New To Camellias

mrhashimoto(USDA 10/S17)August 5, 2009

Hello everyone,

I purchased my first Camellia two days ago. I don't know the type off the top of my head, but I can grab the tag when I go back home.

The problem I am having is that the leaves are browning and I'm not too sure why. I water it enough to keep the soil moist and I have it in partial sunlight. What I'm wondering is if the soil is acidic enough. I have it in a 12" pot with OSH potting soil. The back said it was 5-something to 6.5 pH levels.

What is going wrong? The browning is occurring at a diagonal from the tip. However it doesn't feel dry or crispy, just brown.

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mrhashimoto(USDA 10/S17)

Okay I found out it is a Kramer's Supreme Camellia. I watered it again and am keeping a look out on the leaves. One or two of them look like mold has grown on it? Any ideas?

    Bookmark   August 6, 2009 at 11:33AM
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Welcome, mrhashimoto. You could be having one of two problems.

1. Not enough moisture. This makes the leaves brown out and can be easy to diagnose. Just insert a finger into the soil to a depth of 4 inches and see if it feels dry, moist or wet. Do this for a period of one week or so. If the soil feels dry most of the time then we can assume this is the problem.

To correct this, use the finger method for 1-2 weeks. When the soil feels dry or almost dry, water 1g and make a note in a wall calendar. After two weeks of doing this, review the information in your wall calendar and try to determine how often do you water... every 2 days? 3 days? etc.

Then water the plant 1g of water on the same frequency. If the temperatures change 10-15 degrees (F) then recheck with the finger method again. Add some mulch too, about 3-4", a little past the drip line. This will help maintain the soil moist and prevent you from having to water often.

2. Too much sun... If the plant is getting too much sun then the leaves in direct contact with the sun will turn a bronze color and -after while- will also brown out.

There are other possibilities, such as camellia dieback disease but since this is a relatively "new" shrub, I am going to assume you just have a moisture problem.

Let me know if this helps. In any case (1 or 2), the leaves will not turn green again and may not drop for quite a while. Camellia leaves usually stay on for 1-2 years and will drop around the month of June, more or less.

Mold is probably caused by oportunistic fimgal infections caused when the leaves brown out. Feel free to prune the leaf and discard it in the trash.


    Bookmark   August 8, 2009 at 2:43PM
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