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Sara 4

I have a Camellia in a small inherited raised bed which it shares with a variegated laurel, 2 runnery roses (which I have cut back), a buddleia (which I have cut down) and god knows what else.  The bed is only about 6 foot by four foot and everything in it is mature;  I can't dig anything out at the moment, because there is a Yellowhammer nesting in there somewhere.

The Camellia leaves have started yellowing and it only had 2 flowers on it earlier in the year.  I have been giving this bed a great deal of water because there's so much in there.  Is it likely to be overcrowding that's affecting the Camellia or has it got some horrible disease?


what water? if it's from the tap probably the cause, rainwater only for ericaceous plants.. you can fill buckets from tap and leave a week or so, but tap water(hose) big no no.

Sara 4

Aah, that would be it then .... It was SO dry here that we had emptied our rainwater butts and reverted to the hosepipe.  It didn't occur to me (and I don't think I knew that camellias were ericaceous anyway!).  Thank you very much Ben.

If the leaves are yellowing it's probably magnesium deficiency. As Camellias are acid-loving plants, yours will benefit greatly from an ericaceous feed. I'd give it a few fortnightly liquid feeds now and then longer term a granular feed in Autumn. Rainwater is definitley best. I'd also mulch with some ericaeous compost. I have 2 in pots and 1 in the ground and do this every year

spray with sequesterene.  this is the solution

dont water so much. plants wont like being constantly wet



Sod the camellia just now- the yellowhammer will be more attractive Sara!

You can prune the camellia later and give it some care once the birds have gone. How lovely to have them. We don't get them up here.

Sara 4

I can have the best of both worlds I hope - I'll throw a bit of ericaceous compost at it to assuage my conscience and that will do for now.  Fairygirl, we are so lucky with Yellowhammers here (in Devon) they are actually fairly common and are such lovely birds.  I can see the nest and the chicks out of my upstairs corridor window if I squint through the overgrown laurel branches.  Today while I was gainfully employed in digging out ivy I saw our local blackbirds, blue tits, a pied wagtail, some chaffinches, swallows, and I think a pair of jays.  Plus a buzzard or kite hovering and the usual starlings, crows etc. along with a very lovey pair of doves.  Not bad considering we're in a small town 5 minutes from the M5!

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