Garden Q&A: Why has my camellia refused to flower?

Whether you're a gardening beginner or expert, Irish Examiner columnist Peter Dowdall has the answer to your questions
Garden Q&A: Why has my camellia refused to flower?

Question

My camellia has so far refused to flower. Its present position is a sheltered east-facing one. 

Previously it was in an open, west-facing site and it was not doing so well. 

I transplanted it to its current site two or three years ago and, while the foliage is much improved, there is still no sign of a flower or even a significant bud. Any thoughts?

 

Answer

I would normally suggest against an east-facing aspect but after seeing the photograph of your camellia, that doesn’t seem to be causing it any harm and I suspect that it is somewhat sheltered from the early morning sunshine as the foliage is a good, strong, green colour. 

Camellias are one of those spring-flowering plants that produce flower buds in late summer and autumn for blooming the following spring. 

I would suggest treating the soil around the plant with a good quality tomato food, such as the Irish variety Nature Safe Organic Tomato Food with added seaweed as this contains high levels of potassium and phosphorous — essential nutrients for promoting flowers. 

The time to do this is fortnightly from July through to September.

 

Got a gardening question for Peter Dowdall? Email gardenquestions@examiner.ie

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