At this time of the season, most camellias go into growth dormancy but flower their head off – early sasanquas starting around February/March and the last of the japonicas and reticulatas finishing about August. It’s too hot for them in SE Queensland by then anyway.
Young plants – say to about 18 months old, will decide whether to put on flower buds or not. If they decide to bud up, vegetative growth – leaves – pretty much stops while the plant puts its energy into the flower. If the plant does not put on flower buds, it will quite often have another flush of growth instead, especially if the plant has been fertilised late in the season eg late summer/autumn. There is nothing wrong with this and the plant will just be a bit bigger a bit earlier – the flowers will come next autumn/winter.
We find, for the best flower display, prune back your camellias after they flower coming into spring/early summer, give them a good feed, mulch well and water over our hot summer period. Don’t prune after about Christmas as you will probably be cutting off wood/branches that will produce flowers.
Our nursery and garden are open again this weekend – see earlier blogs here for details.
We have more camellias than most folk know exist – come and visit.