Nutrients are a very important part of camellia care. Your camellias will need adequate nutrients throughout their life cycle, and they can’t get it if you don’t give it to them! Healthy plants grow better and bloom better than nutrient deficient plants.
Choose a liquid fertilizer or water soluble like Miracle Grow or Peters plant food for plants younger than 3 years of age. Liquid is not a one shot job. You must feed regularly, once every 7-14 days during growing season.
Go very lightly on granular “Azalea & Camellia” fertilizer as burning can occur very easily. Make sure if you use this type, that you water well to wash it off leaves and into soil
Camellias LOVE organic fertilizers such as Hollytone® which is specially formulated for Acid loving plants. It’s the best and what we use on all of our plants at Tsubaki Tea.
Milorganite® is another fertilizer that we often will combine with applications of Hollytone. The added boost helps green plants up quickly.
Water soluable food will work very well but you have to do it on a regular basis – usually every 7-14 days. The food does not last longer than that so regular applications are absolutely necessary. We often use Miracid® or Miracle Grow® our tea plants – especially the young ones.
Fertilize on a regular basis. You eat on a regular basis and if you don’t, you’ll see results—so will your camellias. Once every 3 years is not enough.
Don’t use any fertilizer that is not a general/all purpose or is labeled for other things like lawn fertilizer, cactus fertilizer etc. Like camellias, all fertilizer is different.
Pay close attention to camellias in containers when fertilizing. Water soluable or organic fertilizers are recommended opposed to granular and timed released fertilizers could cause salt burn on containerized camellias. There are people out there who will tell you can use timed-release safely, but some of them have the tendency to dump more fertilizer with temperature fluctuations. So just be careful.