The Q&A Archives: camellias in arizona

Question: I had a beautiful camellia that would bud every year but before the buds could open they would just fall off the plant. The plant itself was very healthy looking. It was in a very large pot in the shade next to the house. Do they need some sun to bloom? Or was it because it was in a pot? Thank you, Susan

Answer: I think keeping in the shade next to the house is the best place for your camellia. 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. Try misting your plant on a daily basis to increase humidity when it is forming flower buds. 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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