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Frequently Asked Questions

Can you tell me how to keep deer from eating my camillas? How can I repair the damaged plants. If I prune away the tops and will thay come back.  You can prune camellias even heavily. Most probably they are in much better shape thereafter, A deer-fence might help.

My potted Camellia looks unhealthy: The new growth is small, the leaves are tiny and chlorotic (yellowish)!  Most probably the soil is inappropriate, the soil is overwatered, the roots decay and turn brown. In any case, inspect the rootball! With any unclear problem, repot the plant. If the plant is several years old and appears senescent, the rootball has to be renewed. Take out (with a saw) 3 large sectors and refill with proper substrate.

Most Camellia books recommend for chlorotic leaves the addition of iron. It is true that chlorosis occurs on iron deficientcy, or, more likely, on nitrogen deficiency. To my experience these deficiencies are caused by root damage due to overwatering rather than to iron deficiency in the soil. Repotting is the easiest cure.

My Camellia get brown tips and/or margins!  If the brown area is dry, this is a sign of overfertilization. Repot the plant. Fertilize only during the growth period in spring, use a nitrogen dominated fertilizer, at about 50% of recommended concentration. Liquid fertilizer is easy to handle for potted plants. Avoid long term products (these are only for experienced nurseries with constant watering).

If the brown area is wet and soft, and the plant is in a young plant cultivation room under high humidity, this is a fungus infection. Change this plant to a well aerated area with 50-60% humidity. The infected area will dry out and will not progress.

What is the life span of my Camellia?  With proper care, the Camellia will live longer than you. Outdoors, up to 600 years are reported, and potted, a life span up to 150 years can be expected.

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