Making It Grow 3-15-2011
Camellia Tea Event - Manning, SC
Stephanine Turner from Park Seed - Greenwood, SC
RECIPE FORWAXING CAMELLIAS
5 lbs. Household Paraffin Wax
1 ½ Pints Mineral Oil
Camellias – Light Pink, white and heavily variegated blooms do best. Semi-doubles, formals and single blooms are also better. Small to medium size flowers also do best as the wax makes large blooms too heavy.
Directions: You will need a double boiler, old crock pot or wok, candy or deep fat thermometer.
Melt 5 pounds of wax and 1 ½ pints of mineral oil together in an electric wok at 138F. The wax must be at 138 degrees exactly for successful waxing. DO NOT overheat. Wax is flammable. Stir mixture thoroughly while heating. If the wax is too cool the coating on the flowers will be thick and gummy. If it is too hot, the petals will scorch and turn brown almost immediately. Waxing camellias takes practice. Hold the flower by its stem and fold back the leaves to keep them out of the wax. To keep the shape of the flower it must be dipped face down through the melted wax as fast as possible, using a single swooping motion from one side of the pt to the other. Wax must be deep enough that the flower does not touch the bottom of the pot. Quickly shake off as much excess wax as possible. Then plunge the flower face down into the ice water, swirling it around to keep the petals from sticking together. The flower should then be placed face up to drain on paper towels. The blooms are fragile and will begin to turn brown once the wax seal is broken. The browning may be disguised by spray painting the blooms. The wax may be stored for future use by allowing it to cool and breaking into smaller pieces. These pieces may be kept in a plastic bag and re-melted when needed.