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Camellia Quandary.

(14 Posts)
midgey Mon 04-Mar-24 11:06:08

I have been given a camelia. Carefully chosen but the flower buds are actually leaf buds, is it likely to ever flower? Should I just wait and hope for next year? I’m sure it wasn’t cheap as it’s a reasonable size.

lemsip Mon 04-Mar-24 20:32:32

oh dear, I thought it said Camilla quandary!

monk08 Mon 04-Mar-24 21:02:21

lemsip not on your own so did I 😀

Doodle Mon 04-Mar-24 21:11:30

Me too but I thought it was my dyslexia. Glad I’m not the only one. 🤣

Wheniwasyourage Mon 04-Mar-24 21:17:24

So did I!

The only thing I know about camellias is that you shouldn’t plant them where the early morning sun shines on them, if you can avoid it. I believe it can lead to damage to the flowers if there’s a combination of frost and sun.

They are lovely though and I hope your new one thrives.

Anniebach Mon 04-Mar-24 21:17:50

Me too

kathsue Mon 04-Mar-24 21:40:16

I have camellias in the front garden which faces north so doesn't get a lot of sun and they do well there. I give them some ericaceous fertiliser. The flower buds start forming in autumn and flower in January - March . It should flower next year so don't give up on it yet.

NotSpaghetti Tue 05-Mar-24 07:05:27

I am very lazy with mine and pretty much ignore them. They are full of flowers.
I think it will take a year or so to settle but you could look it up on the RHS site, maybe.
Keeping my fingers crossed for you..

lixy Tue 05-Mar-24 09:44:05

Ohh, lucky you! I hope it thrives.

Camellias like acidic soils so I used to give mine an annual dressing of blood, fish and bone when I lived in London. Rainwater is better than tap water if you possibly can. As others have said the morning sun scorches the flowers.

A tip given by a gardening friend for both camellias and azaleas was to water copiously in the Autumn as that is when the flower buds are forming.

Give it a year to settle in and look forward to a beautiful shrub.

Esmay Tue 05-Mar-24 12:04:20

Your camelia should flower - just leave it alone ie : don't prune it .
Make sure that the soil is damp , but not water logged .
As recommended , you need ericaceous soil and a tonic of blood , fish and bone and to keep rain from dropping on it in bright sunshine to avoid scorch marks .
They prefer rainwater , but mine have been okay with tap water .
I let my tap water rest for a few days if I can .
One thing , I found with an old camelia - it was covered in an unsightly "soot".
It was caused by an overhanging tree dripping water on it .
I hard pruned the tree to let some light in and hard pruned it . It is recovered and is covered in gorgeous white blooms .
I got a bucket of water and washed it the soot off with Epsom salts .
I have many camelias in my garden .
Some are unbelievably high -well over eight feet and flower in abundance . I prune them straight after flowering .
I have some in pots and they aren't doing that well .
I need to plant them out or perhaps repot them .

Esmay Tue 05-Mar-24 12:07:39

Correction -
The black sooty mould was probably caused by cushion scale insects .Either way after seven years of my draconian treatment it's doing very well !

cc Tue 05-Mar-24 12:17:21

I’ve been fairly successful with camellias, growing them in ericaceous compost in gardens with chalky soil. Now I just grow them in big pots and put a suitable plant food in with the tap water. I can move the camellia pot to the front when it is flowering.
Sometimes they seem to take ages to become established but it’s worth the wait.

cc Tue 05-Mar-24 12:19:36

I should have added that I now garden on a big balcony so prefer to keep my camellias reasonably small, though they obviously do better in the ground if the soil suits them.

AreWeThereYet Tue 05-Mar-24 13:16:41


I am very lazy with mine and pretty much ignore them. They are full of flowers.
I think it will take a year or so to settle but you could look it up on the RHS site, maybe.
Keeping my fingers crossed for you..

Same here. We planted them behind a fence facing west so there's no morning sun to spoil the flowers but other than that we don't touch them.

They need lots of water through the Autumn when the buds are building, so maybe this one got a bit dry. Ours had no flowers last year but they're flowering this year.