repotted camellia losing leaves

happyplantJune 12, 2014

hi, i really hope you can help with this bewildering and distressing problem!
i received a small camellia (pink flowers) as a gift about seven years ago.
it was called a "bonsai", but i expect that description applies primarily to its
comparatively small size. in any event, the plant flourished in its small (5" x 4")
rectangular pot, producing a wealth of beautiful pink flowers more than once
a year. the plant's location has always been the same, near a west facing window
with diffused/indirect afternoon sunlight. i found that watering abundantly once a week,
with added schultz liquid food supplement seemed to keep it happy/healthy.
after seven years, i thought, considering its considerable increase in size, that
repotting would be a good thing to do. i proceeded to re-pot it in a larger (10" x 8")
rectangular pot, with 2" of a bonsai potting mix underneath the existing roots and soil,
adding some black magic general purpose potting mix to fill in around the sides.
based on my research, i took care to ensure that the newly added potting mixes
did not contain lime (at least no lime was listed in their ingredients).
the new larger pot has drainage holes as did the smaller one.
after resuming the usual watering/feeding schedule, i had expected to have a happy
plant. unfortunately, however, in the last couple of months since repotting, the plant
has been dropping leaves consistently at a rate of several per week. the leaves that
are falling off appear to be quite healthy�dark green, with no evidence of disease
or infestation etc. also, since repotting there has been no indication of budding/flowering.
i reluctantly employed a very minimal amount of pruning, removing only a few bare branches.
i might add that, although the new pot and soil do drain well, there appears to be considerably
more moisture retention over the period of one week between waterings, owing largely to
the black magic potting mix around the sides.
as all conditions, location etc. have remained unchanged since day one, seven years ago,
i am at a total loss as to what the problem could be!
as a "last ditch" effort, unless things improve soon, i have considered replacing my plant in
its original smaller pot.

i dearly hope that you might provide some helpful information that could restore the vitality
of my beloved plant and i thank you for your consideration!

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patchyjack(10a)

The problem could be overwatering.
As you have observed, the soil is staying wet longer.
This is because a bigger pot with more soil can hold more water than a smaller one. Your new pot is much bigger than the previous one and for that reason, you will not have to water as often, until the plant gets bigger.

When I repot my plants into larger containers, I always drastically decrease my watering.
Instead of sticking to a set schedule, you'll need to check the soil to see how wet it is before watering.

    Bookmark   June 13, 2014 at 5:08AM
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happyplant

Thanks, so much, PatchyJack for your consideration and advice!

    Bookmark   July 16, 2014 at 5:20PM
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