Friday, July 27, 2012

Camellia Bud Balling

Bud balling' is a syndrome where buds form but do not flower. Typically the buds develop almost to the point of opening, then stop developing, go brown, and drop off. If your camellia is susceptible to bud balling, here's what to do:

* Pinch off half the buds, it's better to have half as many flowers, than none at all.
* Give the camellia a good feed with an azalea and camellia fertiliser every six to eight weeks from about August right through to March. After applying the fertilizer at the recommended rate, add a teaspoon of Epsom salts to five litres of water - shake it around and water the camellia with that.

Nobody knows the exact cause of bud balling but if, after all that, your camellia is still suffering, you've got two more options: Move the plant to an area where it gets a lot less sun or, as Colin suggests, only partly in jest, "Enjoy a lovely green plant with glossy leaves."

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