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Blasted! That Camellia’s Not Going to Bloom

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Pretty sure your camellia is not going to bloom?

If you’re concerned your camellia is not going to bloom, you’re not alone. That’s because sometimes these reliable flowering shrubs aren’t so reliable. So, let’s consider why camellias may not flower. And, let’s look at some remedies for the future.

A common reason your camellia isn’t flowering is…

One of the most common reasons a camellia is not going to bloom is improper pruning. And, usually the real pruning issue has to do with timing.

Winter blooming shrubs like camellias & pruning…

Many gardeners will prune Camellias late in the growing season by those who don’t know any better. And when you cut these shrub (that flower in late winter or spring) in summer, fall or early winter, the blossom buds have already formed. Therefore your pruning cuts remove the flower buds. So, if you’re pruning at the wrong time, change that. And start pruning right after they finish flowering.

This Camellia is not going to bloom due to freeze blast.

Don’t know how to prune camellias or other plants?

We teach classes to help you prune properly! Sign up now to be notified when our next program sessions open for enrollment! That way we can help you choose the best tools for caring for plants like Camellias. Moreover, we’ll share professional pruning techniques that will help you keep your garden growing like a pro! Plus, with our included garden planning guides and schedules, we’ll help you stay on track with the right tasks at the right time for optimal garden performance!

Poor bud set might be another reason your camellia is not going to bloom.

Poor bud set can be caused by many issues. This might include unseasonably hot weather. Or, it might be an imbalance in the soil. And sometimes a change in sunlight or shade might be at issue. So, be sure to check your soil to balance it for your plants. And evaluate the plant’s environment to see if a change might be the problem.

Finally, “bud blast” can ruin your winter flowering shrubs.

Sometimes a particularly a hard freeze will give flower buds something akin to freezer burn. In fact, winter flowering camellias like Camellia ‘Yuletide’ runs into this often. That’s because when the flower buds begin to open, they are vulnerable to a cold snap. And if a freeze hits as they break bud to open those blooms, those buds might just fall off.

In fact, this is exactly what happened to our very mature Camellias during a big freeze. Fortunately, the plants recovered despite losing a lot of leaves and all their flower buds during the cold. And by the following season, without much work beyond a careful pruning by us, the plants even bloomed again the following season!


2 comments on “Blasted! That Camellia’s Not Going to Bloom

  1. Lamm on

    After a mild fall, we had a hard December freeze in December, down to zero degrees! Very unusual in northeast Arkansas (zone 7). Our 15-20 foot camellia seemed to have died, but I held out hope. We are now in August and suckers have appeared! They are about a foot high. Advice?

  2. Garden Mentors on

    Lamm, Thanks for sharing. Happy to hear your Camellia’s making a comeback. As for advice, please let us know a bit more about what you need, and we’ll see if we can help.

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