Tag Archive: Camellia

Cool, Wet Spring Favors Azalea and Camellia Leaf Gall

Cool, Wet Spring Favors Azalea and Camellia Leaf Gall

Do you have azaleas or camellias with leaves that are thickened, curled and waxy in appearance? This is fairly common this year and is caused by a fungus.

Camellia leaf gall on Sasanqua Camellia. Note swollen, malformed leaves. Photo credit: Larry Williams

Camellia leaf gall on Sasanqua Camellia. Note swollen, malformed leaves. Photo credit: Larry Williams

Exobasidium vaccinii is a fungus that causes leaves, and in some cases flower petals, to enlarge abnormally and is commonly referred to as azalea leaf and flower gall.

Infected azalea and camellia leaves become large and distorted. Eventually a white powder covers the galls. The white growth consists of spores, which is how the fungus reproduces. Galls ultimately turn brown and harden. Not every leaf will be infected.

The disease relies on airborne spores produced in the whitish mold on the surface of galls in late spring to early summer to reproduce. Some plant pathologists believe that once the spores are released, they are blown and washed to leaf and flower buds where they cause new infections. Galls then form the following spring. Other plant pathologists think that the spores are produced the following year from the old dried, brown galls that fell to the ground around infected plants the previous year. In spring, the spores blow and splash onto new leaves and petals as they emerge causing infection. One or both lines of thought may be true. But in either case, it’s important to remove and dispose of infected leaves before they turn white with spores.

Once you see evidence of infected leaves, it’s too late for chemical control. Besides, there currently is no effective or practical fungicide to control this disease in home landscapes. But you can reduce the amount of infection the following year by pruning infected leaves and throwing them away before spores develop. After removing infected leaves with galls, never leave them on the ground around the plants.

It’s best to bury, burn or place infected leaves in a plastic bag and throw them away. This disease is more severe during a cool, wet spring, which we experienced this year. It’s advisable to not add to the problem by artificially providing the “wet weather” the spores need by frequently using an overhead sprinkler and keeping the foliage wet in the spring during disease development. This is exactly what this and many other plant diseases need – wet conditions. It’s best to water established landscape plants on an as needed basis.

In the home landscape, the fungus does not cause any long-term problems for the plant. It just makes the plant’s leaves look ugly. Infected leaves will usually fall prematurely.

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Author: Larry Williams – llw5479@ufl.edu

Larry Williams is the County Extension Director and Residential Horticulture Agent for the UF/IFAS Extension Office in Okaloosa County.

Larry Williams

Permanent link to this article: http://franklin.ifas.ufl.edu/newsletters/2016/05/13/cool-wet-spring-favors-azalea-and-camellia-leaf-gall/

What’s Wrong with My Camellia Leaves?

What’s Wrong with My Camellia Leaves?

Recently, a home gardener brought in some strange looking new leaves on his camellia. The youngest leaves were thick and fleshy and looked more characteristic of a succulent type plant than a camellia. What’s wrong with these leaves?

Camellia leaf gall infection resulting in fleshy yellow and pink leaves. Note the contrast with a healthy uninfected leaf. Photo credit: Mary Derrick, UF/IFAS.

Camellia leaf gall infection resulting in fleshy light green and pink leaves. Note the contrast with a healthy uninfected leaf. Photo credit: Mary Derrick, UF/IFAS.

The culprit is a fungus Exobasidium camelliae whose spores are carried by the wind in search of camellias. This fungus infects camellias, especially sasanquas; it will not infect any other plant species. The disease it causes is known as camellia leaf gall and is most commonly seen here in the Florida panhandle in April. The frequent wet weather this winter and spring created favorable conditions for disease development.

The symptoms of the disease are easy to distinguish and really stand out against the typical dark green leaves of the camellia. Leaves become thick and fleshy and the color ranges from light green to cream to pink. As the disease progresses and the galls mature, the lower leaf surfaces of the leaves will peel away to reveal a white underside laden with fungal spores. Wind and rain will take these new spores to other parts of the camellia or other camellias in the vicinity where they will lay dormant and cause infection the following spring. Eventually the galls will turn brown and dry up.

The underside has pealed away revealing white fungal spores. Photo credit: Mary Derrick, UF/IFAS Extension.

The underside has pealed away revealing white fungal spores. Photo credit: Mary Derrick, UF/IFAS Extension.

Camellia leaf gall is not a serious disease that requires chemical intervention for the homeowner. Simply remove the galls and put them in the trash. The earlier you remove the galls the better; the risk of further infection can be reduced if the galls are removed before the undersides peel and expose their spores. Any that have fallen to the ground can spread the disease and need to be removed.

 

 

For more information:

Camellias at a Glance

Camellia Leaf Gall

 

 

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Author: Mary Derrick – mderrick@ufl.edu

Residential Horticulture Extension Agent for Santa Rosa County

Mary Derrick

Permanent link to this article: http://franklin.ifas.ufl.edu/newsletters/2016/04/21/whats-wrong-with-my-camellia-leaves/

Camellia Season Approaches

Camellia Season Approaches

camellia class

Camellia flowers

White by the Gate, Magnoliaeflora, and Spellbound camellia flowers

Are you looking for an evergreen shrub with showy flowers in the fall or winter? Look no further than an old Southern favorite, the camellia.

Large camellias dot landscapes of historic homes throughout the Florida Panhandle, and although they look like they’ve been here forever.

Camellias are not native to North America, but were originally brought here from Asia in 1797. There are many different types, but the most common camellias found in Florida are Camellia sasanqua which bloom in the fall (October – December) and Camellia japonica with larger leaves and a later bloom time of January through March. Some other types of camellias are Camellia reticulata, C. hiemalis, C. vernails and their hybrids; and Camellia sinensis is the source of tea which is made from the young leaves of this plant.

Flower colors range from a crisp white to a deep crimson and there are even some cultivars with variegated flowers! There are six recognized flower forms and they are single, semi-double, anemone, peony, formal double, and rose form double. Although most camellias have the potential to get over ten feet tall and five feet wide, there are some that grow slower and can be maintained at lower heights. Camellia sasanqua ‘Bonanza’ and C. sasanqua ‘Shishi Gashira’ have more horizontal branching habits and can be kept under five feet tall, however they will need more width than a more upright growing camellia.

Camellia sasanqua 'Bonanza' flower

Camellia sasanqua ‘Bonanza’

When choosing a site for your camellia, look for an area with light shade, good air flow, and well-drained soil. Test your soil to determine pH and fertilizer needs before planting; soil testing kits can be picked up at your local county extension office. Camellias prefer acidic soil with a target pH range of 5.0 to 6.5, and benefit from organic matter amendments in sandy soil. Plant camellias slightly higher than the natural grade; dig a hole that is wide and shallow. After planting check that the top of the root ball is one to two inches above the soil line to allow for some settling. Mulching helps to conserve moisture and regulate soil temperatures, but be careful not to cover the root ball with thick mulch layers.
For more information about camellias and their care in Florida, please see Camellias at a Glance at http://edis.ifas.ufl.edu/pdffiles/EP/EP00200.pdf .

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Author: Julie McConnell – juliebmcconnell@ufl.edu

UF/IFAS Bay County Horticulture Extension Agent I

Julie McConnell

Permanent link to this article: http://franklin.ifas.ufl.edu/newsletters/2015/10/15/camellia-season-approaches/

Camellia Flowers that Fail to Open

Camellia Flowers that Fail to Open

Do you have camellia plants with flower buds that fail to open? Here are possible causes for this problem.

  • Stress – Drought is the primary stress that inhibits buds from opening.
  • Too many buds on a plant results in the plant not having reserves for each bud to open.
  • Warm weather during fall may inhibit early blooming varieties from flowering properly.
  • Freeze damage – Most of our Camellia japonica cultivars produce flower buds and bloom during the winter. As the flower buds begin to swell, and particularly as they begin to open, the flower buds become more susceptible to freeze injury. Freeze injured flower buds fail to open. Also, plants located in colder areas of the landscape will be more susceptible to cold injury. Camellia sasanqua cultivars are less likely to experience cold injury to their flower buds because they bloom mostly during fall and early winter when we are less likely to experience freezing temperatures.
    Partially opened freeze injured camellia flower, Photo credit: Larry Williams

    Partially opened freeze injured camellia flower, Photo credit: Larry Williams

    Partially opened camellia flower bud with discolored (brown) petals due to cold injury, Photo credit: Larry Williams

    Partially opened camellia flower bud with discolored (brown) petals due to cold injury, Photo credit: Larry Williams

    The early freeze that occurred during mid November 2014 and the more recent freeze in early January 2015 may be responsible for some of the flower bud injury on earlier and later blooming camellia plants here in north Florida this season.

  • Another situation may have to do with the specific variety. Thirty plus years ago people planted any camellia they could find because there was a more limited selection. Even though camellias have been part of our southern landscapes for many years, they are native to parts of Asia. Over the years there have been more introductions of cultivars. Some are not well adapted to our colder winters. Some camellia cultivars are not well adapted to the gulf coast and thus won’t flower well even though they may grow well here. This is why some varieties are favored in Seattle, some do better in England and others perform well here. You’d be wise to select cultivars that are known to do well in our area.

For more information on camellias, contact the UF/IFAS Extension Office in your County or visit http://edis.ifas.ufl.edu/ep002 to access the publication, “Camellias at a Glance.”

 

 

 

 

 

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Author: Larry Williams – llw5479@ufl.edu

Larry Williams is the County Extension Director and Residential Horticulture Agent for the UF/IFAS Extension Office in Okaloosa County.

Larry Williams

Permanent link to this article: http://franklin.ifas.ufl.edu/newsletters/2015/01/27/camellia-flowers-that-fail-to-open/

Camellia japonica ‘Magnoliaeflora’- A Worthwile Choice

 Recently, I was working on a camellia identification project in a forgotten camellia garden of about 60  plants. Most camellias I observed were not yet in flower but one in particular caught my eye. I later identified this eye catcher as Camellia japonica ‘Magnoliaeflora’.

 

Flower of Camellia japonica 'Magnoliaeflora' Image Credit Matthew Orwat

Flower of Camellia japonica ‘Magnoliaeflora’
Image Credit Matthew Orwat

 

Magnoliaeflora is so named due to its off white magnolia formed semi-double flowers. It’s petals have a distinctive curl and can sometimes resemble a star. Plants are slow-growing but can reach six feet tall and four feet wide after several decades. This slow growth makes it ideal for smaller landscapes where some giant japonica cultivars would be out-of-place.

Its buds and flowers are resistant to cold temperatures, thus flowering is able to occur in mid January, a tad earlier than many other japonicas. This classic camellia should be tried in more Northwest Florida landscapes, particularly newer ones where camellias seem all but absent.

Flower of Camellia japonica 'Magnoliaeflora' Image Credit Matthew Orwat

Flower of Camellia japonica ‘Magnoliaeflora’
Image Credit Matthew Orwat

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Author: Matthew Orwat – mjorwat@ufl.edu

Matthew J. Orwat started his career with UF / IFAS in 2011 and is the Horticulture Extension Agent for Washington County Florida. His goal is to provide educational programming to meet the diverse needs of and provide solutions for homeowners and small farmers with ornamental, turf, fruit and vegetable gardening objectives. Please feel free to contact him with any questions you may have.
http://washington.ifas.ufl.edu/lng/about/

Matthew Orwat

Permanent link to this article: http://franklin.ifas.ufl.edu/newsletters/2014/01/27/camellia-japonica-magnoliaeflora-a-worthwile-choice/

Camellia Grafting Class Saturday January 18th

Camellia Grafting Class Saturday January 18th

 

Want to learn how to graft Camellias?

Graft your favorite cultivar onto an adapted rootstock!

Saturday January 18th 9:00am – 12:00pm CST !

 

camellia class

  • Join us to learn how to graft your favorite camellia cultivar onto an adapted rootstock
  • You can take home your own grafted camellia
  • Hosted by Maphis Tree Farm and UF IFAS Extension Washington County
  •  You will engage in hands on grafting of Camellias for your gar-den. You will take home a grafted Camellia of your own All sup-plies will be furnished by Maphis Tree Farm at a cost of only $ 30.00 per person
  •  Maphis Tree Farm 1534 orange Hill Hwy Chipley, FL.
  •  Call or Email Maphis Tree Farm toregister at 850-638-8243maphistreefarm@bellsouth.net

Click Here to download the flyer 

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Author: Matthew Orwat – mjorwat@ufl.edu

Matthew J. Orwat started his career with UF / IFAS in 2011 and is the Horticulture Extension Agent for Washington County Florida. His goal is to provide educational programming to meet the diverse needs of and provide solutions for homeowners and small farmers with ornamental, turf, fruit and vegetable gardening objectives. Please feel free to contact him with any questions you may have.
http://washington.ifas.ufl.edu/lng/about/

Matthew Orwat

Permanent link to this article: http://franklin.ifas.ufl.edu/newsletters/2014/01/14/camellia-grafting-class-saturday-january-18th/