I have a large quite old camellia, a Camellia japonica I presume, which is putting out numerous fat buds which promise to be bloom buds, but they are forming in clusters at tip ends and I have read here and there that one could, possibly should, nip off the surrounding smaller buds to encourage the larger ones to open as blooms. A further note is that this shrub does not bloom reliably, with the buds just never opening, although they contain flowers. I have given the shrub lots of water [I think it was too dry one year] as it is relatively near a foundation slab, about 3-4 feet away from it, and drainage, and have fertilized it about half a year ago. I think it is budding so vigorously now because I have cut it back during the early fall quite drastically to keep it away from roof eavestroughs and to cut it away from a natural gas meter. So it is a bit "hollow", curved outward, looking like a solid regular camellia from the street but really quite hollowed-out inside and on the house side. Does anyone familiar with camellias have any advice on this? I left it alone last year but no buds opened. The previous year a few did. It is only in partial sun, at the top, really, where it gets both morning and early afternoon sun, but generally except for the first 2 hours of morning it is in shade except for the upper part of it. It gets rain, the overhang does not hang over it, but I have given it extra water in dry periods.