Q: I have two camellias that were planted last May. They got brown spots on the leaves and now the spots are turning white. Do you know what’s wrong with them?
A: This is a good example of what happens when a broadleafed evergreen shrub is planted in May (it should have been done in fall).
With limited root systems during June and July the camellias simply didn’t have the energy or resources to supply water properly to the leaves. The leaves became susceptible to leaf spot diseases that would not normally be a threat.
The good news is that the camellias have “fenced off” the damage on the leaves successfully. The leaf spots have not spread much and the dead tissue has turned white. There are plenty more healthy leaves.
One of your two plants seems to be thriving but the other looks weak. The weak one needs attention. Feed it with an organic fertilizer (or with slow release camellia fertilizer) in April. When hot weather returns, make sure it gets a couple of gallons of water each week.
No disease sprays are necessary. Make the plants healthy and they will recover on their own.