Sasanqua Camellia – Powdery Substance on Leaves

Q: There is a powdery substance on the back of my sasanqua camellia leaves.

A: My bet is that it is tea scale. This insect population can explode on a camellia if unchecked for a couple of years. You might notice that lower leaves are black, due to the sooty mold that grows on the honeydew these sucking insects produce. The best control is horticultural oil (neem oil, Sunspray, etc) applied to the back of all leaves. The oil suffocates the creatures. Best time to spray is fall, when temperatures are above 50 degrees, and again in late spring, when daytime temperatures are reliably above 55 degrees.

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