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Sick camelia

For a few weeks now my camelia has turned brown, dropped all it's leaves. I repotted it with fresh ericaceous soil and some camelia feed but it's looking worse. Can it be saved?


  • BorderlineBorderline Posts: 4,688
    Looking at how your flowers are clinging onto your branches, I think your Camellia has died to be honest. Not sure how often you watered it, but last year was an extremely dry and hot year over the summer months and this winter, there was also hardly any rain. 

    Growing in a pot, make sure it gets good drainage near the bottom of pot. Try to stand the pots on pot feet to help minimise clogging.

    If you have just re-potted it, just keep it watered, preferably from collected rain water. Position it somewhere semi shaded to see if any new leaves form.
  • Guernsey Donkey2Guernsey Donkey2 Posts: 6,713
    I agree with all that Borderline has suggested - the plant could have become too dry over the last year.  When a plant is in bud and about to flower it should be kept well fed and watered if growing in a pot.
    I would recommend cutting about an inch off one of the smaller side shoots.  If the inner is brown that would probably indicate the plant is dead.  However if the inner is green then there is a chance the plant will still be alive, in which case do exactly as Borderline has suggested. In any event, I wouldn't give up on it completely, these plants are expensive to buy and I would do everything I could to give it a chance to return to good health.
  • Thankyou both, I didn't water it over the winter. It flowered beautifully feb/March then suddenly turned brown. Will trim some bits as suggested. 
  • Paul NPaul N Posts: 303
    I hope you manage to save yours. Although our last garden was chalky on the North Downs, I grew one camellia in a half barrel submerged in the ground and a second one in a raised bed. When we moved in September to a garden with neutral soil, I dug up the best of the two (each named 'Donation' but each different, one with single dark red flowers, the other with double red flowers) and brought it with us. At 7ft tall plus a red Acer, I've been pampering and feeding it ever since. She did finally flower in later spring and she should do better next year. They do like drenching with rainwater between  July and September as that is when their buds form for the following spring
  • Guernsey Donkey2Guernsey Donkey2 Posts: 6,713
    Well done Paul N.  They are fairly hardy plants, and providing they are watered well as you did with yours, then there is no reason why lovegardening's camellia shouldn't revive. Once it is in a better condition and during the dormant period I would put it in the ground if at all possible. I wouldn't recommend transplanting it whilst the poor plant is fighting for it's life though.
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