Q&As/Flowering Shrubs and Trees/Feeding Camellia Plants

Question

I fed my camellia plants a few weeks ago with the right food. I have three side by side. One has dropped all the leaves and budding up again. What would have caused that?

Answer

Camellias, as with almost all plants, should only be fertilised during the growing season which is roughly from late October until late April. When fertiliser is applied without any uptake of nutrients by the plant, it is possible that excess soluble salts have built up in the rootzone. In many instances, this can lead to leaf fall and sometimes death of a plant. You are lucky that the plant is budding up again. Possibly in your case, heavy winter rains may well have diluted the fertiliser and therefore the possibility of a fatal outcome.

Adding compost around the base of the plant will be beneficial for the camellia’s spring growth. Make sure to also apply light side dressings of Daltons Premium Acid Fertiliser in spring, until the tree has shown that it has fully recovered.

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