The Q&A Archives: Camellias/falling Leaves

Question: I purchased 1 gallon camellias/debutante 4/03.I planted them in 5 gallon plastic pots which have drainage holes,with a combination sandy soil and potting soil.I am feeding them camellia gro 4-8-4 once in april and once in june. They are on the patio and get some morning sun and shade the rest of the day.I water them in the evening.
My problem is ,they are dropping their leaves.They haven't shown any signs of growth since I purchased them.Can you give me some advice as to what to do for them? Thank you so much,Judy

Answer: It sounds as though you're doing everything you can to make your new camellias feel welcome. Newly transplanted trees and shrubs can sometimes go through an adjustment period because of the stress of transplanting. It's possible your plants are showing symptoms of stress. If so, they'll recover once the roots become established. Evergreen shrubs such as camellia will naturally lose some of their older leaves so new ones can take their places. If the plants are shedding older, larger leaves, then I'd say it's a natural occurance. If both newer and older leaves are dropping, it's probably from overwatering. Plants in containers often need to be watered more frequently than those growing in the ground, but daily watering might be too much. When you apply water, do it slowly and make sure the entire root mass gets wet, then allow the soil to dry slightly before watering again. Try watering deeply every 3-4 days rather than daily. Best wishes with your camellias!

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