Camellia Troubleshooting

Camellia Troubleshooting

Camellia Troubleshooting

Camellia is a garden favourite. You can’t help but be attracted to the beauty of camellias and other acid loving plants. It makes them one of the most popular plants in New Zealand gardens. Here is a quick guide to pests and diseases that camellias can be prone to.



These small and easily recognised insects are associated with new growth. May occur on flower buds during autumn or even winter and new growth in spring.

Symptoms: Clusters of insects on young growth.

Remedy: Spray with Enspray Oil at 2 weekly intervals.



Mites are another insect that can be found under the leaves of camellias as very fine dust like substance.

Symptoms: Leaves yellow (stippled or mottled) and dehydrated in hot dry weather.

Remedy: Spray with mite killer.



This pest invades our gardens in spring and early summer, they use favourable wind currents to cover large distances to spread through our gardens.

Symptoms: Leaves silver and dry. Brown-black specks appear on underside of leaves.

Remedy: Spray with Enspray Oil at 2-3 weekly intervals through summer.


Sooty mould

This unsightly black sticky substance is actually growing on the residue products secreted by aphids and scale.

Symptoms: Black sooty mould on leaves and twigs.

Remedy: Spray with Enspray Oil.


Leaf gall

It is caused by the fungus Exobasidium camelliae. Leaf galls are most often observed during the spring flush of growth.

Symptoms: Developing leaves and flowers are thickened, fleshy and pale green. As the thickenings enlarge, they become white or pink, with powdery appearance during wet weather.

Remedy: Remove and burn all infected parts. Spray with Enspray Oil or Mavrik.


Petal blight

Symptoms: Earliest symptom is light brown or whitish coloured circular spots on petals. Spots enlarge to form irregular blotches until whole flower collapses. Petals feel slimy when rubbed between fingers. Diseased flowers dry up and cling to the plant (leaves and stems are not affected).

Remedy: Avoid overhead watering. Pick off diseased flowers. Spray at two weekly intervals with Yates Fungus Fighter.


Lack of fertiliser

Symptoms: Leaves yellow and/or develop dark purple tone. Slow, stunted growth.

Remedy: Tui Enrich Rose, Camellia, Azalea and Gardenia Controlled Released Fertiliser in late spring after flower finishes and just before new growth starts.


Soil too alkaline

Symptoms: Decline in vigour and leaves turn yellow while the veins remain green.

Remedy: Fertilise with Tui Enrich Rose, Camellia, Azalea and Gardenia Controlled Released Fertiliser in late spring after flowering finishes and just before new growth starts. Do NOT use lime.

This ‘How To’ Guide has been produced to provide basic information and our experienced staff are available to answer any questions that you may have. Because this guide is of a general nature, neither Palmers nor its staff are responsible for the application of the information, as the contents may need to be modified for individual projects and site applications.