May 20, 2020 at 4:25 pm Reply
The 12 year-old shrub had abundant blooms this year like how it had always been and then lately, it has had yellow leaves all over the plant and countless buds which didn’t even open yet have withered.
By merely looking at it, one can say it’s dying but why so sudden? It started pretty well. I didn’t prune it last year. Is this the cause of the problem?
Please advise what to do.May 21, 2020 at 2:27 pm ReplyFast DriverPrivate messageExpert gardener
Yellow leaves is usually a sign of root rot. You can dig down and check. Buds withering could be due to frost. Have you had frost at the beginning of spring?May 23, 2020 at 3:00 pm Reply
I’ll check the roots then. We had frost, indeed. However, I doubt it’s the cause of the problem because there had been buds that appeared after that and they still withered.May 26, 2020 at 6:47 pm Reply
Finally got the time to check the roots. And you’re right, it’s root rot but then it’s even more serious than that. The stems next to the roots are also rotting!
What do you think I should do in this case, Fast Driver? I didn’t put back the dug soil hoping it going to help a bit by minimizing moisture around the roots. Some leaves are still a bit greenish but generally the’yre withering.June 2, 2020 at 5:55 pm Replyhands_and_dirtPrivate messageGreenhorn
Inna you did right by not putting back the soil. You can also improve the drainage of the soil like making small canals to prevent water from sitting in the roots as this is the main cause of root rot. Also make sure that soil surface is in the same level as the top roots later. Don’t bury the lower part of the stem.June 3, 2020 at 5:58 pm ReplyFast DriverPrivate messageExpert gardener
So sorry Inna, been quite really busy. I hope this isn’t too late yet? I completely agree with what hands_and_dirt commented. Keep the foot of the shrub well-drained. It’s also possible to apply fungicide but not quite effective to cure the disease. It’s use only for preventive purposes. You might want to check with a licensed landscaper for accurate application and safety measures.
Generally, root rot isn’t that easy to cure. Depending on the gravity of the disease (which I think is very serious in your case with yellowing leaves all over and buds withering), your shrub might not recover and eventually die. Sorry to say this.June 4, 2020 at 4:55 pm Reply
It breaks my heart to know it’ll probably not survive. Anyway, I had 12 wonderful years of blooming with this camellia.
I’ll still give fungicide a try and see. Nothing to lose.
Thank you very much to you both though!
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