weird leaf mutation on Camellia japonica

Discussion in 'Plants: Science and Cultivation' started by gardenmistress2003, Mar 3, 2005.

  1. gardenmistress2003

    gardenmistress2003 Member

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    I have noticed mutated leaves on a number of Camellias this Winter/ Spring. They are sort of cupped and attached to other leaves and some are curled as though the mid rib is shortened.
    At first I thought they were galls, but they don't seem to have spores or the usual colouring that I've seen on other leaf galls.
    Does anyone know what this might be? The plants are otherwise healthy and flowering. They are also in very different environments.
     
  2. Ralph Walton

    Ralph Walton Active Member 10 Years

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    PLEASE, please call 604-666-4179 ASAP. This is the Camelia recall hotline (1-877-666-4179 outside Vancouver).
    One of the symptoms of Sudden Oak Death in Camelias is "otherwise unexplained leaf lesions". About 1500 Camelias were imported last year from Monrovia nurseries in California, and several have been found to be infected with SOD.
    The Canadian Food Inspection Agency will send an inspector to determine if your plant may have this particular problem. Until then they ask that you do not touch the plant, don't take a sample to a nursery or anywhere else.
    Your plants may have no such infection, but if they do, it is definitely not a 'do it yourself' process. I sincerely hope I'm over-reacting.
    Good luck, Ralph
     
  3. Ron B

    Ron B Paragon of Plants 10 Years

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    SOD on camellia is lesions, not cupping. The cupping etc is common to these. I don't know what causes it.
     
  4. mr.shep

    mr.shep Well-Known Member 10 Years

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    Let's see some photos to better know what gardenmistress
    means by cupping.

    The problem could just be salt build up or compacted
    or compressed soil with not enough aeration. The
    edges of Camellia leaves will tend to curl downward
    and sometimes curl under the leaf due to salts and
    sometimes due to too much Nitrogen. Improper pH
    of the soil medium can result in deformed leaves.
    Leaves affixed to each other or placed on top of each
    other usually indicates insect damage. SOD lesions
    on Camellias are generally first seen on the soft tissue
    twigs, not the leaves.

    Jim
     
  5. Ralph Walton

    Ralph Walton Active Member 10 Years

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    Thanks for weighing in on this Ron & Jim. I spent a couple of days this week with folks from the CFIA and while it was not part of our agenda, SOD was definitely a very current concern for them. Hence my reaction (or over-reaction if you wish).
    Ralph
     
  6. gardenmistress2003

    gardenmistress2003 Member

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    Ralph,
    Thanks for your response. I don't think it is SOD, but I will call the hotline just to be safe. The plants I noticed are in new (this year) gardens, so the plants themselves were planted Spring/Summer 2004, therefore I do want to make sure they are safe. As far as I know, none of the stock came from Monrovia Nurseries.
    As to the other replies, they are all planted in new, imported soil/ compost media so I can't see it being poor pH balance. Perhaps I should get a pH test just to rule it out.
    I will submit some photos on Tuesday when I am back at that property.
    Thanks everyone.
    Deborah
     
  7. Ron B

    Ron B Paragon of Plants 10 Years

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    I'd expect an artificial planting medium to be MORE likely to come with/develop a dramatic pH/nutrient problem than analtered native soil, myself.
     
  8. mr.shep

    mr.shep Well-Known Member 10 Years

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    Ron, precisely right as Camellias always have
    done better grown in soil, even alkaline soil to
    an extent, rather than being grown in artificial
    mediums. The books get a little carried away
    with the fast drainage issue. Camellias can
    tolerate slow drainage as long as the water does
    indeed drain so that there is no standing water
    around the root systems for prolonged periods
    of time. Fast drainage applies more for container
    grown plants rather than Camellias grown in the
    ground. High levels of artificial soil for Camellias
    grown in the ground, unless used as a top dress
    only, is just asking for trouble later. Premature
    or not properly treated compost in the root zones
    can easily stunt growth and possibly kill off root
    systems for Camellias.

    Jim
     
  9. Ron B

    Ron B Paragon of Plants 10 Years

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    Natural topsoil is ancient and complex, really a community rather than a material.
     
  10. I have a 7ft 6" high camellia japonic 'Nagasaki'. It has always flowered to profusion with robust waxy petals. This year all seemed well until the first 100 or so floweres came out and then they all went soft & obviously in their death throws. Leaves have been somewhat curled for the pst year. HELP. This is my best camellia. I did have wine weevil beetle problem for a couple of years but none last year. WHAT can be wrong? If anyone can help I will be more than grateful.
    Laurie Milner - UK


     

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