camellia leaf drop
I'm new to camellia growing, and have a C. Oleifera "Winter's Beauty" in my zone 7 garden. It is blooming like crazy, but many of the stems are nearly bare, especially near the ground. The shrub is in a bed facing southeast, but is protected by a 3-story wall on one side, and a 2-foot wall on a second side. The site gets bright, dappled shade from May through November, but in the fall, when the leaves drop from the maples overhead, it is in full sun for the remaining six months of fall and winter. I noticed last November that the sudden change in light exposure didn't sit well with the plant, even though the days were shorter. Sone upper leaves became brown and scorched-looking.
It has been getting enough water. We had a dry spell in March, but I watered thoroughly twice. I also fertilize biannually with Holly Tone, in November and March.
When I bought the shrub, it was espaliered, but when I planted it in my own garden, I freed it to grow more naturally. Don't know if this would effect the leaves.
Will it refoliate? I see some new growth at the ends of stems, but not, at present, lower down.
Do I dare prune it after it stops blooming? If so, how? It is about five feet tall and is a very slow grower, so I hate to cut any growth away if it will leaf out on its own.