Question: Mallattia camelia
Hi, I have a problem with a potted camellia and a garden one.
Both make buds, but these do not hatch and fall after becoming brown, as if they were rotten.
I regularly put the fertilizer for acidophilic plants, I am in the sun and I water them regularly, but every time they always have this problem.
Could you tell me what it is, maybe some mushroom? And what remedy would there be?
Answer: Mallattia camelia
the fall of the camellia buds is unfortunately a fairly frequent phenomenon, which is sometimes noticed even in the nursery, where it is certainly not lacking in treatments; this event is in fact caused by various events, sometimes concomitant. Generally it is simply an excessive number of buds: the plant produces innumerable floral buds, but even before they bloom it has exhausted its energies, and therefore the flowers are not able to bloom and fall. To overcome this problem, it is generally sufficient to remove at least one third of the buds, especially the neighboring ones, which are located on the same branch apex. Another problem could be the climate: late frosts, or a very dry climate, very humid, very cold, very hot (ie: a climate different from the average seasonal one for the end of winter and the beginning of spring), cause the total loss of buds.
Other causes could instead be linked to cultivation treatments; it often happens that shrubs, especially if in pots, remain in the same soil for a long time, which over time changes its initial characteristics, losing most of the mineral salts dissolved in it, and often becoming too compact: the camellias love a strong humidity and a very well drained soil, if the soil in which you cultivate your camellias is compacted over time, perhaps need repotting or to be slightly hoed, to allow a greater and better drainage of water (both rain and watering), which otherwise stagnates and damages the roots, and externally the flowers.
Camellias therefore often lose their flowers due to an excessive quantity of water present in the soil, which stagnates: when you water your camellias, check that the soil in which they live has slightly dried; just dip a finger in it, if it is fresh and moist, postpone watering.
Another problem, which can cause the total or partial loss of the buds, is related to the fertilizations: if they are very scarce, but even if they are excessive (above all the nitrogenous fertilizations) the plant suffers a lot, and lets the flowers fall. The camellias love regular fertilizations, to be suspended however in the winter period, otherwise we cause a surplus of mineral salts in the soil, which is as harmful as the deficiency. Certainly, the fertilizations, from March to September, will have to be regular, but not excessive; if we decide to spread a slow release granular fertilizer on the ground, we avoid fertilizing in any other way; if we supply a dose of soaking fertilizer, let's avoid fertilizing for a while. Also in this case, the excesses are as harmful as, and perhaps more than, the shortcomings; plants need mineral salts, but they are used in minimal quantities, and therefore it is not healthy for plants to exceed the supply of fertilizers.
Another reason could be excessive insolation, resulting in a very dry climate around the plant.