Camelia japonica

Camelia japonica

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Question: Camelia japonica

I recently bought a camellia japonica but I am a beginner, the plant is in excellent condition, it is in bloom, but now it has green balls on its branches as if they were small buds. Could it be new buds?

Answer: Camelia japonica

Dear Lukarie,
the camellia japonica is an evergreen shrub, as the name says, in the wild it develops in Japan, but also in China and in other parts of Asia; typically flowering occurs towards the end of winter, depending on the climate it can occur from February to April, very rarely in May; clear that if you live in an area with a decidedly very cool climate, it is likely that the flowering was a little delayed this year, as spring 2013 was characterized by a decidedly cool climate, much more than usual. Consider that every year in Locarno an incredible exhibition of camellias is held, just when the plants are in full bloom; in 2013 the event was held in the first week of April, but it happened that it had to be brought forward by several weeks. In your case, it could very well be new flowers, the buds are formed at the end of the thin branches, and have a rounded shape; in fact having recently purchased the plant, it may have been kept cool, and the flowering may have been so lengthened, so that you can enjoy the flowers for an extended period of time. I remind you that camellias are acidophilic plants, and therefore they must be grown in a special acid pH soil; usually, where the soil of the garden is not already naturally acidic (as it happens on the lago maggiore), one tends to cultivate these plants in pots, so as to be able to replace all the ground in the case in which the limestone of the water of the watering leaves them excessively the ph. They love a cool and humid climate, and for this reason they are usually grown in half shade in Italy, so that they enjoy a good brightness but without exposing them to the scorching summer sun rays. They need regular watering, from March to November, so that the soil of the pot is always a little damp, but not soaked with water. Even in winter it is important to water, even only occasionally: it is enough to avoid that the cultivation substrate remains dry for long days. Typically, from October until March the climate tends to help us, since the rains are quite normal in the intermediate seasons, and the cool winter prevents the ground water from evaporating quickly. For a plant that is always luxuriant, avoid leaving tinned water, or a ground that is always completely saturated with water, and from March to October, every fifteen days, add a fertilizer for acidophilic flowering plants to the water for watering.