leaves turning brown
leaves on my container grown camellia are going brown. Six other
camellias, however, are okay.
this camellia just been repotted or is it in need of repotting?
Has it recently been fed or dried out for a period of time? Could
it have been overwatered? Where is the camellia situated
full sun or shade? (Small leafed camellias are more tolerant of
a sunny position than the large leaf varieties which prefer shade.)
Without having additional information, it could be any number of
things causing the leaves to go brown.
Firstly, I would check
watering. Has the plant dried out recently? As the roots fill the
container, water tends to run off rather than penetrate the root
ball. Give the plant a good soaking at least twice a week, daily
in hot, dry periods. Saturaid is a good additive to potting mix
to help channel water to plant roots where it is required
your local garden centre or hardware store will have Saturaid.
Has the plant been fed
recently? If an application of fertiliser is too high it can cause
plant roots to burn; the leaves turn brown and shrivel up. A controlled
release fertiliser is preferable for container grown camellias
try Osmocote, Green Jacket or Magamp. Regular liquid feeding throughout
the season will also benefit container grown camellias. Nitrosol
is ideal. Avoid using the blended Camellia, Azalea, Rhododendron
fertiliser on container grown plants as it is too concentrated and
will burn the roots. Little and often is the secret. Always follow
the recommended rate stated on the packet. If you feel it is an
overdose of fertiliser, leave the hose on the plant for at least
an hour to flush out excess nutrients that may cause more damage.
Repeat this several times.
If the plant has been
in its container for a while, it could be in need of repotting.
When a plant becomes root-bound it shows signs of stress by dropping
its leaves is this happening? You could repot your camellia
now, but there will be little advantage. The best time would be
after it has flowered in spring. If it is not looking like flowering
in spring, repot your plant around July-August.
Are there any insect
pests present like spider mites? You will notice a fine webbing
on the back side of the leaf which will look speckled. Take the
leaf into your local garden centre if you are unsure of what to
look for. They will recommend a miticide such as Mavrik or Mite
As it could be any number
of things affecting your plant, I hope this information is of some
help to you.
by Dr Dan Blanchon from Unitec's Diploma in Sustainable Horticulture and Bachelor
of Resource Management.
with permission from NZOOM Home and Garden content,
from the previous
The views expressed here are not necessarily those of the RNZIH