How to Manage Pests

Pests in Gardens and Landscapes

Camellia petal and flower blight—Ciborinia camelliae

Camellia petal blight causes blossoms to rot. Brown lesions develop, with the centers discoloring first. Blossoms drop prematurely. Petal veins darker brown than the surrounding tissue distinguishes camellia petal blight from similar damage caused by Botrytis blight, frost, and injury due to mishandling or wind. Camellia petal blight is a fungal disease promoted by rainy weather.


Apply 4 inches of organic mulch beneath plants to reduce spore survival. Do not add camellia petals or leaves to any compost that will be used around camellias. Each year after the blossoming season, place a fresh layer of organic mulch on top of existing mulch beneath plants. Avoid moving or disturbing existing mulch beneath plants onto which fungal spores may have settled. Pick and dispose of all blighted blossoms. Avoid overhead irrigation.

Browning of camellia blossom
Browning of camellia blossom

Rotted blossomRotted blossom

Statewide IPM Program, Agriculture and Natural Resources, University of California
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Agriculture and Natural Resources, University of California

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