Camellias – Close planting

Q: I recently purchased several camellias. Each of the camellias seemed to have two trunks. I investigated and was able to separate the tangled roots into two plants. Is it OK to have them planted so close together?

A: This is common nursery practice. In order to make sure that they have at least one strong plant in a pot, the nursery folks will stick two cuttings in it. Sometimes one dies but often both form roots and grow well. I saw a ‘Yuletide’ camellia last week that had three rooted cuttings in it. There’s no harm in having the plants grow close together. There’s also no harm in separating them, carefully, so you have multiple plants.