I am new to these forums was wondering if anyone can offer some advise .
I am an amateur when it comes to gardening but i am really keen on helping my garden grow and also want to grow some veggies and flowers if i can help it .
Can someone please help me in identifying what trees these are ? and what i can do to help them flourish? they started off well and then the leaves slowly started wilting and turning brown .. i thought it was some sort of disease so i got rid of all the leaves and branches thinking i am helping it .. I did also dig around the tree to free up the soil and then keep watering them ..
I ahve a total of 4 trees and only one of them is growing correctly in my opinion.
Should i use some sort of fertiliser ?
or anything else for that matter ?
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Welcome to the Bunnings Workshop community @robbinvk. It's fantastic to have you join us and many thanks for your question.
Can I ask when was the last time you fed the camellias? Yellowing leaves can be a sign that the plants need food. I would recommend applying Richgro 2.5kg All Purpose Gardenia Azalea And Camellia Fertiliser as per the recommended rate. You might also like to apply some Seasol 600ml Concentrate Liquid Fertiliser to assist them in recovering.
The soil looks very hard and not very nourished. You could add some Scotts Osmocote 25L Compost Premium Soil Improver around the base of the plant and attempt to dig it in avoiding the roots.
How often are you watering them and when did you start this regime?
thanks for that information and for pointing em in the right direction .. i've been watering them but very on/ off maybe once or twice a week because of the weather and I felt that i might be over-watering them if i keep watering them everyday ..
I've also dug the soil around the tree thinking that maybe the roots aren't getting the water to begin with and also applied Richgro ... Rose and Camelllia fertiliser and once i did that the tree started showing signs of being really dry and the leaves started turning brown .. its at that time i has to trim the leaves etc.
Should water them everyday and see how that goes ?
Or is there anything particular i need to do other than purchase/apply what you suggested ?
Your camellias are in a very sad state. These plants have surface roots and HATE having the soil around them disturbed, so don't dig around them any more. They are best grown in garden beds rather than in the grass. They don't like competition from the lawn for water and food. In a garden they can be kept moist easier and will appreciate a good think layer of mulch over the roots in summer.
Lack of moisture, poor oxygenation of the soil through compaction and lawn over the surface, not enough fertiliser and planted far too close to the fence will all have contributed to their appearance. Browning of the leaves may be from lack of water or from too much sun - reflected heat off the fence.
In addition to the Seasol already suggested by @MitchellMc, I'd also suggest Epsom Salts which is magnesium sulfate. Yellowing leaves on camellias is often symptomatic of a magnesium deficiency as well as lack of nitrogen. Add 2 tablespoons of Epsom Salts to 4 litres of water and dissolve completely. This can be applied as a foliar spray or watered in over the roots.
You may be able to save the camellias that still have leaves, the one that has been pruned could be a different proposition.
Hi @robbinvk well your camellias are certainly looking sad. Has anything happened to the area recently (on the other side of the fence too)? Or is it possible they dried our very badly?
They seem to have been doing well before this happened. Camellias do like a slightly acid soil but unless something has happened nearby (like washing out of cement from bricklaying or concreting water etc.) then I don't believe that's the issue here.
I'm worried that you say one went brown shortly after feeding etc. That tells me you may have accidentally over-applied the fertiliser and/or damaged roots when you applied.
Let's see what we can do...
- First thing I'd do is stop digging around them. You can damage a lot of the fine feeder roots when you do this and these can be crucial for picking up moisture.
- Get rid of all of the grass and weeds around base. Do this by pulling or carefully digging them out.
- If it looks very dry apply a quality soil wetter. I'm a fan of EveryDrop soil wetter in the granular form. This smaller bucket should be enough for your needs but there is a larger bag if you need it elsewhere too.
- Then water really well. A good soak with a slow running hose or sprinkler.
- Once water is getting in apply one of the seaweed products but make sure it is not a 'boosted' product with fertiliser in it as chances are you've already fertilised a wee bit too much.
- I'd then spread a soil improver and if you can do so without disturbing roots very gently rake into the top couple of cms of the soil. This one is great, used it recently myself. It does have some fertiliser in it but not a lot & it's slow release so won't flood you plants with extra nutrients (the extra nutrients in a 'boosted' seaweed product are liquid and tend to impact quickly). Make sure you do not push this product, or any disturbed soil, against the trunk.
- Water this well then apply a good layer of mulch. In this case I'd be looking at a lucerne or pea straw (which seem to be a little hard to find at the moment) and apply it at least 5cm thick, again, avoiding pushing against the trunk. This then needs to be watered well too.
- After all this basically keep an eye on the watering - do not over-water just let it get towards dry and then water well. And cross your fingers.
Hope this helps!
Hi Noelle @Noelle ,
thank you so much for your feedback and your suggestions .. i think i dug up around the tree a bit too much and hence damaged its roots somehow and unfortunately my garden lawn has moved into the garden bed and now its growing around like crazy so maybe i whipper snipped the base of the tree while i was trying to get rid of the grass ( but that's another story ) .
I will follow the suggestions you have provided and see what can be done here.
Hi Adam @Adam_W ,
thank you for your response ..
i think the short answer to your questions are that they have just dried out very badly purely because i must have damaged the root system when i dug around it to apply some fertiliser .
I will follow your suggested steps right away and see how i go .