The Q&A Archives: camelias

Question: I purchased 2 camelia plants summer before last and they have yet to bloom. What am I doing wrong? When I first planted them they got buds that never opened and since then, nothing.

Answer: Camellias drop flower buds in response to stresses. One common stress factor is a significant fluctuation in temperatures. Either a hard freeze or a very warm period after buds have set can cause buds to drop. Soil moisture extremes (dry periods or soggy wet conditions) and poor nutrition are other stresses that may result in dropping buds. Camellia bud mites will feed inside the buds causing them to develop slowly and may result in buds dropping before they open. When all other considerations have been accounted for, and when bud drop continues to be an ongoing problem, it may be due to the fact that the chosen variety is just not well adapted to a particular location.

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