When and how do I fertilise Camellias?

Winter is the middle of flowering time for camellias with the earlier sasanqua types coming to the end of their blooming with the later japonica and reticulata types still blossoming. Once the flowering season has finished new vegetative growth will commence, making this an ideal time to prime them for this by using an appropriate fertiliser. By far the best idea is to use well rotted manure such as horse, cow or chook in a layer a few cm thick. This can then be topped off with a layer of a coarse woody mulch such as pinebark or eucalypt chip which should be up to 10 cm thick to suppress weeds and conserve moisture. If you want to use a packaged fertilizer, use any reputable all purpose plant food, and be sure to water in well afterwards to prevent leaf burn. Preferably use an Australian made and owned fertiliser!