Need some tips for care for my white Michelia Champaca tree

Wayne Z
by Wayne Z
Need some growth tips for my White Michelia Champaca Tree: height approx. 10 feet, trunk 3.5 inch at base.
The problem: it did not flower well in 2015, not many new leaves; no dead branches, leaves look good, no pests or yellowing
Location: back yard, it been in the ground for quite awhile.
I sprayed with Key Plex, twice, summer and late fall. It had heavy flowering and lots of foliage in past years. The fragrance from the flowers is fantastic.
Do you think an application of Azalea of food be helpful, in the Spring? Maybe coffee grounds or top dressing of peat moss could help stimulate this tree?
  6 answers
  • Janet Pizaro Janet Pizaro on Jan 05, 2016
    First off how many times was your tree fed? Secondly did you by any chance prune the tree during the season? And last is the tree protected from heavy winds and direct sunlight?
    • Wayne Z Wayne Z on Jan 05, 2016
      @Janet Pizaro Lightly trimmed last Spring. Has not been fed, ever! No problem with sunlight. Winds: went thru 3 hurricanes awhile back,, came out ok. I think it needs food! not sure what to put on, I think it's an acid lover, not quite sure. I guess after years of doing it's thing it just got hungry. Thanks for the input.
  • Since the tree has been in the ground for a while and it has flowered heavily years before, then I suggest fertilizing in the spring. I use Alaskan fish fertilizer especially when I think there is a soil or micro-organism issue. I would give it doses of this now every week. It is at any Lowe's or Home Depot and comes in a white bottle. stinks but i have brought sick plants and soil back to life with this stuff. Then come spring fertilize for flowers. I do not use coffee grinds but I do keep my plants mulched in the ground with at least 4" of wood mulch. I hope this helps.
  • Wayne Z Wayne Z on Jan 05, 2016
    Thanks much! I have the fish stuff but never put it on that tree. It's not mulched, have a lot of flowering peanut growing under it, guess I'll have to clean that area up. Thanks again.
  • Janet Pizaro Janet Pizaro on Jan 05, 2016
    Hi wayne, just to say because you live in the southern states fertilization is different then northern states, however timing again is always an issue.Your tree from what I researched is in the magnolia family.It is of acid loving but do be careful of fertillzing. There are proper times and not.I don't think coffee grounds will be of benefit right now.I think at this point I would wait until Floridas spring to do any amending.Weather all across the nation has been very strange an honestly nothing performed the way it should have. My suggestion is to wait it out until the next real growing season and then apply a light fertilization. Repeat once again and see whats happens. Many homeowners jump at this an assume that is the answer. FeedFeed...Not always the case. Be Patient I am sure it will be fine. If you notice anything else in the interim send another post and I will certainly try to help you.
  • Wayne Z Wayne Z on Jan 06, 2016
    Not done yet, have work to do in the Spring.