Care for a camellia bush by regularly watering it, fertilizing it several times per year and pruning it to keep it healthy and attractively shaped. Treat pests and diseases promptly to avoid permanently damaging the plant.
- Water the camellia bush regularly
Water a young camellia bush regularly during the blooming season when plants need reliable moisture. An established camellia that has been growing for three or more years typically needs minimal supplemental watering.
- Fertilize several times during the growing season
Apply a fertilizer formulated for acid-loving plants once right before the plant begins forming new buds and again later in the season. Apply a slow-release nitrogen formula or cottonseed meal at least once or as often as once monthly for a container-grown camellia bush.
- Prune the camellia annually
Complete any major camellia pruning right after the plant finishes blooming. Remove or trim branches selectively for shaping. Remove dead or damaged branches, and shorten the lower branches to stimulate upright growth.
- Watch for pests and problems
Destroy plant parts affected by camellia petal blight, which causes rapid browning of flowers, or camellia leaf gall, which distorts the leaves. Treat tea scale, which is a pest that looks like small white or brown specks on the underside of leaves, by applying an insecticide or horticultural oil.