Transplanted Camellias Suffering

wiccedfluteMay 16, 2006

Greetings, we bought a house last August and were given some large Camellia bushes which we transplanted. I understand that this was probably not the best time of year to move the bushes but we had no choice at the time. Since that time there has been no new leaf growth and they still have not bloomed this Spring. The trunks look healthy and there are some green/waxy leaves, but most of the leaves are droopy and there are quite a few brown ones. I am unsure of what to do at this point obviously having no experience with them. Do I prune them or should I just let them weather through the summer? I just don't want to put any more stress on them. Any suggestions would be most helpful, thank you.

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luis_pr

If you want to stress a plant, choose any of these: water too much, water too little, give too much sun, give too little sun, give too much fertilizer, transplant, place them in a windy location, regularly water the leaves instead of the soil around the plant, take no action when insects attack, do not pick plant debris from under the plant, and so forth and so forth. Want to reduce stress? Do the opposite.

Some people prune the plants when they transplant them. The idea is to make sure that the root system can supply enough nutrients/water to the plant above the soil. However, since your plants were transplanted in August and since pruning is best done in winter or very early spring, I would not bother pruning them now. Light pruning anytime is ok though.

Maintain the soil moist, not wet. Perhaps cover the soil under the plant with newspaper and top it with 2-3 inches of mulch (extend thru the dripline or a little after that). The newspaper will prevent weeds from growing there and will also help keep the soil moist. The ideal time for watering is when the soil feels dry to the touch. You can always do this or tweak your sprinkler system accordingly.

Feed cottonseed meal monthly thru September; add some Liquid Seaweed or Liquid Fish as you fertilize this year only.

Phosphorous helps plants grow healthy root system but is a mineral that takes a long time to reach the roots down below when spread on top soil. When I transplant, I spread it around the hole (I know, too late in your case). Otherwise I add some in the Fall. In your case, I recommend that add a cup of bone meal or soft rock phosphate now (per plant) and yearly in the Fall.

Remember to always water before/after adding any powder/granular fertilizers such as the meals mentioned above.

Lastly, keep an eye on the plants thru the summer for indications of water stress.

Good luck,
Luis

    Bookmark   May 16, 2006 at 2:50PM
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