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Camellia leaf problem

Hi everyone,

I’ve often found this forum useful as a relatively novice (and now hopefully reasonable!) gardener, but this is my first time posting.

I have a camellia that’s about 5 years old now and was repotted after flowering last year. It has developed these odd lesions on the leaves at the top of the plant since last summer (see photo). The leaves at the bottom of the plant look healthy still.
There was a period late last summer where there were tiny bugs underneath some of the leaves - I wasn’t sure but wondered if it was scale insects?

Any thoughts and/or advice would be appreciated!
Thanks, Matt


Posts

  • UffUff SW Scotland but born in DerbyshirePosts: 3,010
    Did you repot your camellia into ericaceous compost, they like slightly acid to acid soil @drmatthewshaw
    Usually when leaves turn yellow it's because it's over watered or a nutrient deficiency. 
    Did you by any chance take a pic of the bugs you saw last year?
    Welcome to the forum. 
  • Uff said:
    Did you repot your camellia into ericaceous compost, they like slightly acid to acid soil @drmatthewshaw
    Usually when leaves turn yellow it's because it's over watered or a nutrient deficiency. 
    Did you by any chance take a pic of the bugs you saw last year?
    Welcome to the forum. 
    Hi @Uff - thanks

    Yes, I repotted in ericaceous compost last year. The leaves at the bottom of the plant look good, nice dark green and healthy. 

    Unfortunately I didn’t get a photo of the bugs but there were dozens of them on the underneath of some leaves near the top of the plant. They were tiny, light brown I think, and some of the newer leaves were curling up. Some leaves had loads and others none at all. I can’t find anything similar from googling pests that affect camellias!

    Here’s the lower leaves which look healthier…


  • bédébédé Surrey Hills, acid greensand.Posts: 1,271
    I get aphids on my camellias.  Usually dark brown-black. They can cause distortions and blemishes.  They are shepherded by brown ants.   I try to spot them early, and usually just squish them with finger and thumb.

    See my recent pic on Plants>Spring, which shows the plant most often affected.

    On another camellia in more sun, I get scale insects.  Apart from sticky residues and the resultant sooty mould, they seem to shrug it off.
    "Have nothing in your garden that you don't know to be useful, or believe to be beautiful."
  • FairygirlFairygirl west central ScotlandPosts: 48,932
    If you're keeping it potted @drmatthewshaw, make sure it has a soil based medium, not just compost. They don't desperately need acidic soil, just soil/compost which isn't alkaline, or the alkaline end of neutral. In a pot, you can have a mix, and just refresh the top layer each year. Plenty of moisture, but good drainage. A bark mulch is helpful too  :)
    Remember that they don't appreciate being dry in late summer, when the new buds form  - like rhodos/azaleas. That's harder in a container, so it helps to have them semi shaded at least to make it easier. Rainwater is better if you don't live in a soft water area. 
    The lower leaves look fine, but Camellias are always more difficult in a container. If you have neutral to acidic soil they're far better in the ground, but otherwise, it's the only method. You can also prune off any damaged/dead foliage. Wait until you've had the pleasure of the flowers though  :)
    It's a place where beautiful isn't enough of a word....


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