled “Foliar Feeding: a Key to Healthier Camellias?” in the September/November 2005 issue of the Camellia Journal.  Impressed by the dark green healthy foliage on Hulyn Smith’s camellias and with further information from Mark Crawford he found out about a foliar feeder called KeyPlex.  The article gives details of his investigation and the results.  I have had trouble finding it on the web, though if you are an ACS member you might be able to locate it.  I have a copy from the KeyPlex website from years ago – I’ve made copies and will bring them to the April 2016 meeting for anyone interested.  We managed to find the KeyPlex and N-Sure mentioned in the article with great difficulty several years ago, we shared it with several members.  Last September we came to the end of what we had after spraying over 60 gallons on our camellias.  We have, however, recently managed  to locate suppliers for KeyPlex 250 and N-Pact (which replaced N-Sure).  Following is our recipe for mixing one gallon or fifteen gallons of sprayable foliar feeding solution:

 KeyPlex 250:    2 teaspoons 
 N-Pact:             4 teaspoons
 Ultrafine oil:    2 tablespoons
Water:              1 gallon  (U.S.)

KeyPlex 250    10 tablespoons
N-Pact:            20 tablespoons
Ultrafine oil:   30 tablespoons
Water:              15 gallons (U.S.)

For those who don’t cook:   1 tablespoon = 3 teaspoons.

Following is information on where to obtain KeyPlex 250 and N-Pact.  The Ultrafine oil can be obtained at most garden stores.

KeyPlex 250:  This can be obtained from KeyPlex company.  Call 1-800-433-7017 FREE, you will get an automated system, pick the one for home gardeners (think it was “2”) and hopefully you will get a most helpful pleasant gentleman called Dan Brunetti on the line – he is familiar with the article by Tim Payne and he recommended KeyPlex 250 for our use.  We ordered a gallon which cost $22.40 plus $12.50 shipping costs – total cost $34.90.  It was shipped very promptly and arrived in perfect condition. 

N-Pact:  We got this from Crop Production Services, 401 East Sanborn Avenue, Summerdale, AL 36580. Telephone no. is 251-989-7410.  We bought a 2.5 gallon container for $25.00 plus $2.50 tax for a total of $27.50.  Again, very nice people to deal with.   In each case we bought the smallest size container.


Sponsorship of Awards for 2017 Camellia Show

As most members know, a number of years ago the Club offered sponsorship of its Show awards.  At the last Club meeting a committee was formed to confirm which awards are still being sponsored and which ones are now available for sponsorship.  Any Club member can sponsor an available award, listing themselves as a sponsor, or in honor or memory of any appropriate person. The cost is $20.00 per award per Show (though larger amounts are gratefully accepted!).  The following awards are now open for sponsorship - the number shown corresponds to its place in the 2017 Camellia Show brochure:

 9,        Best miniature japonica - grown protected

13.        Runner-up reticulata hybrid - grown protected

16.        Best plate of 3 - same variety japonica - grown protected

18.        Best plate of 3 - non- reticulata hybrid - grown protected

21.        Sweepstakes - grown protected

22.        Best large to very large japonica - grown unprotected

23.        Runner-up best large to very large japonica - grown unprotected

25.        Runner-up medium to large japonica - grown unprotected

34.        Runner-up reticulata hybrid - grown unprotected

43.        Best "Helen Bower" - grown protected or unprotected

49.        Best japonica seedling

Should you wish to sponsor any of the above awards please let one of the Awards Committee know ASAP - Jimmy Walker, Vickie Baugh or Vera Curry.  Sponsorship will be on a "first come - first served" basis so we don't have any punch-ups on who gets what!   The sponsorship fee(s) will appear on your membership dues form sent to you prior to the first Camellia Meeting of the 2016-2017 season.