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Plant Diseases/Disease of camellia bush


Camellia bush
Camellia bush  
1/3 of bush has died, trimmed limbs, now another 1/3 is dying, don't want to loose bush. Please advise

Dear Dee-Dee, It looks like your Camellia has a disease known as Camellia dieback or canker.  It's a very bad disease.  The branches begin with leaves that suddenly wilt and turn yellow, then various branches of the bush will die off.  If you look low on the stems that are dead, you may or may not see sunken in areas on the trunk that may even encircle the entire branch.  When this happens, the only way to treat it is to cut back all the affected stems several inches below the dead area, dipping your pruners in a solution of bleach water to disinfect between cuts.  Discard these branches and do not compost them.  In addition, you should remove all the dead leaves in the area, as they may spread the disease further.  Unfortunately, when the bush has gone this far there may be nothing you can do to save it.  If this were my bush, I would do the cutting and pruning of all the dead areas, clean up the surrounding area, spray with a strong fungicide, (perhaps containing the active ingredient Chlorothalonil or Proprioconozole), and then I would enjoy the blooms this year.  Keep spraying every week or two, and then in the spring you should know if the bush will survive or not.  I wish I could give you better news but I hope this information helps.  Good luck, Melissa

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Melissa Johnston


Plant diseases, landscaping, tropical plants, roses, herbs, plant care, grafting, horticulture, plant identification, anything about plants I can likely answer.


35 years experience in various plant businesses, 1984 Certified Texas Master Gardener.

Master Gardener Association of Texas charter member

none as of yet, but I have a plant q&a book I am in process of submitting.

Magna cum laude graduate of Texas A&M, 1978

Awards and Honors
Plant growing awards, highest grade for Texas Master Gardener graduates.

Past/Present Clients
Past member of and was very highly rated. Owned landscape company in the past, Almost Paradise, and was very successful despite little equipment, no help, and no advertising. Lived well for two years until 9/11.

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