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Camellia

The leaves on my camellia bush are turning pale yellow, what is causing this? should I feed it?

The yellowing of your camellia leaves suggests that there is lime in the soil which is stopping the plant taking up iron from the soil.

Apply a sequestrene product around the root ball of the plant, then mulch around the base of the plant with lime free peat or bark chippings.

Feed with an acid fertiliser in Spring.

 


Most of the buds on my Camellia fell off last Spring,can you tell me why?

Your problem may be related to dry soil conditions.

Dryness at the roots prevents the proper development of the flower buds.

Keep the soil well watered in the autumn, and even in winter if it becomes dry.

Similarly if grown indoors, regularly spray the developing buds with clean water.

 


The leaves on my camellia keep dropping off, the only signs I can see is the leaves are brown tipped.

Can you tell me why this is happening?

The browning around the leaf tips indicates that the plant was short of water at some stage.

Leaf and bud dropping in spring and early summer is generally related to a shortage of water in the previous autumn.

During dry spells, keep the plant well watered.

Spraying overhead with clean water and/or regular feeds with an Acid Plant Food will also help.

 


I purchased a camellia last year and it has made lots of new growth but it hasn't flowered.

Can you tell when to feed it and with what?

There is no reason why it should not flower next year.

Only feed the plant in spring and summer.

Camellias do not like any form of lime, therefore use a fertiliser that is designed for plants that need acid soil conditions.

 


I would like to take some cuttings from my camellia bush, when is the best time to take them?

July to September is a good time to take cuttings.

Take 100mm (4”) cuttings and remove lower leaves.

Take these from young side shoots, made this year, which have begun to harden and turn brown at their base.

Remove a slither of bark from the side of the stem, to encourage rooting.

Dip cutting in hormone rooting powder and insert them in small pots filled with gritty compost.

Water, then place the cuttings in a heated propagator set at18°C(65°F) or cover the pot with a polythene bag to conserve

moisture, until rooted, this may take two or three months.

Alternatively, take leaf bud cuttings.

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