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Lumpy leaves on camellia

I've got a hedge of mixed sasanqua camellias and this year some of the new leaves are thick and lumpy. What's the problem and can I do anything to stop it getting worse?


THIS is a relatively common problem in camellias known as leaf gall. It's caused by a fungus which infects the new leaves while they are still very small. The fungus causes some of the cells in the leaves to grow very large so the leaf grows much thicker than normal and often in slightly different colours, such as light green, white or reddish. The infected leaves can look very unsightly, but the overall effect on the plant is negligible.

You could simply pick off infected leaves as soon as they appear and burn them or put them out in the rubbish. Copper-based sprays, like copper oxychloride or Champion Copper applied in early spring after flowering, just as new leaves are forming, can also help reduce the problem.

Weekend Gardener, Issue 162, 2005, Page 24

Reproduced with permission from the former Weekend Gardener magazine. The views expressed here are not necessarily those of the RNZIH.

Andrew Maloy Weekend Gardener

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Last updated: October 25, 2005