Brown Edges On Silver Waves Camellia - Knowledgebase Question

La Jolla, CA
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Question by awbell
November 22, 2002
During the last 6 months, I have noticed that my Silver Waves Camellia is dropping foliage. The tips and edges of the foliage is turning brown; the wilted once have completely dropped off. None of the other camellias surrounding the Silver Waves have this problem. I have already lost one completely to this problem.

How do I correct this problem and what is it?

Answer from NGA
November 22, 2002
Though camellias grow and bloom best when protected from strong sun, some kinds are more sun tolerant than others, and some won't tolerate any sunshine at all. If your Silver Waves is showing signs of distress, it may not be happy in its current location. Poor drainage and water or soil containing excess salts are the main troublemakers for camellias. If you suspect poor drainage, the best cure is to move the plant into an aboveground bed of ground bark or peat moss until it recovers. Improve the drainage before replanting in the same garden spot. If you irrigate your camellias with water high in salts, or if you've over-fertilized, the burned leaf edges you're seeing are probably the result of excess salts in the soil. You can leach out salts with a deep soaking or two, and send the harmful minerals deep below the root zone. Apply water slowly and in quantities large enough to thoroughly saturate the entire root zone. Allow water to drain for 24-48 hours, then deeply soak the soil again. Be sure to rake any fallen leaves and remove them from the area. Best wishes with your camellia!

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