I bought a camellia Tom Kunsden 5G 2 weeks ago and replanted it to a
13" pot. I put it by the southeast window in the kitchen. (I will move
it to the balcony after my husband comes back from his biz trip.) It
came with 10 buds. One showed some red when it came in so I thought
this one whould be the first one to bloom. But not. Then, another bud
showed some red so I thought maybe this one would be the first one to
bloom. But not. Then, the third bud showed color. Now it is blooming.
The other two just stay as buds with a little red at the tip. I'm
wondering whether these buds are dead? Is this kind order normal?
I water every Saturday and feed every other Saturday. Basicly, I feed
my plants when I get a paycheck. haha... When I water my camellia, at
first it seemed the soil absorbed all the water. Then, after a while,
a lot of water came out from the hole at the bottom side of the pot
and fill the saucer, ie, the water level in the saucer is higher than
the hole. I just let it be and after 3-4 days, the water level
decreases and eventually dries up. Then, after a few days it is
saturday again so the above action will be repeated. Does my watering
habit somehow affect the blooming?
Thanks a lot for sharing!
I'm not sure about the blooming order, but I'm pretty sure that camellias
don't like to be sitting in water for days on end. With many plants that
would be an ideal recipe for root rot. I would say that you should empty out
the saucer at the base of the plant after a few hours. If it's too heavy,
you might need to use a bowl or other device for dipping out the excess
so no sitting in water for days. Yes, it will cause root rot; empty the
A 13 inch pot is a little small for a 5 G plant, 16-18 inch would be better.
You are way over fertilizing, and never when the plant is in bloom.
Fertilize with a low nitrogen fertilizer afte blooming is done, and new leaves
start to grow. Then fertilize again in late summer. It doesn't hurt to dilute
the fertilizer by about half. Too much fertilizer causes a build up of salts,
which is also not good for the roots.
Camellias are beautiful, all of mine are blooming now, outside.
Sometimes, camellias "bullhead": buds form and start to open but
never really bloom. Often, this is caused by environmental
problems (see below).
The container should be as wide as the spread of the plant's
branches. Camellias really do not like confined roots.
Camellias originated on the southern slopes of the Himalayas (up
on the slopes, not at the base). The soils there are decomposed
granite, which contains almost no nutrients and which drains very
fast. They are watered by the mists that form as tropical air
from the south rises against the mountains and cools (constant
moisture but without being really wet). They are shaded by the
constant cloud cover.
You are over-watering and over-feeding. Water it more frequently
but apply less water each time; you should NOT see more than a
trace of dampness in the saucer. The plant should be moved to a
northern or north-eastern window; it should not receive any direct
If you keep the plant in a container on a saucer, once or twice a
year give it a good soaking and then immediately pour off the
water in the saucer. Camellias are very sensitive to accumulated
salts in the soil from the tap water and from feeding. After
leaching away these salts, then feed lightly -- but NEVER while
flower buds are on the plant. I feed my camellias (in the ground
on the north side of my house) only once or twice a year (right
after all blooming is done and maybe again early summer), with
special camellia food that is very slow acting. Cottonseed meal
is often recommended.
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