Saturday, April 26, 2008

Camellia Losing Leaves

We have a 75 yr. old japonica camellia tree that is at least 20 ft. tall. It is covered with small pink flowers late fall that last for 2 months. It is a gorgeous tree. Lately it is losing an abundance of leaves that have turned yellow. This happens annually but many more leaves are falling this year. Should we be fertilizing the tree? Is there a problem that we should be addressing at this time of year or at any time in order to lessen the number of leaves that are lost?

Anne's response:


The yellow leaves on your camellia are the natural aging of a camellia plant. You can expect to lose about 30% of the leaves each year. When plants are under the stress of drought and high temperatures, as many of them were last year, there may be a larger than normal leaf loss. Camellias do benefit from an occasional application of fertilizer. Organic products such as cottonseed meal or Espoma Hollytone work well as they provide soil nutrients over an extended period of time. The ideal time to apply fertilizer is April as new growth appears.

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