The Q&A Archives: Browning Leaves On Camellias.

Question: My camellia leaves are turning brown from the tips inward and the blossom buds are browning and drying up. I have already lost one and I moved another into a pot to try to save it. The last time I fertilized was in early December and deep water weekly. I have seen no pests on the plants and can only find grub worms in the soil which I am trying to erradicate with diazanon in dry form so as not to over water. Could you please tell me why the leaves are turning brown?

Answer: It's possible your camellia has Petal Blight Disease. This fungus (Sclerotinia camelliae) attacks mostly the flower petals, but also is a concern on the leaves if severe. The best control is sanitation. Remove all fallen flower petals immediately and dispose ofthem. They are a source for fungal spores that reinfect the tree. Replace the mulch
every year and make sure the tree has good air circulation around it so the leaves and petals dry off quickly after a rain. This disease is very weather dependent. I have had the same problem and some years it is worse than others. This year I don't see a trace of the disease, but it depends on your local weather. Warm, humid conditions are very conducive to this fungus.

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