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Sick plant pics (and ID!)

Posted by fori East SF Bay, CA (My Page) on
Sat, Mar 1, 08 at 13:53

Just over a year ago I moved into a home with 3 camellias. Two in the back yard are doing great, one in the front is looking yellowish and sickly. The blooms are just getting started but look mostly OK so far, but some brownish tint to them.

When we moved in the poor thing was shaped like a topiary ball. I pruned it a bit and let it be free and it's put on at least a foot in height in less than a year. It has dappled sun/shade and gets plenty of water (I'll xeriscape when the camellia dies, but not before). The "back side" is mostly dead--I think it's too close to the house, but it lets us watch the birds from indoors--but the front side is presentable.

Any idea what is wrong with this plant? Or what exactly it is? (Or why my photos are sideways...sorry!!!!)

Ideas are most appreciated. Thanks!

flower and leaf

overall view

Follow-Up Postings:

RE: Sick plant pics (and ID!)

Could you have "competition" for water between the camellia and the other shrubs? The roots to the right might not get enough water and that side is then affected. Root fungal diseases could also be causing problems too. Try watering only the soil; and water only when the soil feels dry (or almost dry) to the touch at a depth of four inches. Add four inches of mulch to conserve moisture.

RE: Sick plant pics (and ID!)

I was interested in reading this. My camellias have black and white spots on the tips of their leaves. The nursery said that it was due to underwatering or overwatering or chemical burn. I think I fertilized too late in the season, so both could be a problem. My concern now is whether to take off all the leaves and leave the bark or not. Can't seem to find an answer for that. Any ideas?

RE: Sick plant pics (and ID!)

From the pictures, I think you have a typical common appearance of camellias in a home. Gardeners who are very particular in camellia cultivation will produce lush plant and beautiful blooms. If you have a chance to attend the meetings of Northern California Camellia Society (now is off season), held at Walnut Creek or to Redwood City. You might get a chance to see and to get helps from many camellia experts.

RE: Sick plant pics (and ID!)

I am very interested to learn more about illnesses and camellias, we had three, now down to two, they are only approaching one and half years...
The leaves yellowed, fell off and pretty much was a swift death. Currently I want to catch the other two before death sets in. Yellowing is occurring of the leaves. I have not noticed any insect life on any part of the leaf or trunk. Does anyone have information on possibly it being from root disease?
Very ignorant to camellias as much as I adore them!

RE: Sick plant pics (and ID!)

I'm so blind, I had some spider mites, that I found under a few leaves, and the tiny holes were from some other bug that likes to suck out the fluid from the leaves, so now I'm on an insecticide routine and will continue this treatment until I see it come back to the beautiful camellias I once had. I'm just hoping that I don't lose the really sick one. But I have to say, by this photo, mine looked exactly like it. I collected all the yellowish leaves and examined check to make sure you don't have bugs living all over you camellia. Truly, I was shocked as I looked for signs of bugs before and saw nothing, however the spider mites are so small and almost translucent I couldn't even tell they were there. I really thought I had a root issue. I don't think you have a water issue...

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