The Q&A Archives: Camellias

Question: I have brownish spots on the leaves of my Camellia bushes. They don't really look like "spots" - they are more rough and patchy looking. I've never pruned them - not sure if I'm suppose to. Any thoughts on the "spots"? Will it kill the bushes?

Answer: The scabby spots on your camellia leaves are caused by Sphaceloma, a fungus. Collect and destroy the diseased leaves. You can spray a fungicide, such as lime-sulfur, to protect unaffected leaves. If you don't mind the scabby lesions on the leaves, you don't need to treat. (It's not a life threatening problem.) Camellia's can be pruned to keep them in shape. Pruning is best done right after flowering is finished, but it's not too late in the year for you to prune your shrubs.

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