Camellia Leaves Turning Brown


Camellias are a genus of evergreen shrubs or small trees that are admired for the glossy, emerald green leaves they bear as well as the rose-like flowers they produce. The plant hardiness zones 7 and 8 of the United States Department of Agriculture are where the majority of camellias can thrive. However, there are a few species, such as the Japanese camellia (Camellia japonica), that can thrive in zone 9. Camellias are susceptible to a variety of diseases and insects, any of which may cause the leaves to turn brown. Camellias are not difficult to care for overall.


There are a number of different types of scale insects that may infest camellias. Camellia leaves that have been infested with scales wilt, turn yellow, and fall off the plant. Extreme infestations not only cause the plant to develop more slowly but may also cause portions of the plant to perish, leaving behind just the brown, lifeless leaves on the branches. Honeydew, which is secreted by soft scales and cottony cushion scales as well, not only entices ants but also encourages the formation of sooty mould. The most successful method of control is first determining the kind of scale that has infested your camellia. The body of an armoured scale is covered with a cover that is flat and plate-like. Scales that are considered soft do not contain this plate and might have a smooth, cottony, or waxy texture. Cottony cushion scales are simple to recognise because to the fluffy, white egg sac that is linked to their bodies in a fluted shape. Horticultural oil may be used from the end of winter to the beginning of summer to manage severe infestations of armoured and cottony cushion scales. Armored scales are often controlled by natural predators, but severe infestations of both types of scales can be controlled by this method. Infestations of soft scales may also be treated with pesticides that include imidacloprid; however, this will not be effective against infestations of armoured scales or cottony cushion scales. Because it eliminates the vedalia beetle (Rodolia cardinalis), one of the cottony cushion scale’s natural predators, imidacloprid has the potential to result in a rise in the population of cottony cushion scale.


When root knot nematodes (Meloidogyne spp. ), which are responsible for the browning of camellia leaves, feed on the roots of the plant, swellings or galls form that restrict the plant from absorbing nutrients and water. Nematodes are very small roundworms that reside inside the roots of plants. Nematodes are minuscule. Digging up the roots of your camellia, which will reveal galls that may develop up to 1 inch in diameter on some plants, is the best way to determine whether or not your plant is infested with root knot nematodes. Nematodes are known to produce a reduction in vigour in addition to browning the leaves they infect. It is necessary to submit samples of the soil and the roots to a laboratory in order to determine the species of the nematode infection. Nematode infestations are difficult to manage since there are no chemical treatments available at this time; however, harm may be avoided by adhering to appropriate sanitation and cultural practises that foster the growth of a healthy and robust plant.


Edema is a physiological condition that often manifests itself under conditions characterised by low temperatures, excessive humidity and soil moisture, and inadequate nutrition levels. On the undersides of camellia leaves, it triggers the development of galls that range in colour from yellowish brown to rust. This may give the impression of being rough or corky, but the damage is purely aesthetic. In most cases, edoema will not pose a harm to the health of your camellia. Possible solutions to the issue include bringing the relative humidity and soil moisture down, as well as ensuring that an appropriate fertilisation schedule is maintained.

Abiotic Disorders

It is possible for the leaves of a camellia to become brown for a variety of abiotic reasons, such as inadequate drainage, drought, sunscald, mineral deficiencies, or damage. This browning may often be seen along the leaf edges and at the tips of the leaves. The leaves could also coil up, become black, and eventually fall off. Browning of the leaves of your camellia may be avoided by giving it soil that drains properly, along with enough water and nutrients. The development of sunscald may be avoided by growing camellias in a position where they will be exposed to dappled shade. Camellias that are grown in full sunlight or against a wall that faces south or west are more susceptible to sunscald than those that are grown in a place that faces either the north or the east. Once sunscald causes the leaves to become brown, there is little hope for recovery; nonetheless, fresh growth should continue unabated.