Oh no! Bella Rosa in Trouble!

donnabaskets(Zone 8a, Central MS)March 28, 2010

Ack! My brand new Bella Rosa and Tami look dreadful. The leaves are "thinning" and beginning to brown. I assure you they are not dry. I prepared the soil very well, with a generous helping of peat moss in each hole. And, I added well rotted manure (judiciously). I cannot, for the life of me figure out what's wrong. Any thoughts? I will cry if I lose these plants...

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If you have clay soil and dig a deep hole and add amendments, you'll likely create a 'bathtub' effect. Poorly drained soil can rot Camellia roots. In clay soil, plant high and mulch the surface. Camellias are native to hilly Asian forests. In forests, there's typically a surface layer of rotted organic matter(humus).

    Bookmark   March 30, 2010 at 9:48PM
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Bumblebeez SC Zone 7

I have lost plants to the bathtub effect and no longer amend the soil except for perennials and some roses.
I would lift the plant and only use native sol. Plant it high and mulch with pine straw.

    Bookmark   April 1, 2010 at 6:15PM
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donnabaskets(Zone 8a, Central MS)

I did both of these things at planting, though I did mix in peat and manure, as I have done for every single one of the other 18 to 20 camellias I have. These were both good suggestions. I went out and checked to see if the plants had settled to ground level. They do not appear to have. I scraped away the little bit of soil that was over the root ball. We'll see. They don't look worse for now.

    Bookmark   April 3, 2010 at 9:09AM
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