Our site is reader supported, this means we may earn a small commission from Amazon and other affiliates when you buy through links on our site.
Last updated on January 21st, 2020
Camellias are beautiful plants when they are flowering but, just as any other plant, they are susceptible to some common problems. It’s important that you figure out what area of your Camellia is suffering so that you can figure out what the potential cause is and what solution works best.
Honey fungus or phytophthora root rot
If you dig up your plant and see that the roots are soft and brown, it is the result of root disease, usually honey fungus or phytophthora root rot. Root decay typically happens because of waterlogging. So whether you have a camellia in the ground or a container. If the roots sit in water for too long, they literally drown. You can help prevent this by making sure you only water when necessary, water at the right time of day, and water the appropriate amount.
Frost in the winter can also be problematic. If you are growing your Camellia in a container, make sure that you give the roots extra protection by wrapping the container with bubble wrap or horticultural fleece.
Vine weevil shrubs
If you check on the roots and you notice that there are white grubs in the compost, that means your plant is under attack by the vine Weevil. Vine weevils affect all manner of container-grown plants, and their larvae feed on the roots. It’s important that you rectify the situation immediately by removing the ones you find and using commercial treatments.
- Extremely effective - works within 7 days of application
- Very easy to apply - simply water in
- Uses microscopic nematode worms to kill larvae
- Non-toxic and harmless to pets and wildlife
- Same-day first-class despatch (Mon-Fri, excl. bank holidays)
Stems and branch Problems
Leaf blight fungi
Branches dying back is a symptom of root problems. If you see that the stems and branches on your Camellia are dying back, it might be indicative of a poorly functioning root system. You can check this by digging up the roots and seeing what condition they are in. Alternatively, Leaf blight fungi can also be the cause of branch dieback, something that is discussed under the leaf problems section.
If you noticed that the leaves on your Camellia have turned yellow, it could be indicative of root problems. The roots, when improperly functioning, affect all areas of the plant. If you only see yellowing along the veins of the leaves though, that is indicative of a nutrient deficiency.
Camellias are acid-loving plants, so they suffer from manganese or iron deficiencies if the soil is too alkaline. If you have alkaline soil make sure you are adding ericaceous compost or acidic fertilizers.
- Long-lasting feed for all acid-loving plants
- Stronger root growth
- Richer, greener foliage
- Acidifies the root zone
- Prevents leaf yellowing
Yellow model virus
If you notice irregular blotches that are creamy white or yellow, it could be a yellow model virus. The virus has minimal effect on the plant bigger, but you can still treat it with commercial products.
- Controls all major leaf diseases of roses and ornamental plants
- Controls blackspot, mildew, rust, leaf spot, including box blight and white rust
- Two effective active ingredients give contact and systemic action - fast acting and long lasting
- Protects for up to 3 weeks
- Use on houseplants, ornamental garden plants and selected edibles
Shedding of old leaves
On occasion, the Camellias will shed their old leaves. Don’t worry if you see a few leaves turning yellow and falling off in spring or summer so long as the leaves falling off our old leaves and they are falling off near the base.
Leaf blight fungi
If you notice the leaves are turning brown, it is likely the result of a root problem or weather damage. If the Browning is not across the entire Leaf but in the form of spots, it could be Leaf blight fungi. Leaf blight fungi travel not just across the leaves but in severe cases from one branch to another end result in dieback. You can treat this immediately with a commercial fungicide.
Brown spots on leaves
On the note of the weather, following a heatwave, Camellias typically develop brown spots on their leaves. This is just a burn spot. As the weather dies down, so will the spots.
Aphids which cause sooty mould
However, if the spots are black growth and you notice that they are thick, that is sooty mold fungus. This is usually the byproduct of sap-sucking pests, and you will do well to remove the affected area and treat the problem with an insecticide or pesticide.
- Up to 2 weeks control of a wide range of pests
- Rapid action and long-lasting protection
- Use on flowers and a wide range of edibles
- Targets lily beetle, whitefly, scale, greenfly, red spider mite, blackfly, mealybug, thrips and leaf hopper
- Use outdoors and indoors
If your plant is seemingly healthy, but one or two leaves are very swollen and white, this is called Camellia Gall. It’s very unsightly but it won’t affect the plant. You can pick up the affected leaves before they turn into fungal spores and spread.
If your Camellia is healthy but rarely flowers, with buds developing than turning brown and falling off, this could be the result of adverse conditions in terms of temperature or soil. Make sure that your plant gets enough water and is fed only at the right time of the year. Low winter temperatures can also cause this so protect your plants with horticultural fleece.
If your flowers open but then quickly turned brown, that’s usually the result of frost damage. We usually recommend planting camellias where they won’t get morning sun or in a frost pocket to avoid this happening.
Now that you know the most common problems with Camellias, you can keep your eyes peeled for them and treat them sooner rather than later, ensuring your plant remains as healthy as possible all year round.
Last update on 2021-05-02 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API