Poorly Camellia

Hello. I am new to gardening so please be patient with me! I have this camellia tree which was in my front garden. It is absolutely beautiful but I wanted it moved to my back garden. I consulted a qualified RHS gardener who said it would be okay but might not bloom next year. I had it moved but the buds and leaves have all gone brown but it is growing. Please could someone give me some tips about pruning it back so the tree would blook again? I have tried to, but I am unsure how much I should prune. Thank you.
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jorosieholt


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On 8/11/13 2:13 AM, jorosieholt wrote:

Camellia japonica (what most people mean when they say "camellia") requires shade except in climates that provide permanent cloud cover. C. sasanqua can take part sun. Thus, it is important to know what species of Camellia you have.
ALL camellias require an acidic soil that drains extremely well. When I planted my camellias, I stirred a large amount of peat moss into the soil. The soil should always be moist but never wet. To accomplish this, I mulch my camellia bed quite heavily, using fallen leaves and the output from my home-office shredder. Then I water only every third day. (Note that it has been almost 100 days since the last measurable rain where I live.) Camellias prefer soil that is "lean"; that is, there are only scant nutrients.
The original environment for the wild camellia was the southern foothills of the Himalayas. Warm moist air from the south would flow up the slopes of the mountains, creating a permanent cloud cover and almost constant drizzle and showers. The rain eroded the mountains to create a soil that is decomposed granite (very coarse sand with pebbles). The drizzle would keep this soil moist; but water would drain through it quickly, leaching away most nutrients. The constant rain also left the soil acidic. Thus, you should use a very mild acidic fertilizer only once a year; I use a commercial azalea and camellia fertilizer. Because my native soil is clay, I use a lot of gypsum (calcium sulfate) in my camellia bed; gypsum reacts with the clay to make it granular and porous and thus improves the drainage.
Do not prune until you see new growth. Then, remove only branches and twigs that are obviously dead. Unlike many other woody plants, camellias do not require annual pruning. After a year or two of growth and immediately after the bloom period (usually winter) has passed, the plant can be pruned for appearance. To make new branches sprout -- to make it more "shrubby" -- cut a branch just below the scar left when last year's growth occurred. That will generally cause more than one growth bud to sprout. If you cut above the scar, usually only one growth bud will sprout. The annual feeding should be at the time of pruning (whether or not you actually prune).
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David E. Ross
Climate: California Mediterranean, see
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On Sun, 11 Aug 2013 10:49:47 -0700, "David E.

I have trained one upwards to allow space beneath for other shrubs. Seems to work OK.
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On 11/08/2013 10:13, jorosieholt wrote:

If the buds and leaves have all gone brown, how do you know that it is growing? I assume you are in the UK., as you are asking through gardenbanter. Where are you in the UK? Some areas here have had almost drought conditions now for several weeks. If the camellia hasn't been watered almost daily after it was replanted (and I mean soaked, not just a small can of water) then its chances of survival are slim. Don't worry about using hard water to water the camellia. It might go a bit yellow after a while, but will recover from that. It won't recover if it has dried out.
This is absolutely the worst time to move a camellia. Could it not have waited until mid or late autumn? If it wasn't moved with its rootball intact (and how big is this "tree"?) I doubt it will survive.
Sorry to be so negative, but I have been planting small to medium-size shrubs of all sorts over the last few weeks after moving house, and have to spend every other day watering them to ensure their survival - the soil here is dry down to at least a foot. And those are from pots, not plants being dug up and moved.
--

Jeff

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