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Home arrow In Your Garden arrow FAQ arrow Why does my camellia drop its flower buds every year when it looks healthy?
Why does my camellia drop its flower buds every year when it looks healthy? PDF Print E-mail

Camellias are relatively drought tolerant shrubs and small trees, however drought stress can cause partial or almost total loss of flowers. Sometimes camellias drop developing buds and partly opened flowers.

There are tens of thousands of varieties of camellia and some cultivars, such as ‘Lady Loch’, are naturally more prone to dropping than others. Another cause of drop is due to plants experiencing water stress during flower bud development. Flower buds develop during spring and summer and appear unaffected by drought until flowering commences during autumn, winter and spring.

Cultural controls

  • Feed plants with a ‘flower and fruit’ fertiliser during spring and summer. These types of fertiliser provide potassium, also known as potash, a mineral important for flower and fruit production;
  • Water plants once weekly during dry weather from spring to autumn. Moisten soil around the base of plants to a depth of 10-15cm;
  • Mulch plants. Mulching insulates the surface roots of camellias from extreme heat and cold whilst conserving moisture. Straw, lucerne, hay and sugarcane make suitable mulches. Do not allow mulches to touch the stems of plants because this can encourage basal rot during wet weather. Mulch to a depth of 10-15cm;
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