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5 Causes of Camellia Leaves Drooping (And How to Fix It)

Camellias are one of the most spectacular flowering shrubs. To get an abundance of blooms you need to eliminate any negative influences on it.

The main cause of camellia leaf drop is a disease called Camellia Canker and Dieback. As a result, the leaves will drop very quickly before they even turn yellow.

The second most common cause of leaf wilting is drought stress. This usually happens in the heat of summer. There are also a number of other causes and they are all described in detail in this article.

Camellia Canker and Dieback

camellia leaves wilting canker and dieback

Canker and Dieback

This disease is caused by a pathogen called Glomerella cingulata. It is not possible to ignore this problem because it can quickly lead to the loss of the camellia.

Usually, the pathogens get on the bark and from there inside the plant. Then the disease begins to destroy the branches from the inside. The bark is cracked in places where it is severely affected. All leaves that are on the affected branch quickly droop and eventually turn yellow.

How to fix it?

  • Cut the branch below where the bark is cracking. Use a sharp, sterile tool.
  • Be sure to disinfect the tool again after use.
  • Treat the wound with an aqueous fungicide solution.

To avoid this disease, plant camellia in a ventilated area using well-drained soil. Never overwater or over-fertilize it.

Avoid injuring the plant. If you need to trim the shrub, use sterile tools and treat the wounds after cutting.

Drought

camellia leaves drooping drought

Drought

There are several reasons why camellias may experience drought stress. Several potential reasons include:

  1. Insufficient irrigation: If the camellia does not get enough water, it may get stressed and start to exhibit drought-related symptoms.
  2. High temperatures can make it more difficult for plants to absorb enough water to satisfy their demands by speeding up the pace at which water evaporates from leaves.
  3. Overfertilization: Overfertilization may increase water use and make a plant more susceptible to drought stress.

Camellias under drought stress may exhibit the following signs:

  • Wilted leaves: Due to a lack of water, a plant under drought stress may have drooping or wilting leaves.
  • Leaf drop: To conserve water when a plant is stressed, it may lose leaves.
  • Leaves that are brittle or crispy: The leaves may become brittle or crispy when the plant loses water.
  • Bud drop: A plant may lose its buds and blossoms if it is severely stressed.

How to fix it?

It is crucial to give the plant enough water right away and keep doing so until the signs of stress have subsided if you want to treat drought stress in camellias. This may be achieved by giving the soil routine watering, utilizing mulch to keep the soil wet, and ensuring sure the soil has sufficient drainage.

Additionally, it’s crucial to prevent overfertilizing because it might result in higher water usage and a plant’s susceptibility to drought stress.

Transplant shock

camellia drooping

Transplant shock

Camellia transplant shock is a common issue that occurs when a camellia plant is moved from one location to another. This is typically caused by the plant’s root system being disturbed during the transplanting process, which can damage or shock the plant. Other factors that can contribute to transplant shock include a lack of moisture, exposure to extreme temperatures, and changes in light conditions.

Several symptoms of transplant shock in camellias might appear. Some typical signs include:

  • The plant may look limp or dry, and its leaves may wilt or droop. The foliage may also become yellow or brown.
  • Slow growth: The plant’s ability to swiftly add new growth may be impaired.
  • Reduced blooming: The flower production of the plant may be less than it usually is.
  • Browning or yellowing of the foliage: This sign that the plant is not getting enough water or nutrients is shown by the leaves turning yellow or brown.

How to fix it?

You can attempt a number of methods to treat transplant shock in a camellia, including:

  • Water the plant: Water the plant thoroughly and frequently, especially in hot or dry weather. Keep the soil slightly moist but not waterlogged.
  • Mulch the plant: By adding a layer of mulch around the plant’s base, you may assist the roots to stay cool and retain moisture.
  • Provide the plant with some shade or shelter from high winds if at all feasible to shield it from the sun or wind.
  • Fertilize: Camellias thrive from fertilizer that has an equal mixture of nitrogen, phosphorus, and potassium.

Root rot

camellia leaves drooping root rot

Root Rot

Camellia root rot is a fungal disease caused by the soil-borne pathogen Phytophthora cinnamomi. It can also be caused by other Phytophthora species or by other water molds such as Pythium and Rhizoctonia. The fungus enters the plant through the roots and can quickly spread throughout the entire root system, causing the roots to rot and become mushy.

Some of the factors that can contribute to the development of camellia root rot include:

  1. Overwatering
  2. Poor drainage
  3. High humidity
  4. Planting in contaminated soil
  5. Injuries or wounds on roots

The symptoms of camellia root rot can vary depending on the stage of the disease and the severity of the infection. Some common symptoms include:

  • Wilting: The plant may appear wilted or droopy, even when the soil is moist. This is a sign that the roots are not able to absorb water and nutrients.
  • Yellowing leaves: The leaves may turn yellow or brown and fall off prematurely.
  • Reduced growth: The plant may not put on new growth as quickly as it normally would.
  • Dieback: The plant may lose leaves and branches, especially at the top of the plant.
  • Root rot: The roots may appear dark and mushy when the soil is removed from the rootball.

How to fix it?

Fixing camellia root rot can be challenging, as the fungus spreads rapidly and can be difficult to eradicate. Here are some steps you can take to try to fix the issue:

  • Improve drainage: Make sure the soil drains well by adding organic matter or by amending the soil with sand or grit. Make sure to avoid over-watering.
  • Apply fungicide: If the infection is caught early, it may be possible to save the plant by applying a fungicide specifically labeled for Phytophthora root rot. Follow the instructions on the label carefully.
  • Sanitize tools and equipment: After working with an infected plant, be sure to sanitize any tools or equipment to prevent the fungus from spreading to other plants.
  • Avoid replanting in the same spot: If a plant is removed, avoid replanting in the same spot as the fungus can persist in the soil.

Sunburn

camellia leaves wilting sunburn

Sunburn

Camellias are shade-loving plants and can be susceptible to sunburn if they are exposed to too much direct sunlight. Sunburn can cause the leaves to turn yellow or brown and can lead to leaf scorch or leaf drop. Sunburn can also cause damage to the bark of the plant, causing it to become discolored or cracked.

Symptoms of sunburn in camellia can include:

  • Leaf drop
  • Yellow or brown leaves
  • Leaf scorch

How to fix it?

To prevent sunburn, it’s important to provide camellias with adequate shade and to protect them from strong winds that can dry out the leaves. If you have a camellia that is already showing symptoms of sunburn, you can try to provide it with some shade and keep the soil consistently moist.