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Camelia question: I revamped our communal garden last year. I inherited a pink camelia (nameless) which only ever produced 1 flower per year including last year, however this year, there are a dozen pink flower buds showing (I'm delighted!) I think this is because I had a 35ft diseased elm tree removed which was either shading the camelia and or taking all the nutrients out of the ground? I also gave the camelia a good feed last year after flowering, of ericaceous compost plus some blood, fish and bone. My thinking the other day was "it's doing so well, and my previous feed must've been successful, so I'll give it some more". So I top dressed the soil around it with some ericaceous compost again, literally 2 days ago. Now I've just read on another website that you're meant to feed camelias after flowering ... no mention of what happens if you feed them before flowering .... what will the effects of this be? Have I done the wrong thing!!! Should I scrape away the compost!!? Any help gratefully appreciated!



Don't worry, I'm sure the top dressing of compost now won't do any harm. Just chuck it some slow release fertilizer after flowering and carry on as normal. Don't forget to water it thoroughly if we have a drought in summer as that's when next year's flower buds are forming. I just love Camellias too! :-)

15 Feb, 2011


Unless the Camellia's actively growing, it won't take up any nutrients released by that compost anyway, if you've applied it as a mulch - this is always best applied while the soil is still moist, but warming up, so around April/May - helps to retain the moisture and prevent the soil from baking in hot weather later on. Applying it early means keeping out heat, which you don't want to do at this time of year, but I doubt it will cause your Camellia much harm. Do as Beattie says and feed as recommended later on.

15 Feb, 2011


Thanks very much, you guys've given me peace of mind! Vg x

15 Feb, 2011


Compost shouldn't be a problem, but chemical fertilizers, or some of the faster-acting organic fertilizers--such as fish meal or chicken manure--could cause the flowerbuds to drop if applied now.

16 Feb, 2011


Thanks for all your advice ... Vg

16 Feb, 2011

How do I say thanks?

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