Asked February 2, 2017, 12:03 PM EST

I purchased a 5' camelia from a nursery in Albany or last spring. I planted it at our North Albany home right after purchase. It is a in a shaded area, gets about 3 to 4 hrs of sun in the summer. The plant looks great however the flower buds never bloomed. Should I remove the flower buds?

Benton County Oregon

5 Responses

Hello and thank you for using the Ask an Expert website! I wish you would have told me what type of camellia you planted as bloom time depends on the species and the variety. When the camellia did not bloom, this year or last year? If you are concerned that the camellia has not yet bloomed this year, perhaps you purchased a winter blooming Camellia sasanqua, a winter blooming species. With this type of camellia blooms usually start opening before Christmas. I have two of these type shrubs and one was in full bloom around Thanksgiving and the other is blooming now in early February after being arrested by our extreme weather earlier in the winter. If you have a Camellia japonica shrub, they can bloom anytime from February to May depending on the variety you purchased. I, am also concerned that your shrub may not be receiving enough sunlight to bloom. Camellias should not be planted where they will receive full midafternoon sun. HOWEVER, Camellias do need at least half day sun, which in my interpretation means more than 3 to 4 hours. Some Camellias will take full sun after they are established. They also need moist, well-drained soil with fifty percent organic material and need low pH (acidic soil) and an acid fertilizer such as kind used for rhododendron and azaleas. So, if you still have flower buds on the plant and they have not turned brown no I would not remove the buds. If the buds are still green and perhaps have color peeking out, they may still bloom this spring. If, however the buds are brown or black yes, you can remove them being careful not to damage the twigs while doing so. The shrub that I have blooming now still has some buds that have not yet opened and it is a winter blooming Camellia, it is still winter time by the calendar. You may have a spring blooming Camellia japonica. The fact that you planted a five-foot-tall shrub could also mean that your shrub is experiencing transplant shock and may not bloom until the plant can re-establish a root system commensurate with a shrub that size. You did not mention whether the plant grew at all last year. The fact that your shrub produced buds is a good sign, all that may be needed is perhaps a little more patience.

Thanks Debbie

The camellia is a Rose Redhill and I purchased it last April and planted about the same time. In the plant hole I did mix in a good organic plant mix with some peat moss and a little perlite. The buds are not brown and some appear to be trying to bloom. I don't know the soil pH although we live in North Albany Oregon where we are plagued with clay soil.

Hello again. I can’t find a cultivar named Rose Redhill however I did find one called Rosehill Red. If this is your camellia it is a Camellia japonica, and a spring bloomer. I found one source that said it should bloom in May and another that called it a mid-season bloomer. So, patience is key! The buds should continue to swell and I am betting on blooming later, maybe as late as May. Be aware a late frost can impact them as can snow or freezing rain. Prune after the blooms are done and be sure to keep the root zone moist through our dry summers as the buds set then for the next bloom season. Happy Gardening!

Thank again for the help and yes I really am dyslexic.

No worries. I saw a photo of your camellia in bloom while doing my research
and hope it blooms beautifully for you! Considering getting one for me.