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Nine years ago I moved to my home and inherited a mature, healthy red camelia tree, which bloomed abundantly for 7 years. In the past 2 years the leaves have gradually lost their glossy green colour and gone yellow with brown specks and there are a lot less leaves, fewer flowers which are floppy and fall off the tree as soon as open. I have applied specific camellia fertiliser but maybe not often enough. The tree is in full sunlight. Has it just lived its lifespan or how it can be saved?

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Yellowing of the leaves and dropping blooms can be a sign of stress. If nothing in the environment has changed to alter sunlight it possibly is unlikely to be stress from too much sun. However we have had some significant changes in the weather last Summer (too wet) and this summer (very dry and extremely hot). If you have been fertilising with Camellia food (as long as not too frequently) you should not have a problem with Iron – which can cause the above you have mentioned. Overwatering (last Summer would have been prime for this) can make the Iron in the soil unusable for the tree. Regular deep watering once a week is better than too frequently. Your Camellia is not too old – I suggest it is just not well. Take a leaf sample in to your local store for them to observe and consider if the tree is under or overwatered or over fertilised.

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