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Water run off into soil

RubyLeafRubyLeaf Posts: 244
I have a Camellia in a pot that hasn't flowered once since I first brought it three years ago. I assume this is to do with the fact its not in acidic soil. If I change the soil to suit its needs will the water from the pot affect the soil that is below/beside it?
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  • SydRoySydRoy Posts: 166
    No, not to the point were it will make much difference.
    What's growing in the soil beside it?
  • FairygirlFairygirl west central ScotlandPosts: 46,095
    edited October 2020
    They don't need acidic soil. They need a soil based medium which isn't the same thing, and are perfectly happy in neutral conditions.
    You can add some acidic compost to the pot, but no - water running into soil will not affect the surrounding soil long term. It's virtually impossible to change/alter the soil pH for any length of time.
    There will be other reasons it hasn't flowered, such as a shortage of water when buds form  [the most common reason] or not enough food .  :)
    It's a place where beautiful isn't enough of a word....


  • DovefromaboveDovefromabove Central Norfolk UKPosts: 77,320
    Fairygirl said:
    .... There will be other reasons it hasn't flowered, such as a shortage of water when buds form  [the most common reason] or not enough food .  :)
    It's worth pointing out that camellia flower buds form from July onwards the previous year, so if yours doesn't flower next spring it may well be due to lack of watering over the last few months.  
    “I am not lost, for I know where I am. But however, where I am may be lost.” Winnie the Pooh







  • FairygirlFairygirl west central ScotlandPosts: 46,095
    It's definitely the most common reason @Dovefromabove, and especially with potted plants. In drier, hotter areas, this year will have been particularly difficult. 

    Again - they're plants which originate in a cooler, damper climate, so it's a case of trying to replicate that as much as possible. They grow like weeds up here.  :)
    It's a place where beautiful isn't enough of a word....


  • FireFire LondonPosts: 13,915
    As mentioned above, it might be because of lack of summer water. 
  • RubyLeafRubyLeaf Posts: 244
    Fairygirl said:
    They don't need acidic soil. They need a soil based medium which isn't the same thing, and are perfectly happy in neutral conditions.
    You can add some acidic compost to the pot, but no - water running into soil will not affect the surrounding soil long term. It's virtually impossible to change/alter the soil pH for any length of time.
    There will be other reasons it hasn't flowered, such as a shortage of water when buds form  [the most common reason] or not enough food .  :)
    Interesting! I wonder where the thought they need acidic soil came from. This plant has been sitting in a pot with the same soil for years without having been fed. 

    I admit I've neglected it all this time, not thinking it needed any help. :(
  • FairygirlFairygirl west central ScotlandPosts: 46,095
    It's one of those things that gets said all the time. Just because they prefer some acidity, it isn't the same as needing it, but this is how these things become absolute gospel. if your soil was heading for the alkaline end of neutral, that would be different  :)

    You can't leave anything long term in a pot without giving it attention, I'm afraid.
    The lack of water at the right time is the most common reason for poor, or no, bud formation, even in the ground. If it was lacking water in long dry spells, that would be bad too, but they also need adequate drainage, and a good location. 
    Like many shrubs, Camellias aren't great pot specimens anyway, unless you can be sure of giving them what they need. They get too big, so after time, the root system will be what the pot mostly contains. 
    It's a place where beautiful isn't enough of a word....


  • RubyLeafRubyLeaf Posts: 244
    Fairygirl said:
    It's one of those things that gets said all the time. Just because they prefer some acidity, it isn't the same as needing it, but this is how these things become absolute gospel. if your soil was heading for the alkaline end of neutral, that would be different  :)

    You can't leave anything long term in a pot without giving it attention, I'm afraid.
    The lack of water at the right time is the most common reason for poor, or no, bud formation, even in the ground. If it was lacking water in long dry spells, that would be bad too, but they also need adequate drainage, and a good location. 
    Like many shrubs, Camellias aren't great pot specimens anyway, unless you can be sure of giving them what they need. They get too big, so after time, the root system will be what the pot mostly contains. 
    Is there anything I can do now to ensure they bud in spring?
  • FairygirlFairygirl west central ScotlandPosts: 46,095
    If they have buds now, just make sure the pot doesn't dry out or get waterlogged over winter. Both are unhelpful for shrubs of any kind   :)
    If you're able - it would be worth re potting it into some fresh soil. That would at least get it off to a good start next spring. In late winter, add some slow release food. That can be a proprietary feed suitable for camellias etc, or even just some Blood, Fish and Bone. 
    If there aren't any buds formed or forming, there isn't much you can do, but try and get a good regimen of care for it established through next spring and summer  :)
    It's a place where beautiful isn't enough of a word....


  • RubyLeafRubyLeaf Posts: 244
    Fairygirl said:
    If they have buds now, just make sure the pot doesn't dry out or get waterlogged over winter. Both are unhelpful for shrubs of any kind   :)
    If you're able - it would be worth re potting it into some fresh soil. That would at least get it off to a good start next spring. In late winter, add some slow release food. That can be a proprietary feed suitable for camellias etc, or even just some Blood, Fish and Bone. 
    If there aren't any buds formed or forming, there isn't much you can do, but try and get a good regimen of care for it established through next spring and summer  :)
    Looking at it today all I can see are more leaf buds, no flower ones..
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