Camellia – Freeze Damage to Leaves

Q: This happened in January to my Camellia japonicas so it can’t be scorch because we don’t have so much light or heat at this time of year.

A: This looks like freeze damage to me.

I sometimes see yellow splotching like this from scale insects. But if you had a tea scale infestation the center of the leaves would be yellow mottled, not the edges. The red splotches indicate cold damage. I see cold damage to nearby flower buds too.

Damage can vary between camellia varieties and from year to year. My guess is that the warm fall led to this happening this year in January’s cold. Late fertilization and wet weather can also lead to damage.

Usually this is not a big deal. The leaves stay put and new ones grow in spring.




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