The Q&A Archives: Camellia Bud Drop

Question: I have camellias in containers on a porch. Large flower buds develop, but they drop off with the stamens and pistil still attached to the stem. The leaves are good green color. Is watering the problem? If not, what is?

Answer: Camellia's have a reputation for setting more buds than they can open, so bud dropping may be a natural phenomenon, especially if your plant is otherwise healthy and growing well. But, 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 this summer, 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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