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What to do with my camellia!

Bee GBee G Posts: 33

Hi Everyone. Just wondering if anyone can give me some advice please. I have a camellia which has been in a fairly shady spot for 2 years. There has been little growth and no flowers. I'm thinking about transferring it to a pot-any thoughts on the best way to do this please to achieve best results?


  • Hi Bee G

    Is it growing close to a tree, or other large shrubs? I had a camellia growing in a border with some rather unattractive, overgrown "car park shrubs". For years it stayed the same size as it was when I bought it (tiny!). I decided to renovate the border and it was the only plant left. Once its large neighbours had been dispensed with it grew rapidly and flowered the next spring, so it obviously didn't like the competition for water, light and food. I'm going to have to prune it quite severely this year as it is growing into quite a large tree. I have another growing very happily under a tree in the back garden, but it is planted a few metres from the tree trunk and flowers very early, before the tree comes into leaf. I make sure it is watered regularly.  It's a pink one called Debbie, I think. I wish I could claim to have planned it that way but it is just a happy accident - I tend to buy plants and then think about where they can go! - so if you know the variety, might be worth googling to see when it flowers, some flower earlier than others. If it is quite small, it should be fine in a large pot in a sheltered position where it gets some sun (avoid morning sun as the flowers will scorch if it has been frosty overnight). Use good soil based compost and perhaps mix in some ericaceous as they supposedly like more acid soils.  Mine are fine in London clay. Definitely worth trying to grow it somewhere else as they are such lovely plants.


  • Bee GBee G Posts: 33

    Thanks so much for replying. Yes it was tucked right in beside a hedge and north facing too. Wondered if a bit cold for it as I'm in The Borders. Did take it out today and put it into a pot,so fingers crossed-thanks again!

  • Bee GBee G Posts: 33

    ps I'm afraid I don't know what type it is as label missing! I'm the same-tend to buy things I like then look for a spot for them. We moved into this house a couple of years ago and waited to see what came up...there was nothing!! Have got a bit carried away recently and can't wait for all the stuff I've put in to come up-fingers crossed most of it works!!

  • FairygirlFairygirl Posts: 53,924

    It's probably being starved of water a fair bit. For the buds to develop properly and become flowers, it needs to have plenty of water in late summer/early autumn as that's when they're formed. The hedge will be taking most of the moisture from it's roots.

    It's a bit of a myth that they need ericaceous soil or compost. They're perfectly happy in neutral soil - they just don't like alkaline.  Don't worry about it being too cold. Don't worry about cold - they're not affected by it at all.  They grow exceptionally well here in the west because they get lots of rain.  The biggest issue is wind at the time they flower - that often does for them, so a sheltered spot will suit best, out of the prevailing wind. Some shelter from any morning sun to prevent frost on emerging buds is also ideal, as has been said.

    Do you have  regular feeding regime for all your plants? This is a good time of year to use a general fertiliser like blood, Fish and Bone , and you can add a mulch of well rotted manure or decent compost as well to help conserve moisture and keep weeds at bay. The addition of manure or compost in autumn or early winter will also help to feed the soil which in turn benefits your plants. image

    It's a place where beautiful isn't enough of a word....

    I live in west central Scotland - not where that photo is...
  • Bee GBee G Posts: 33

    Thank you Fairygirl. I hadn't realised they liked a lot of water so looks like that's where I've gone wrong. It's now in a pot so will see how that goes. Bought a general fertiliser at the weekend so will get that going-all a bit of a minefield to a novice as when Ive read up on some of my plants it says theyre not fond of feeding whereas others are! It's a learning curve-just love it! ;-)

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