Why don’t camellia buds open?

Question: My camellia is loaded with buds but they fall off before opening. What’s wrong?

Answer: LSU AgCenter horticulturist Denyse Cummins said there could be two reasons.

The first is blossom blight.

“It’s a fungal disease that has a stage of its life in the soil so keeps reinfecting every year,” she said.

The solution? Keep mulch under the bush to break the cycle and, if you do end up with some blooms, pick up and discard the fallen flowers.

The other possibility is a tiny insect.

“They should also look for bud mites by breaking up some flower buds from the plant over a sheet of paper and looking closely for tiny insects.”

Treat with all-season oil or a systemic pesticide labeled for both camellias and bud mites.

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