Help with sickly camellia
Today I have been clearing my front garden. This poor camellia has obviously been struggling. There were 3 conifers around it and the soil isn’t right. I plan to put her in a pot. Any advice? I am not a camellia lover but as she has survived this long I want to give her the best chance.
1. Plant it in soil-based ericaceous compost. This means John Innes NOT ericaceous potting compost, with which your local garden centre will try to fob you off. Westland do a good variety which you can often find on ebay.
2. Right now, you could give it a dose of chelated iron--I use Vitax sequestered iron plant tonic. One application, lasts all season.
3. Feed it when its flowers (if there are any) finish, otherwise in April, with ericaceous fertiliser.
4. All though late July to late September, give it a bucket a week of seaweed extract in water--Maxicrop do a good one. This will encourage its forming flower buds to stay on.
When you water it try and use rain water if your tap water is hard or add some sequestered or chelated iron to the water to neutralise the effect of the calcium which locks up iron and magnesium so they are unavailable to ericaceous plants and which then become chlorotic (yellowing foliage) and anaemic.
Something else you can do is give it an occasional drink and foliar feed with Epsom salts. Dissolve 15ml of the salts in 5 litres of water and pour over the plant using the spray rose on your watering can so it goes on the leaves.
"We don't stop playing because we grow old; we grow old because we stop playing." - George Bernard Shaw