Tiny Princess dropping leaves

natal(Louisiana 8b)November 9, 2010

I planted a Tiny Princess last March. It's been fine all year ... is now full of buds ... but within the past couple weeks I've noticed a dropping of green leaves. Is anyone familiar with this variety?

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luis_pr(7b/8a Hurst, TX)

Green leaves are dropping? Or are they changing color and then dropping? Is the damage random throughout the shrub? Or just the top or bottom? I would check the soil moisture to make sure it is not wet or dry. Inspect the various stems for damage. Look for pests that can cause root damage too.

    Bookmark   November 15, 2010 at 5:35AM
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rjlinva

I'm having the similar experience with this particular variety.

    Bookmark   December 4, 2010 at 7:20AM
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natal(Louisiana 8b)

Yes, green leaves. They've stopped falling, but the shrub doesn't have a lot left. OTOH, it's full of buds, but none have opened yet. Guess I just wait and see.

    Bookmark   December 4, 2010 at 12:17PM
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luis_pr(7b/8a Hurst, TX)

Maintain soil moisture so it is neither dry nor wet and keep it mulched. Keep an eye on vermin that eat plant roots. Temp swings could trigger bud drop but not green leaf drop.

    Bookmark   December 4, 2010 at 6:19PM
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natal(Louisiana 8b)

It's not a moisture issue. All of my beds are mulched with pine straw. Only vermin around these days are raccoons and they're not messing with it.

    Bookmark   December 4, 2010 at 7:16PM
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carolinamary

I'm not familiar with Tiny Princess, but we're getting the same thing to a certain extent with multiple varieties, both sasanquas and japonicas, in very different situations and far apart from one another, including some sasanquas that are potted with insulation (with a mulch lining between their pot and a larger outer pot).

This happened after the coldest sustained low temperatures that we've had in maybe ten years or so, and then we had about 5 inches of snow that hung around for several days. I kind of think that a little of this might happen every winter and I just never pay any attention to it, but my husband noticed this year because the effects on a camellia that was just planted in October were striking. It's probably 80% defoliated now.

I kind of suspect that the problem here is related to the difficulty in transporting water up from the roots during exceptionally cold weather that lasts for very long without getting up to 32 degrees. Some of our roses that tend to keep their leaves over the winter looked pretty droopy when the snow finished melting, but they're perking up some now with the last 24 hours of much warmer weather.

In your situation in November, if you had really unusually low temps that lasted awhile, perhaps it actually was a moisture issue, even though in slightly warmer temperatures the plant would have been just fine? That's probably not it, but otherwise I haven't any ideas.

I'm not sure that we're going to have any winter-blooming camellias blooming here this year, and that includes even the ironclad Professor C.S. Sargent. Many buds have been frozen to brown, and the others look iffy. Our camellias were wonderfully full of blooms last year, in spite of some very low temperatures then too, but the string of days when it didn't even get up to freezing was much shorter--maybe no days, though I've sort of forgotten now.

Overall, our camellias still look healthy this year, and if you didn't notice the completely healthy-looking green leaves on the ground, you'd never think there was any problem, apart from bud damage. We might try spraying a little Wilt Pruf on some of the camellias if we end up having another prediction for really sustained very low temperatures again, and then checking to see if those do any better in terms of leaf drop.

Best wishes,
Mary

    Bookmark   January 2, 2011 at 6:48PM
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natal(Louisiana 8b)

She started blooming yesterday. Guess it was just a natural leaf drop.

    Bookmark   February 27, 2011 at 6:28PM
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