Camellia

Discussion in 'Woody Plants' started by K Baron, Feb 12, 2006.

  1. K Baron

    K Baron Well-Known Member

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    Hello

    I have discovered a soot-like, charcoal colored , paper thin film adhearing onto my

    Camellia shrubs...what is this? and what is the cause of this?

    I can remove it by rubbing it off the waxy leaf surface...I am stumped and horrified by

    this unsightly appearance...
     
  2. jimmyq

    jimmyq Well-Known Member 10 Years

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    likely sooty mold. scale and or aphids can be the predicator.
     
  3. K Baron

    K Baron Well-Known Member

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    please remove from forum
    thankyou
    K Baron
     
  4. Daniel Mosquin

    Daniel Mosquin Paragon of Plants UBC Botanical Garden Forums Administrator Forums Moderator 10 Years

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    I'm not sure I understand. What are you requesting be removed?
     
  5. K Baron

    K Baron Well-Known Member

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    Hello Daniel,
    Due to lack responses to my thread..camellia... thought that it should be removed from the system, however, the topic may be of value to others with similar experiences with this mold?
     
  6. Daniel Mosquin

    Daniel Mosquin Paragon of Plants UBC Botanical Garden Forums Administrator Forums Moderator 10 Years

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    I can't recall a single thread I've ever removed that was on-topic and with potentially insightful discussion - nor would I want to start doing so, as my workload on the forums is only going to increase in the near future.

    Best to just let it be, it'll either scroll down or someone will come along and post a lengthy response.
     
  7. Ron B

    Ron B Paragon of Plants 10 Years

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    Adding to previous comments, what to do for this fairly common problem is look for source of sweet, sticky excretions ('honeydew') that sooty mold is growing on, eliminate that. Aphids on trees above (such as birches or Norway maples) are likely perpetrators; camellias specifically can be prone to scale insects that will become rather large and visible on stems and leaves.
     
  8. mr.shep

    mr.shep Well-Known Member 10 Years

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    I did not know there was a sense of urgency for this
    condition. It may help for us to see some photos of
    your Camellia to better know what has caused what
    you feel is an unsightly problem. Most likely it is
    a sooty mold that has come about from as a result of
    a scale insect. Then again it is not out of bounds for
    your Camellia to have black algae either which can
    come about from high moisture and lack of direct
    light. It is common this time of year for us to see
    a sooty mold on many of our South facing leaves on
    our Citrus. The mold as a result of honeydew also
    caused by scale will turn a more intense black color
    here due to air pollution from smoke particulates
    usually from people using wood stoves or their
    fire places on the valley floor. The mold is easy
    enough to wash off with a hose but depending on
    how widespread this condition is a high pressure
    hand sprayer with water and a little bit of vinegar
    added will help wash the mold off and keep it off.
    The scale is another issue as there must be a lot of
    it for the sooty mold to be so much of a problem.
    In this case an insecticidal soap added into the
    mixture along with water and vinegar will help
    but you will also have to thoroughly spray the
    Camellia including the undersides of the leaves
    to have any affect on the Cottony Cushion scale
    that you probably have. The sooty mold is the
    least of your concerns as it is the insect and how
    difficult it can be to suppress that will cause you
    much more trouble later if left untreated. Even
    with some organophosphate insecticides this
    insect can still become hard to stop if the insect
    has become too established. Water sprays and
    insecticidal soaps may not have any real impact
    on this scale if the infestation has gotten too far
    along. If the insect cannot be treated or at least
    slowed down by a low grade enhanced dousing
    of the mixture then you may have to use a high
    powered insecticide just to save your Camellia.
    Yes, in that sense there is indeed a sense of
    urgency here. Even if you have a black algae
    which I’ve seen on Camellias grown in the
    foothills in the nearby Sierras your only real
    recourse may to be hand wipe each and every
    leaf and then go in and use an algaecide spray
    which will not be of any benefit to your plants
    root system as you risk killing the plant in order
    to try to save it.

    Jim
     
  9. oscar

    oscar Active Member

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    i would never use "organophosphate insecticides" again, i am sure it effected my health....anyway back to your camellia, did you discover wether it was aphids or scale insect?
    ooops, nearly forgot, if you are considering using organophosphate pesticides, get your tolerance level checked by a Doctor.
     
  10. Ron B

    Ron B Paragon of Plants 10 Years

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    Always wear protective gear when applying pesticides.
     
  11. mr.shep

    mr.shep Well-Known Member 10 Years

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    I am not advocating the use of any pesticide for
    what I suspect is probably scale damage. Even
    today I used a hand sprayer with a mixture of
    water and some vinegar for a spot of Cottony
    Cushion scale I found on our Mexican Lime.
    All I am saying is that once this scale becomes
    established it can be a real bear cat to get rid of.
    In some cases even some organophosphate
    sprays may not get rid of it soon enough and
    even then this scale can still come back on us.
    Timing of our water sprays is far more important
    in dealing with this pest for early preventative
    action. Besides, Camellias like having their
    "faces" (surface of the leaves) washed after
    they bloom and all through a dry and dusty
    Summer here. So, we can accomplish more
    good than we thought just with water alone.

    Jim
     
  12. K Baron

    K Baron Well-Known Member

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    Wow, as I become more familiar with this amazing web site, I would just like to say a Big Thankyou for everyones' expert advice and very insightful comments.
    Back to my Camellia, I manually removed the aphids, and the tender growth up to Christmas, I can see where the insects secrections would attract the mold/ black papery film , especially on the north facing leaves. I will be more diligent when it comes to maintaining the health of my 30 year old shrubs...now if this cold spell would
    head back northward...happy pre spring gardening to all.
     

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