Diseases that Harm Your Camellias

Camellias are extremely popular shrubs that bloom exceptionally bright and large flowers. It is possible for these plants to live up to 100 years. To ensure that they have a long healthy life, it is imperative that you understand the diseases that can harm or even kill your camellia.


  • Algal leaf spot is a disease that shows up as round leaf spots with wavy edges. Causes for this disease include a combination of low air and an abundance of overhead water.
  • Armillaria, caused by fungus, can lead to sudden death for the camellia. Because it starts in the roots, this can be difficult to spot. Look for mushrooms to pop up near the base of the tree. Root rot will occur with a slimy, fungal type growth.


  • Virus variegation is probably the most common fungal disease for camellias. Your plant will have light green or yellow streaks. There is no cure for this disease, but fortunately, your plant can still live with it.
  • Dieback can occur when fungus enters a plant wound. Without warning, the camellia will wilt and die. Dieback symptoms include the leaves turning a dull green, then brown. Look for dead areas on the stem, called cankers, as well as spore masses surrounding the canker that are reddish orange.
  • Flower blight, and airborne fungus, will cause the flowers to become brown, hard and eventually fall off.


  • Make sure your soil provides excellent drainage.
  • Keep the areas surrounding them clean and the tools sanitized.
  • Good air circulation is also essential.