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Fertilize camellia: When is the right time and which fertilizers are best?

Camellia japonica are among the most beautiful flowering shrubs for the terrace and balcony. In order for them to please the eye with their double flowers for a long time, proper care is crucial. This includes providing them with important nutrients, which are often lacking in the soil at the start of the season. The snow and heavy rain in winter washed them out of the potting soil. So now you should fertilize the camellia. We explain what you should pay attention to and which fertilizers come into question.

Plant care in spring: fertilizing and watering camellia

Camellia supply with coffee grounds in pot

The popular balcony plant presents a great challenge to the amateur gardener: similar to the alpine rose, it is very sensitive to fertilizer salts. Therefore, it is very important to choose the right fertilizer and to dose it correctly. It is best to use low-salt fertilizers that contain nitrogen, phosphorus and trace elements.

Water the plant as needed, preferably with decalcified tap water or rainwater. Check regularly to see if the soil is moist. If it dries slightly, then you can water the shrub. Good drainage is an absolute must here, as waterlogging can lead to rot and makes the plant susceptible to fungal attack.

Supply the tub plant with liquid fertilizer

Camellia fertilize and water in spring care

Once a year, preferably before the start of the gardening season, i.e. at the beginning of April, you can additionally supply the potted plants with iron fertilizer as a preventive measure against chlorosis.

From mid-April, you can fertilize the shrub weekly. Beginners can resort to liquid fertilizer for rhododendron. Dilute half of the recommended dosage with water in a ratio of 1 to 1, and then add the fertilizer to the water for watering. At the end of summer, you can stop regular fertilizer applications.

Fertilize camellia: Blue Grit

Fertilize camellia with blue grain for long blooming period

Blue grain fertilizer is best for flowers that are sensitive to the high concentration of salt in other fertilizers. Of course, the right dosage plays a crucial role. It is best to consult directly with the purchase in the garden center.

Fertilize the flowering ornamental shrub with coffee grounds.

Camellia fertilizing in the spring planting and care


Experienced gardeners can also provide the camellia in a pot with coffee grounds. Scatter the coffee grounds on newspaper and let dry overnight. Then the next day, mix the potting soil with coffee grounds in small amounts. Use no more than 1/2 teaspoon per plant per week.

Provide the garden plant with compost

Fertilize camellia with double flowers

It traditionally decorates the balcony, but it is also possible to plant in the garden. But provided that during the winter months the bush is protected from frost with foliage. Then in the spring you can enrich the garden soil with compost. It is best to use organic compost or home-made compost. This single application of fertilizer will encourage growth and root development in the spring. However, in order for the perennial to bloom abundantly, you should also add liquid fertilizer to the watering every week.

Our tip: Take a soil sample and have it tested by a laboratory. The results will not only provide important information regarding the soil condition, but you will also receive recommendations regarding the fertilizer.

Water and care for camellia: Brown leaves may indicate overfertilization

Camellia fertilize when is right time how often


If the camellia suddenly wilts and the leaves turn brown, most people assume that it is a disease or pest infestation. But it can also be due to overfertilization. Sometimes the soil lacks valuable nutrients and this can also cause the leaves to discolor. In the worst case, the plant could even die. You can repot the flower and provide it with liquid fertilizer every two weeks. Also, check regularly to see if the soil is moist. The camellia cannot tolerate drought or waterlogging. Place the perennial in an off-sun location. The blazing midday sun can burn the leaves.

The flowering shrub “Camellia japonica” originates from East Asia. However, its double flowers also please the eyes in this country. Meanwhile, there are many varieties and hybrids that also feel at home on the balcony. For them to bloom long and abundantly, proper care is crucial. This includes not only watering, but also fertilizing.