Why are the leaves on my camellias curling and pale?
If the plants are near your porch and under an overhang, they may not be getting enough water. It's easy to overlook an overhang when planning the landscape-until the plants dry out. Young plants recently transplanted are particularly sensitive to drying because their roots are limited to a small root ball. Water your camellias (Camellia) regularly, or move them farther away from the overhang where they can get sufficient natural rainfall.
Another possibility is the steps. Are they concrete? And are the camellia roots near them? If so, the lime that naturally leaches from the concrete may be harming the camellias. In order to thrive, camellias need acidic soil. Check the soil pH around the camellia roots. Acidify the soil by adding sulfur if necessary. Working in a little peat moss may help too. And be certain to used an acid-based fertilizer (often sold as evergreen and azalea food).
Yet another potential cause for leaf curl on your camellias is herbicide injury. Have you applied a broadleaf weed killer to nearby lawn? Your camellias could have gotten a dose of the weed killer either from drift through the air or uptake through their roots. The roots of most woody plants spread several times beyond the reach of their branches, so it's likely that your camellias have some roots under a lawn that may be 15-20 feet or more away from them.
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