Help with Camelia Japonica (Lily Pons) (PicS)

gardenbug(8b)April 20, 2012


My camelia was given to me by a dear friend last fall. It survived the winter. It has had buds and still lots of buds on it but they aren't opening. I also noticed 2 or 3 leaves near the bottom have turned yellow. In late Feb or Mar, I gave it about a handful of fertilizer that I give to my rhodies and other acid loving plants. Would that be the problem? We've been getting a lot of rain. It is planted where it gets morning shade and afternoon sun. It is about 3' tall. I have no idea how old it is. The leaves don't seem to be as dark green as they use to. I've added a couple of photos for you to see. That white blob on the bottom pic is a big fat bud. Any advice would be greatly appreciated.

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luis_pr(7b/8a Hurst, TX)

Problems with bloomage can be caused by a miriad of environmental reasons such a temperatures that fluctuate wildly (too high and then too low) as well as lack of or too much moisture. There is also an insect that can cause bud problems.

Under very strange circumstances, some camellias will actually having flower bud trouble repeatedly. I am not aware of someone finding the cause of this problem (repeated bloomage problems almost every growing season), only speculation of causes... weather or moisture issues. In this extreme case, the owners end up transplanting the shrub elsewhere to see if that helps.

    Bookmark   April 23, 2012 at 9:45PM
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Thank you so much Luis for answering my post and giving me your valuable insight into my camelia problem. I looked closely and couldn't see any insects on it. I just planted this camelia in this particular spot just last fall. I wonder if it could be still getting established or maybe move it someplace else perhaps where it would get morning sun and afternoon shade. I just don't think the leaves look right, perhaps a little droopy? This is my first camelia so I haven't got the faintest idea on what I should do? Thanks Luis.

    Bookmark   April 23, 2012 at 11:11PM
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Your camellia is newly planted and is, of course, going through the process of establishing itself--developing its root system, among other things. It is not uncommon for newly planted camellias to look wretched. The plant is also getting ready to begin its growth cycle, which explains the yellowing leaves. They are getting ready to fall off the plant and be replaced with new leaves. A newly planted camellia requires time--a year, sometimes several years, to establish itself. Several years may pass before the plant begins to bloom reliably. What you need to do is leave the camellia alone, except for keeping it well-watered, while the plant establishes itself. If you keep obsessing over your precious camellia and doing all kinds of things to it, you are going to kill it. While your attentions to the plant are, no doubt, well-intentioned, they are misguided. The excessive attention will do the plant in. At that point, I say let it rest in peace and be free from your smother love.

    Bookmark   April 24, 2012 at 10:44AM
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Jay, thanks very much for your help. Okay, I'll leave her be. Thanks for explaining this process to me and why some of the leaves are yellow. I am glad it looks okay to you. Do you think I have it planted in the right location? Morning shade and afternoon sun? We're getting lots of rain, so it's getting well watered. I'll leave it alone now and promise not to be too over-protective. lol

    Bookmark   April 24, 2012 at 2:09PM
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