The Q&A Archives: Camellia Drops Unopened Flower Buds

Question: Why do the buds fall off my dad's camellia befor they flower? I bought this small plant 1 year ago. It continues to make buds but does not flower. The plant is being grown in zone 8, with heavy clay soil. It gets partial sun. What can be done to help this plant flower?

Answer: Camellias have a reputation for setting more buds than they can open, so bud drop is be a natural phenomenon, especially if your plant is otherwise healthy and growing well. However, bud drop can be caused by overwatering in the cool months, or underwatering in the summer. Bud drop can also be caused by spells of very low humidity. Monitor your plant for signs of ill-health, and after flower buds form, thin clusters at branch tips to one or two fat flower buds, leaving the slender leaf buds alone. The remaining buds should open into beautiful, large flowers.

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