The Q&A Archives: Camellias Losing Leaves

Question: Why are my camelias which have in that location for over 3 years suddenly dropping their leaves after blooming?

Answer: Sudden leaf drop on camellias is usually a sign of over-fertilization. If you haven't fertilized excessively, then there may be other problems in the root zone of the plants, specifically accumulation of salts from irrigation water, or poor drainage. If your water has a high concentration of salts, you can help flush the build-up out of the soil by watering deeply two or three times during the summer. You can prune your camellias back after they've finished blooming to remove the bare branches and encourage new growth. Camellia roots like to be kept cool, so add two or three inches of mulch over the root zone beneath the plants. Finally, be sure to remove the fallen plant debris and compost or destroy it, just to be on the safe side.

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