camelia no bloom

mudkipAugust 17, 2004

Hello everyone,

I have a camelia in my front yard for 10 yrs. Not one single bloom this year. Leaves look healty, but no bloom. What can I do to help it bloom.

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Did it bloom last season? It's wayyyy too early for it to bloom this season. But it might be beginning to set buds if it hasn't been pruned at the wrong time.

    Bookmark   August 18, 2004 at 4:11PM
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Hi PeaBee4,
Thank you for your input. Yes, it did bloom last year. When is the best time to prune camellia? Meanwhile, I think I just halfta wait-out for the bloom. =)

    Bookmark   August 18, 2004 at 4:35PM
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There is usually no reason to ever prune a camellia. If they have simply grown too big for the spot, then the usual thing is to cut them back. When and if this should be necessary, right after blooming is the best time. However, it may take a couple of years or more before they will bloom again. So don't prune them unless you absolutely must.

It's possible that it is a seedling bush instead of a grafted bush. Seedlings just don't bloom well. I have one that sometimes has only one or two blooms. If it wasn't such a nice evergreen, it would be gone!!

Some years, they just don't do well. I don't know if it's heat or lack of moisture or what, but some years, it's pitiful.


    Bookmark   August 21, 2004 at 1:27AM
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cattlover(zone 5 VT)

wow peabee4, that is really usefull info... My parents had two for about 10-12 years, maybe longer. Well, one died this year. The other is doing well, except for one small fact -- it hasn't grown bigger than it was when they first purchased it. Is this not whack or what? Has anyone heard of this? It doesn't bloom very much either.

    Bookmark   August 28, 2004 at 2:07AM
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There is more than just one explanation here. It could just be a very slow growing, small variety. They seem to NEVER get any bigger as the rate is so slow.

Then, it is possible that when the bush was planted in the ground that the roots were not spread out, that maybe it had been root bound in the pot. It would be sort of like a garden Bonzai camellia.

And of course, there is the matter of too much sun, too little water, bad soil, too hot, too cold, etc. I suspect that since one has already died, it is most likely that the conditions are just not good for camellias. They can live for decades under the proper conditions.

Good luck with yours. They are such lovely plants. Have you seen any buds on it?

    Bookmark   August 28, 2004 at 9:32AM
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vetivert8(NI-NZ zone 9a)

Is it a spring flowering Camellia japonica? Or an autumn/fall flowering sasanqua? (Or something more exotic?!)

If it is growing in the lawn and you haven't been mulching it, then it could be time to apply some acid plant fertiliser and some serious mulch, such as pine bark.

Usually the buds for C. japonica start forming over the summer for the coming spring. They are the rounder, fatter ones. The leaf buds are more slender.

If you need to prune the camellia then do so directly after flowering. If you make your cut a little above where the leaf stalk leaves the branch you'll find new little branchlets will emerge, along with new reddish coloured leaves.

If you have to cut back to bring the tree down in height, definitely do the feed/mulch routine or it will take a long time to recover. If necessary, check how much water it is getting. The ground may have packed down around it and the rain, or your hosing, could be running off rather than sinking in.

If your summer was brutal, it may have affected bud set. I am also zone 9, but we don't get the extreme temperatures that continental 9s experience.

With autumn coming in, gather up the fallen deciduous leaves and pile them around the camellia, up to four inches deep for as far out as its branches go BUT keep the trunk clear.

    Bookmark   September 4, 2004 at 5:18AM
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