Camellia problem

gabrielle12(7a)June 8, 2013

I am having an odd problem with my 6 yo camellia sasanqua 'Northern Lights' and hope someone can advise me. Three weeks ago after a heavy rain the branches drooped/bent over and have not returned to their former upright position. It had quite a growth spurt this spring of about 1' and am wondering if that could have anything to do with it (too fast maybe?). Only one of the branches has broken. A pic is attached. Thanks in advance for any advice!

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luis_pr(7b/8a Hurst, TX)

Now that the plant is not blooming and it is still Spring in some places, you could prune weak branches that are not main branches, broken branches, branches that cross, etc.

One question that I have for you is... do you know what triggered this growth? Do you fertilize a lot? I usually get 2-3 inches of growth in a year... not one foot in one season. I am wondering why this happened.

This problem reminds be of trees that produce a lot of rapid growth but which are weak and eventually fall down in 10+ years only like Bradford Pear Trees.

    Bookmark   June 8, 2013 at 10:52PM
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Gabriella, I have this same plant about the same age. It has always had rapid growth for me too. But I realized early on it responds extremely well to pruning. I pruned I would say drastically every year. Mine is standing straight up with the great new willow like growth very strong and already hardened off. Mine is facing south full sun over half the day. It looks like yours is in more shade. The sansanquas can take lots more sun. In a few weeks I will give mine a light pruning because it will soon put on another flush of growth. I prune this one 3 times through the summer. I think You may have to stake some of the major branches use strong sturdy stakes, I would prune out the weakest branches maybe leave 5 major trunks, but still prune them all shorter. This plant will quickly recover from pruning. Mine is over six feet and if I didn't prune it it would be no less than 10 feet. I hope this helped you some
James in Florida

    Bookmark   June 10, 2013 at 11:50PM
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Luis, thank you for your fast response. To answer your question regarding fertilizer, I use Holly Tone on my camellias as per bag instructions. This is the first year it has had this crazy growth spurt, and I also wondered why it had done this. I will take your advice on pruning. Thanks!

    Bookmark   June 12, 2013 at 11:25PM
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James, thank you for taking the time to share your personal experience with this particular camellia. I thought about pruning but was uncertain as to how/when. I will definitely follow your advice on this. As far as the light, this was late afternoon and there was shade from the neighbor's giant oak. Otherwise it has full sun till that time. Thanks again!

    Bookmark   June 12, 2013 at 11:41PM
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