To accelerate the bloom of your camellias, possibly to as early as November, depending on the variety, try ìgibbing.î Each bud needs to be treated with gibberellic acid (GA) between Aug. 15 and Sept. 15. Not all varieties will respond in the same way to the treatment, but some blooms can be expected within 40 to 45 days.

The method that is the easiest and best is to remove the vegetative bud next to a flower bud. Flower buds are plump and rounded while vegetative buds are smaller and pointed. Remove all but one of the flower buds on a stem if you want to produce a large "show" flower. Then a small drop of GA should be put where the bud was attached.

GA can be bought in an acid and a salt form. Gardeners who have not used GA before should use materials that are already prepared and ready to use. If your local gardening center doesn't carry GA, check with your local camellia society.

Response to treatment among camellias varies depending on the variety. Early- and mid-season flowering varieties tend to respond better to GA treatment than late-season varieties. Some varieties will respond not with earlier blooms, but with blooms of a different formation than normal. Others will respond with variations on the normal blossom color.

Herme, Debutante and Pink Perfection are among the varieties that respond well to gibbing.

Source: American Camellia Society