(A revision of Bulletin 130)
By R. J. WILMOT
UNIVERSITY OF FLORIDA
AGRICULTURAL EXTENSION SERVICE
COOPERATIVE EXTENSION WORK IN
AGRICULTURE AND HOME ECONOMICS
(Acts of May 8 and June 30, 1914)
AGRICULTURAL EXTENSION SERVICE, UNIVERSITY OF FLORIDA
FLORIDA STATE UNIVERSITY
AND UNITED STATES DEPARTMENT OF AGRICULTURE
H. G. CLAYTON, Director
BOARD OF CONTROL
Frank M. Harris, Chairman, St. Petersburg
N. B. Jordan, Quincy
Hollis Rinehart, Miami
Eli H. Fink, Jacksonville
George J. White, Sr., Mount Dora
W. F. Powers, Secretary, Tallahassee
STAFF, AGRICULTURAL EXTENSION SERVICE
J. Hillis Miller, Ph.D., President of the University'
J. Wayne Reitz, Ph.D., Provost for Agriculture'
H. G. Clayton, M.S.A., Director of Extension
Marshall O. Watkins, M.Agr., Assistant to the Director
AGRICULTURAL DEMONSTRATION WORK, GAINESVILLE
J. Francis Cooper, M.S.A., Editor1
Clyde Beale, A.B.J., Associate Editor'
J. Lee Smith, District Agent
K. S. McMullen, B.S.A., District Agent
F. S. Perry, B.S.A., District Agent
H. S. McLendon, B.A., Soil Conservationist
R. S. Dennis, B.S.A., Executive Officer, P. & M. Admin.2
W. W. Brown, B.S.A., Asst. Boys' Club Agent
C. W. Reaves, B.S.A., Dairy Husbandman
N. R. Mehrhof, M.Agr., Poultry Husbandman'
O. F. Goen, D.V.M., Animal Industrialist
A. W. O'Steen, B.S.A., Supervisor Egg-Laying Test, Chipley
L. T. Nieland, Farm Forester
C. V. Noble, Ph.D., Agricultural Economist'
Charles M. Hampson, M.S., Agricultural Economist, Farm Management'
D. E. Timmons, M.S.A., Economist in Marketing
F. W. Parvin, B.S.A., Associate Economist, Marketing and Farm Manage-
John M. Johnson, B.S.A., Agricultural Engineer
Fred P. Lawrence, B.S.A., Citriculturist
A. M. Pettis, B.S.A., Farm Electrification Specialist1
John D. Haynie, B.S.A., Apiculturist
V. L. Johnson, Rodent Control Specialist"
J. Russell Henderson, M.S.A., Agronomist'
F. S. Jamison, Ph.D., Vegetable Crop Specialist'
Stanley E. Rosenberger, M.Agr., Asst. Veg. Crop Specialist
Forrest E. Myers, M.Agr., Asst. Veg. Crop Specialist
James A. McGregor, B. S., Asst. Animal Industrialist
HOME DEMONSTRATION WORK, TALLAHASSEE
Mary E. Keown, M.S., State Agent
Ethyl Holloway, B.S., District Agent
Mrs. Edith Y. Barrus, B.S.H.E., District Agent
Anna Mae Sikes, M.S., District Agent
Joyce Bevis, A.M., Clothing Specialist
Mrs. Bonnie J. Carter, B.S., Home Improvement Specialist
Grace I. Neely, M.S., Asso. Economist in Food Conservation
Lorene Stevens, B.S., State Girls' 4-H Club Agent
Mrs. Gladys Kendall, A.B., Home Industries and Marketing Specialist
NEGRO EXTENSION WORK, TALLAHASSEE
Floy Britt, B.S.H.E., Negro Home Demonstration District Agent
J. A. Gresham, B.S.A., Negro District Agent
SCooperative, other divisions, U. of F.
SIn cooperation with U. S.
By R. J. WILMOT
Assistant Horticulturist, Florida Agricultural Experiment Station
The camellia is rapidly becoming more popular as a garden
shrub in the lower Atlantic, Gulf and Pacific coastal areas as its
value is learned by a widening circle of admirers. It can be used
for specimen plants, for massed effect, or for informal hedges or
borders. It furnishes cut flowers at a time when other flowers
are scarce and lends itself to a number of uses in artistic ar-
rangements. It is used extensively by florists for corsage work
and in bouquets. Having the scientific name Camellia japonica,
it is called camellia by some and japonica by others.
Belonging to the family Ternstroemaceae, the camellia has
a long and interesting history. The genus was named for a
Moravian Jesuit, George Joseph Kamel, who died in Manila in
1706. Camellia, from Kamel's Latinized name, Camellus, is pro-
nounced ca-mell-ia and not ca-mell-ya or ca-meel-ya. The first
plants on record, single and red, were grown in the greenhouses
of Lord Petre in England in 1739 but soon perished because they
were thought to be tropical and were kept over-warm.
In 1792 Capt. Connor of the East Indiaman Carnatic brought
the double white (Alba Plena) and double striped (Variegata) to
one of his patrons, John Slater, Esq., of London. Their advent
aroused a great deal of interest and by 1831, 26 varieties growing
in England were listed as having originated in China and 14
varieties had been produced from seed (in England). Thereafter
the number of varieties increased rapidly both in England and
on the continent.
In 1797 or 1798 John Stevens of Hoboken, N. J., imported a
plant of single red, and in 1800 Michael Floy brought a specimen
of Alba Plena from England to add to his collection. Within the
next three decades camellias were to be found in practically all
greenhouse collections in Boston, New York, Philadelphia, Balti-
more and Washington. In 1821 William Prince, nurseryman of
Flushing, L. I., listed 21 varieties for sale. In the meantime,
Michael Floy had set himself up in the nursery and florist
business. He produced and named 42 seedlings during his life-
time.- Practically every :variety produced&inEuropetounddits.
Florida Cooperative Extension
way into American collections as soon as it was available to
The importation of camellias from the Orient stopped for a
time until about 1880 when a few began to be exported from
Japan to England, Europe and the United States' Pacific Coast.
They were given English names in England and European names
on the continent, while on the Pacific Coast they either retained
their Japanese names or were given local names. Thus a variety
often had a multiplicity of names.
In the meantime, their popularity as a greenhouse plant had
declined in the cities of the Northeastern states, where they
were practically abandoned. There are only a few plants dat-
ing back to those early days. In the South and on the Pacific
Coast, where they had been planted in the open, there were
many stately old plants whose names had long since been for-
gotten but whose value became more and more evident. Nursery-
Fig. 1.-The Alba Plena is a long-time favorite white variety. It has
men started propagating from them, giving the varieties either
a local name or trying to establish their identity with the aid
of one of the old books. This resulted in a variety having dif-
ferent names in different parts of the country. As time has
gone on, more and more of these varieties have been identified
as old standard varieties.
There is such a multiplicity of forms and colors it is im-
possible to say which variety is the most popular. The double
white, or Alba Plena, is still a great favorite and one of the best
whites known. It is used by florists for corsages and yet is
a good garden plant because it opens well under most weather
Camellia japonica flowers become progressively more com-
plicated as the stamens and other flower parts are transformed
into petals or petaloids and the varieties will be discussed as they
fall into natural groups.
The first general group is known as Simple and is composed
of one or more rows of petals with a prominent cylinder of
stamens in the center. The cylinder of stamens may or may not
be broken into fascicles.
Single.-Those in the first sub-group are single and have a
corolla normally of five to seven petals, occasionally nine.
Varieties which fall in this class include Kimberly, brilliant
turkey red with a broad brush of stamens with red filaments.
Rising Sun is very similar but flowers at a different time and is
low growing, while Kimberley is erect. Amabilis is pure white
with a broad spread of golden anthers. Enchantress is soft rose
with a trumpet-shaped flower. Mrs. F. L. Gibson has a white
ground with rose stripes or splashes. Lafayette is a rose colored
single of good size, as is Hibiscus.
Semi-Double.-The semi-double sub-group has more than
seven petals and usually ranges from 14 to 20. In this class will
be found Tricolor, brought from China by Dr. Siebold. It is of
medium size, usually with a white ground broadly striped with
rose and red. It is very variable and may be found from self-
white to self-red with all combinations in between on the same
plant. Leucantha has been given as a name to the white form
Florida Cooperative Extension
and Folki to another fixed variation, while Lady de Saumerez
is the name of a rosy-red sport. Lady Vansittart is similar in
marking and size to Tricolor but has a more pleasing form. It
came from Japan and was named about 1886. There is a self-
red variation. About 1830 Dr. Siebold imported a variety from
Japan for M. Donckelear and in 1834 it was named Donckelarii
in his honor. It is found in various shades of red more or less
splotched with white. Monjisu, sometimes called California
Donckelarii, has fluted red petals more or less blotched with
white. It is said that the self-red variation has been called
Shisu. Semi-double Blush and Magnoliaeflora are light pink
varieties that are both very popular. Sara-sa has a salmon pink
ground speckled with darker pink. Imura is a fine large white.
Fig. 2.-Enchantress has simple flowers with a single corolla.
The second group, incomplete double, has numerous petals
and petaloids with single stamens or fascicles of stamens or both
intermixed, forming an irregular mass.
Petaloids Large.-In the first sub-group the inner petals,
which are really petaloids, are formed from fascicles of stamens.
Varieties in this class are typified by Latifolia, which is also
known as Fanny Bolis or Leeana Superba Variegated. It forms
a handsome shrub with shiny dark-green leaves. The flowers are
medium sized, red, blotched with white. A self-red sport of this
variety is known as Gloire de Nantes. Rev. John G. Drayton is
a soft pink with medium sized flowers. Rev. John Bennett is
also soft pink with a dash of white on the innermost petals and
Fig. 3.-Kumasaka is an incomplete double with all large petals.
8 Florida Cooperative Extension
is of large size. Lurie's Favorite (shown on cover) is a medium
to large flower which, under some conditions, becomes almost
violet. It has distinctive small crinkled leaves. Herme, which
has a white ground, is marked with two shades of red and may
vary from self-white to self-pink. Haku-Rakuten is a large pure
Petaloids Small.-In the second sub-group the stamens are
changed mostly to small strap-like petaloids and the typical
example is Elegans (Chandler's). It has a pink ground and is
more or less blotched with white.
Fig. 4.-Elegans is an incomplete double with small petaloids.
Petaloid Sizes Intermixed.-Some varieties vary in form from
the above sub-group to the third, which is a combination of the
first two. Gigantea, a very large turkey red mottled with white,
sometimes has a quantity of petaloids and at other times may
have large petals mixed with the petaloids. Pomponia Rubra,
a very late turkey red, has tufts of large and small petals inter-
mixed with stamens.
In the third general group, complete double, all of the sta-
Fig. 5.-The C. M. Hovey is a complete double, regular imbricated.
Florida Cooperative Extension
mens are changed over into petals or are hidden so they may not
Regular Imbricated.-The first sub-group is regular imbri-
cated, in which the petals overlap regularly as shingles on a
roof. Alba Plena, the double white, is a typical example, which
blooms early. Lallarook is a pleasing large, flat, soft rose more
or less mottled with white, whose flowers open from mid-season
to late. Prince Eugene Napoleon is a large, very regular flower,
turkey red in color, which opens in late mid-season. K. Sawada
is large, flat, mid-season, pure white. Mrs. Abby Wilder is a
mid-season variety with a light pink ground streaked with red
and infrequently will show a red blossom. The true C. M. Hovey,
which has been called Col. Firey and Mississippi Hastie, has a
large bright-red flower sometimes blotched with white.
Fig. 6.-A good example of a complete double, incomplete imbricated.
Incomplete Imbricated.-The second sub-group, incomplete
imbricated, is similar to the first except for a large rosebud-like
center which may or may not open to show stamens. If the
latter occurs, the individual is thrown back into the incomplete
double group with large petaloids, because the presence of sta-
mens excludes it from the complete double group. Mathotiana,
a very large mid-season variety, which shades from rose to very
deep red tinged with purple under various weather and soil con-
ditions, is a typical variety of this sub-group. Late in the season
Fig. 7.-Candidissima has tiered petals.
Florida Cooperative Extension
or in very warm seasons all the flowers may open to show
stamens. Otome, which shades from blush at the edge of the
petals to pale pink in the center, opens in mid-season. Matho-
tiana Alba, which is a large white with now and then a pink
stripe, opens mid-season to late in good weather. It has a pink
sport, Mathotiana Rosea. Marie Morren is a medium sized mid-
season red. Purity is a small to medium sized white which may
open to show stamens late in the season.
Tiered.-The petals in the third sub-group are tiered; that
is, they are laid one on top of the other to form a star-shaped
flower. The variety typical of this class is Incarnata or Lady
Hume's Blush, a small mid-season variety which is blush in
color. Candidissima is a pure, late white which falls into this
class but frequently fails to open properly. Other varieties show
individuals which are tiered now and then.
Irregular.-The fourth sub-group is irregular, in which all
the stamens are transformed into strap-like petaloids or are not
visible. Prof. C. S. Sargent, a bright red all-season variety, is
typical of this class and is one of the best for growing in full
sun. Debutante, a large soft pink, is one of the earliest varieties.
Warrath is very similar in form to Prof. C. S. Sargent but is
darker red and is one of the latest of varieties.
Fig. 8.-Professor Sargent is a complete double, irregular.
Species Other Than C. Japonica
Another species coming into favor is C. sasanqua, which dif-
fers from C. japonica in that it is more open and willowy in
growth and has comparatively small leaves. The flowers vary
from single to double but the latter are few in number. They
flower comparatively early and reach their peak of bloom in
November. Rosea is standard rose-colored single. Mine-no-yuki
is double white. Cleopatra is a red that varies from single to
double. Hiodoshi is a very large single, rose in color, mottled with
white. The flowers are characterized by a musky sweet odor.
C. saluenensis may have possibilities as a parent for hybrid-
ization because its flowers have a pure sweet scent. A hybrid
between it and C. japonica produced in England has been named
C. reticulata is characterized by its long, slender, veined leaves
and open growth. It is not widely distributed but more and more
plants are becoming available. Its semi-double rose-colored
flowers are about the last to open.
C. sinensis, the tea plant of commerce, makes a fairly good
By Seeds.-Camellias may be propagated by seeds, cuttings
or grafting. Seeds should be planted as soon as they are ripe,
usually in August and September, in flower pots or flats, or in the
open if they can be protected from rodents. If the seed coats are
nicked with a file they will germinate sooner because it takes a
considerable time for moisture to penetrate the hard seed coat.
They should be planted 1/ to 1 inch deep in good soil and mulched
with leaves. They will germinate in from two to four months.
At the end of the first summer's growth they should be lifted, the
taproot cut back to induce the growth of lateral roots and trans-
planted. Seedlings may flower at two years but usually several
years may pass before they flower. Too much cannot be ex-
pected from seedlings because the larger number of them will be
poor singles with only one or two in a thousand producing desir-
able flowers. Seedlings, however, make excellent stocks upon
which to graft choice varieties, provided they are transplanted
frequently enough to produce a compact root system.
By Cuttings.-Tip cuttings should be taken when the wood is
about half hardened (July-August-September). A box 7-9
Florida Cooperative Extenston
inches deep provided with good drainage is filled to within 2
inches of the top with clean, sharp sand. The cuttings with three
leaves intact are plunged in the sand at an angle so that the
leaves lie almost flat on the surface. A cheesecloth cover is pro-
vided and the box is set in a shady place and watered every day
through the cheesecloth.
Rooting may be hastened by treating the cuttings with one of
the root-inducing substances. The simplest to use are those with
a talc base. The base of the cutting is dampened with water and
plunged into the powder and the excess powder is removed by
tapping sharply against the top of the container.
Cuttings may root in six weeks and be ready for potting or
lining out. Rooted cuttings should be protected for the first few
months from intense cold or sun until their root system is estab-
lished. If they can be kept in a greenhouse or cold-frame they
will produce a flush of growth early in the spring before plants
in the open have started to grow, thus gaining half a season's
Plants propagated by cuttings will come true to the variety
from which they were taken, except in cases where the plant
itself may show considerable color variation; in this case the
cutting may follow one of the variations.
By Grafting.-A quick way to bring a new variety into large
size is to graft it on an old root system. This may be an un-
wanted variety, a seedling grown for that purpose, an old plant
that year after year fails to open properly, or a vigorous rooted
cutting grown for use as stock. Some propagators use sasanqua
understock extensively. Camellias may be grafted at any time
during the year when the stock is dormant but most grafting is
done in January and February just before new growth com-
mences. The period may be extended for sasanquas because they
do not send out their growth as early as japonicas. Summer
grafts are risky because of the succulent nature of the growth
and they may be lost during the cold weather because in late
summer and autumn they may not have hardened enough to
withstand the cold of winter in the open; however, half a sea-
son's growth may be gained in this manner.
The stock is cut off smoothly just above the surface of the
ground and, depending upon its size, is split once or even twice
with a chisel. If the trunk forks at the ground both limbs may
be used. The butt end of the scion, a tip cutting of vigorous
growth of the previous summer, is cut to a long tapering wedge
slightly thicker on one edge, and inserted, with the thick edge
toward the outside, in the cut or cleft in the stump which is held
open with a grafting tool or a screwdriver.
The growing area of a plant is between the bark and the
wood and is known as the cambium layer. To form a perfect
union, the cambium layers of the stock and scion must coincide
exactly. If the stump is quite small, pencil size for instance,
only one scion is put in; if it is 3/4 inch in diameter, a scion may
be put in at each side of the cleft; if still larger, a scion may be
put at each of two or more clefts which are cut at angles to each
other. Small stocks may have to be tied with a string to hold
the scion tightly in place and very large stocks wedged open to
prevent crushing the scion. After the graft has been made, the
whole is covered with clean soil up to the leaves on the scion or
packed with green sphagnum moss.
A wide-mouthed glass jar is then inverted over the graft and
shaded with a piece of burlap or some Spanish moss. When the
union is made and growth starts on the scion the glass jar is
removed. Growth up to three feet or more and even flower buds
may be expected from a graft on a large stump. A variety grown
from a graft may be expected to be the same as from which the
scion was taken, but frequently variegations appear that were
not found previously.
Camellias require an acid soil, well supplied with organic
matter and moisture. They will not tolerate an alkaline or
water-logged soil. Although some varieties do well in full sun,
most varieties do best in partial shade such as is furnished by
pine trees. This is because, in their native habitat, they are
found as under-shrubs in open forests. Such a situation is
naturally well supplied with organic matter from the decompos-
ing leaves of the surrounding trees. The shade afforded by the
trees is a great deal of protection during frosty weather and
allows a larger percentage of flowers to open without damage.
It also protects some of the tender sorts from sunburn. In the
latitude of northern Florida the foliage of many varieties also is
injured by frost and sun if planted in full exposure.
In selecting plants for the garden, pick out those with good
green color that are-free from scale. They are ordinarily-moved
16 Florida Cooperative Extension
from the nursery with a ball of earth on the roots, securely held
in place with burlap, and may be set in their new location with a
minimum of shock. Bare-rooted plants in small sizes, however,
may be moved when they are perfectly dormant and, if they are
cut back sufficiently and shaded, they will grow off without any
Much has been said about the preparation of the hole in
which the plant is to be set. The following seems to be the safest
manner in which to set a plant to keep it from being planted too
deep, a practice which has resulted in the poor growth or death
of many camellias. Set the balled plant on the ground which
has not been disturbed, mark around it and dig a small hole just
enough to sink the plant until the top of the earth ball under the
burlap is just even with the soil level and set the plant in this
hole. Then dig around the plant for a foot or two in all direc-
tions, removing the soil to a depth of about 11/2 feet, which will
leave the plant on a pedestal of undisturbed soil. Carefully re-
move all large roots from the excavated earth and pull out any
that may be in the pedestal. Mix half the excavated soil, par-
ticularly the top portion, with an equal amount of peat or com-
posted vegetable matter, adding about a pint of fertilizer to
every bushel and fill in around the plant. Pack down and water
well. Keep the plant well watered during the next two months.
If setting a bare-rooted plant, follow about the same pro-
cedure except that the plant cannot be left on the pedestal while
the outer part of the hole is dug. Cut back the top of a bare-
rooted plant to about one-half its former size to conform with
the reduction in its root system. A newly set bare-rooted plant
should be watered at least every other day, even if the soil seems
to be moist, to keep the leaves from drying out before the roots
start to function.
After the plants are set mulch them with oak leaves, pine
straw, peat, or any other readily available vegetable material.
Fertilizing and Culture
It is said that camellias are very slow growing, but this is not
true if they are furnished with sufficient fertilizer and water. A
well fed plant may put on shoot growth up to 18 inches a year.
A heavily fertilized plant, however, is likely to produce a maxi-
mum of vegetative growth and few flowers. When plants are
small, it is best to sacrifice flowers for growth.
Camellia Growing 17
A satisfactory fertilizer for camellias should leave an acid
reaction and be in the range 4-7-5 to 6-8-8. Any commercial
mixture in that range with an acid base is satisfactory and most
seed and fertilizer stores carry an azalea-camellia special mix-
ture. If a ready-mixed fertilizer is not available, the following
formula can be mixed: 1 part ammonium sulphate, 23/parts
cottonseed meal, milorganite or castor pomace, 1% parts sul-
phate of potash, 31/2 parts superphosphate, and 1 part of agri-
cultural sulphur. A double handful, or about 1/2 pound, should
be applied in a thin band under the spread of a 2-foot plant. The
first application can be made in the period from November 15
to just after the plants finish flowering. A second application is
made in June. Apply it on top of the mulch and water it in.
If a large plant is growing in an area in competition with tree
roots, plug the fertilizer by placing it in holes punched in the
Fig. 9.-The Jarvis Red is heavy blooming and fast growing, a very
satisfactory garden shrub.
Florida Cooperative Extension
ground with a sharp stick or rod under the ends of the branches.
Holes should be spaced 18 to 24 inches apart. About 1/2 cupful
of fertilizer should be placed in each and covered.
Barnyard manure is a good fertilizing material as well as soil
conditioner. It may be spread 3 to 4 inches deep over the surface
about the plants and covered with mulch.
To keep the plants in the best of condition, maintain a mulch
around them at all times. A mulch helps to conserve water and
keep the soil cool in hot weather and warm in cool weather. It
also supplies a certain amount of plant food and growth sub-
stances to the plants as it decomposes. A mulch may be com-
posed of pine needles, leaves, grass clippings, bagasse, peat, pine
bark, sawdust or barnyard manure. Camellias are very shallow
rooted and should not be cultivated other than to remove objec-
The plant should be supplied with water at all times and must
have good drainage. When in a flush of growth or flowering,
the ground should be thoroughly soaked at least once a week and
plants sprayed with water frequently. When the flower buds are
in process of enlarging, the plants will require quantities of
water because many of the buds will shed if the plants become
Pests and Pest Control
Camellias are attacked by four species of scale-insects-tea
scale, peony scale, camellia scale and Florida red scale. The tea
scale is quite small but multiplies rapidly and, if not controlled,
will cover the undersides of the leaves. It exudes a waxy ma-
terial that makes the underside of the leaf appear as though it
were covered with white fuzz. The camellia scale appears as a
minute elongated oyster shell and makes itself known by a tell-
tale light spot on the upperside of the leaf directly over its posi-
tion on the under surface. Florida red scale appears as a round
brownish-red scale up to the size of the head of a pin and, when
numerous, may be found on the upper surface as well as the
lower. A heavy infestation of it or tea scale will require per-
sistent efforts to eradicate. Peony scale, which may also be a
serious pest of azaleas, is found on the twigs and branches. It is
dark grey to brown or black, almost circular in shape with a
high back. It is not widely distributed in Florida.
All of the scales may be controlled by spraying or washing
with a white oil emulsion of the mayonnaise type, using a 1 per-
cent dilution if the infestation is light and one or more applica-
tions of a 2 percent dilution if the infestation is heavy. The
first application is made as soon as danger of frost is over, fol-
lowed by a second application in six weeks. A clean-up appli-
cation can be made in late fall. Application should never be
made if the temperature is above 85 degrees Fahrenheit.
A new insecticide, parathion, has become generally available
and, though it is very toxic to humans, it can be used safely if
the manufacturers' recommendations for safety measures are
followed. It will control scale if used at the rate of 2 pounds of
15 percent wettable powder per 100 gallons of water, or 2 level
tablespoons per gallon. It will not burn the plant foliage in
either hot or cold weather.
Only those insects that are touched with spray material will
be killed, so utmost care must be taken to have complete cover-
age, particularly on the undersides of the leaves, where most of
the scale are found.
Plant lice or aphids attack the new growth and may be con-
trolled with a nicotine, pyrethrum or rotenone dust, or para-
thion, used at the rate of 1 level tablespoon per gallon of water.
During dry, hot weather red spider or mites may attack the
foliage, giving it a grey or brownish appearance, particularly
along the middle of the leaf. They may be controlled by the use
of a sulphur dust, frequent hosings with water, or spraying with
parathion at the same rate as for aphids.
Camellias are infrequently attacked by root-knot and this
trouble can be alleviated by the use of the recommended mulches.
The most common disease that attacks camellias is known as
diebackk" or "twig blight." When it is present a twig or branch
or even the whole plant suddenly dries up, with the leaves intact.
Twigs or branches so affected should be pruned back to live
green wood and the plant covered with a bordeaux or Flordo
Two troubles affecting camellias have similar symptoms and
are almost impossible to distinguish as to which is the causal
agent. One is camellia scab and the other is corky excresence. Ca-
mellia scab is a fungous disease and forms corky outgrowths or
pustules on the leaves and could be controlled by fungicidal spray.
Corky excrescence is non-parasitic and is probably physiological
in nature. It is thought to be caused by some damage to the
Florida Cooperative Extension
root system which may have been the result of poor drainage,
over fertilization or a toxic condition caused by some chemical.
It is known that camellias may be infected with one or more
viruses. In only one case has it been demonstrated that there
is much effect on plant vigor. Leaf and flower sizes in Kumaska
Variegated are both reduced by the virus. A virus is also re-
sponsible for the break in self-colored flowers after grafting. To
be sure that a self-colored flower is to be perpetuated it is neces-
sary to be sure that the stock on which the scion is to be grafted
is free of virus.
There has been considerable loss of rooted cuttings from root-
rot in some nurseries. The losses have occurred in coldframes and
in beds of one, two and three-year-old plants. The root-rot is
more prevalent in moist soil but has been found in well drained
areas and some varieties are more susceptible than others. It
may be controlled by planting in well drained soil and by steriliz-
ing cold frames with commercial formaldehyde diluted 1 to 50,
applied at the rate of 1/2 gallon of the dilution per square foot.
The soil should be covered with heavy paper for 48 hours and
then aerated for at least 10 days, or until all odor of the formalde-
hyde is gone. Sasanqua has never been found to be infected.
Infrequently plants are killed by mushroom root-rot, for
which there is no control. If a plant is killed by this disease do
not reset a plant in the same place because it is only a question
of time until it also will be killed, unless the soil is treated with
some material such as formaldehyde.
Leaf gall may sometimes affect new growth, causing it to be
swollen, misshapen and covered with a powdery substance. Af-
fected parts should be hand picked and burned. A heavy in-
festation can be controlled with an application of low-lime
Although it has appeared so far only in greenhouses in the
Southeast, there is another possible disease to be watched for.
It is camellia flower blight, which attacks the flowers, as does
azalea flower spot, causing the entire flower to turn brown in 24
to 48 hours. Methods of control have not been devised. If such
a disease is suspected, send flowers immediately to the Plant
Pathologist at the State Agricultural Experiment Station.
Flowers are frequently damaged during cold, rainy weather
and turn brown and rot, but this is quite different from the
camellia flower blight.