Sick Camellia- Help Identify Disease

blondegardener(8)February 10, 2012

Hi everyone,

Our Camellia plant looks like it's come down with some sort of disease. It hasn't produced any new growth or blooms and I was wondering if anyone could help me figure out what's causing this. We live in North Dallas, have had an usually mild winter (no freeze yet, no snow) and this is planted is extremely nice soil. (we did a full front yard renovation last year so all plants are in nice soil and watered regularly) Thoughts?

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luis_pr

Hello, blondegardener. Camellias in our area suffered a lot from the exceptional drought that we experienced during the summer as well as from continuous 100 degree temperatures and drying winds. This high heat and lack of moisture during the times when camellias begin to generate the flower buds is now showing up as reduced or no blooms during the blooming season.

My camellias have very few flower buds this year: one has no obvious blooms while others have only a handful. And those were hand watered during the worst of the drought as well as watered by drip irrigation during days we were allowed to do that.

You can remove the few leaves that are partly dried out if you want or just leave them there. I noticed some of them turning a light green. They tend to do that here sometimes when the tree that provides shade looses all the leaves during winter. It should go away on its own later on.

I did see two leaves on the bottom photo that may have a small fungal infection. Damage from weather or overhead watering may have triggered it. It is quite small of an infection so I am not sure you want to mess with chemicals at this point. Just monitor it and take action if it spreads. Of course, you could remove the leaves too.
There is a potential for another La Nina Event in the 2012 Summer here and another drought so maintain 4" of mulch a little past the drip line and keep an eye on the moisture. I hand checked myself by inserting a finger into the ground to a depth of 4" to tell when the soil felt almost dry or dry.

Does that help you?
Luis

    Bookmark   February 11, 2012 at 1:18PM
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jay_7bsc(8a)

Dear blondegardener,
When you performed your "full front yard renovation," is there a possibility that you may have injured the root system of your camellia by mechanically disturbing its root system? It is important to remember that camellias have a very shallow root system and that one should not dig around them and, thus, injure their roots. Have you noticed tunnels in the soil near the camellia? If so, voles may be at work on the root system of the camellia.

    Bookmark   February 13, 2012 at 10:34AM
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jon_z6b

Do you see the black spots on the leaves on the second picture? I'm inclined to go with a fungal infection.

Perhaps this:

Here is a link that might be useful: Camellia Blight

    Bookmark   February 13, 2012 at 9:25PM
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jamesmaloy

I am wondering if this camellia gets way to much sun, that and coupled with the heat coming off those brick could bake it. Are there any shade trees nearby. I know you said the soil was nice but is the ph correct?'
James in Florida

    Bookmark   February 16, 2012 at 6:34PM
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restoner(6B-7A)

Probably too much sun and/or chlorosis from alkaline soil (like jamesmaloy said). I am also always on the lookout for foliar nematodes ever since I heard about them (check out google images).

    Bookmark   February 19, 2012 at 10:06PM
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jean001a(Portland OR 7b)

Drought stress. Heat direct and/or reflected; seasonal drought with insufficient supplemental water; construction damage.

    Bookmark   March 4, 2012 at 12:36AM
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