5 Reasons of Black Spots On Camellia Leaves [with Fixing Method]

It is not normal to see sudden black spots on the green leaves of a camellia plant. There are several factors that can cause your plants to develop this problem. Such as Sooty mould, Watering issues, Low temperatures, Poor soil conditions and Excessive heat.

But don’t worry. Finding the right cause and taking the proper fixing method can help your plant recover quickly. In this article, I will tell you about the problems and effective solutions in detail. So let’s get started.

Quick Care Guide

Sooty mouldWipe the infected leaf and apply Eco neem spray.
Watering issuesWatering twice a week is recommended.
Low temperaturesKeep the plant away from AC rooms and low-temperature areas.
Poor soilUse slightly acidic and well-draining soil.
Excessive heatPlace the plant in a spot with less sunlight.

5 Effective Ways to Fix Black Spots on Camellia Leaves

fixing black spots on camellia leaves

1. Sooty Mould

Sooty mould is a type of fungus that is well known for attacking camellia leaves. They are very small and black in colour. When they attack the leaves in groups, they look like compost or small lump of soil when seen from a distance.

They mainly attack after attacking sap-sucking insects like aphids, millipedes etc. They first attack the sides of the mid veins of the leaves. Later spread over the entire leaf surface.

They mainly cause long-term damage to the parts involved in photosynthesis. As a result, black spots or dark coating appear on the leaves of the plant within a few days.

Fixing Method

Wipe the affected leaf surface of your camellia plant with a wet cloth. This is only a temporary solution. But I got pretty good results by doing it for a few days in a row.

If your leaf infestation has progressed to a dangerous level, it cannot be left untreated for too long. This Eco Neem spray can be the antidote to sooty mould. Spray it well on your plants every morning and evening for two weeks.

Since this fungus is caused by sap-sucking insects, you need to protect your camellia plants from pests such as aphids, spider mites and mealybugs. In that case, regular fresh water spray on the plant is an effective method.

2. Watering Issue

Both under-watering and over-watering are responsible for leaf-blackening disease in your camellia plants.

When you apply excess water to your plants, It will cause water logging at the base of your plant. As a result, your plant’s roots begin to rot. This condition is ideal for fungal attacks. 

Also, When the root of your plants rots completely, it cannot collect enough nutrients. As a result, black spots appear on the leaves in the beginning and later turn brown when they dry up.

Again when your plant does not get enough water, the soil at the base of the plant will be dry most of the time. Dry soil is one of the causes of black spots on camellia leaves.

Fixing Method

You need to be careful when watering. In the normal season, two times watering a week is enough. However, first, you need to check if the soil is dry or not. You can use a moisture meter for this (Our Pick: SONKIR Soil pH Meter, MS02 3-in-1 Soil Moisture/Light/pH Tester)

If you have no then put one of your fingers into the soil to determine the soil conditions. There is no need for watering if the top 2-2.5 inches of the soil appear moist.

If your plant receives adequate rainwater throughout the rainy season so there is no need to water it. Your plant container must contain three to four tiny holes in order to ensure a good drainage system.

If you do not remember to apply water at the right time, you can use a self-watering machine (our pick: Upgraded DIY Automatic Drip Irrigation Kit)

3. Low Temperature

If you keep your camellia plant in an AC room or a low-temperature place, it is normal for your plant to develop black spots on its leaves.

Camellia plants accumulate excess moisture at low temperatures. Excess moisture is responsible for causing root rot disease in your plants. Low temperatures and excess moisture are also ideal for sap-sucking insect attacks.

And as a result of these insect infestations, there is a 90 per cent chance of sooty mould infestation.

Fixing Method

Warm climates are necessary for camellias. Although some camellia plants can survive as low as 10°F, 40–50°F is ideal for them. You must maintain these temperatures in your room or garden.

Moderate humidity is ideal for camellia plants. Any variations in humidity could cause black spots on your camellia leaves; your plant needs a humidity level of at least 60%.

It’s possible that your home is too dry. As a result, utilising a humidifier may also be a smart move. 

4. Poor Soil

The primary factors used to assess soil quality include pH, well drainage, oxygen and nutrient availability, and water holding capacity.

Camellia plant summer care

Nitrogen cannot be released by plant-beneficial bacteria in extremely high or low pH-containing soils. Therefore, chlorosis will develop on the leaves of your camellias if you plant them in such soil because there isn’t enough nitrogen present. The outcome is that the leaves initially turn yellow and develop black patches.

The roots of your plant won’t get enough oxygen if the soil isn’t adequately aerated. The plant’s metabolic activities, such as the breakdown of carbohydrates and the creation of required energy, will be disrupted by a lack of oxygen. And the leaves will naturally develop small brown patches at first before curling.

The soil’s primary job is to store water and deliver it to plants as needed. Now, if the water-holding capacity of your soil is too low, it won’t be able to provide your plant with enough water. And you already know that dehydration will prevent your plants from growing normally.

Fixing Method

Camellia plants typically prefer somewhat acidic soil. Soil pH should be between 5.5 and 6.5. You must use a pH metre to check the pH level. Add some elemental sulphur to your garden soil if the level is too high.

To make sure the soil receives enough oxygen, you can use earthworms. Earthworms will increase the oxygen flow and the quality of the soil. You can also use an aerator if that’s not possible.

Make sure your garden soil has enough magnesium and a decent ability to retain water. Use a magnesium-rich fertilizer or ready-made organic compost for that.

5. Excessive Heat

One of the main dangers to camellias is direct sunshine. If you keep your camellia plant in direct sunlight for a long time, the leaves could burn. This results in curled leaves and black blotches.

What precisely are the signs and symptoms of excessive sun exposure? Pay special attention to the leaves of your plant. Take prompt action if it develops black or brown spots and becomes floppy.

Fixing Method

Camellias prefer a light shade that shields them from the sun. Put your plant in a location that receives less sunlight. It might be a little farther from the windows on the south or west sides of your house.

Try to avoid being in the hot afternoon sun to avoid getting burned and having your leaves become extremely dry. Your plant can also be shielded from the sun by using a shade cloth. If you have no, you can purchase it from the market (Our pick).

When cultivating camellias outside, find a spot that receives a lot of natural shade, such as beneath trees, on porches, or in a parking lot, to protect the plant in the afternoon.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ’s)

Q: What are the black spots on camellia leaves?

Ans: Black spots on camellia leaves are typically caused by a fungal disease known as camellia leaf spot or camellia black spot. It is caused by the fungus Ciborinia camellia.

Q: How do I identify the camellia leaf spot?

Ans: Camellia leaf spot appears as circular or irregular-shaped black or dark brown spots on the leaves of camellia plants. The spots may have a yellow halo around them. Over time, the spots can increase in size and number, causing the affected leaves to turn yellow and drop prematurely.

Q: How to identify leaves affected by sooty mould?

Ans: It usually looks like loose soil or compost and appears as a layer on the leaves. Leaves infected with sooty mould gradually develop black and brown spots and subsequently fall off.

Q: How do sunburnt camellia leaves look?

Ans: Excess heat will cause black spots on camellia leaves. Make the page pale. Leaves may curl. If left in excess heat for too long, the leaf will dry out and turn brown.

Q: Can camellia leaf spot kill the plant?

Ans: While camellia leaf spot can defoliate the plant and weaken it, it rarely kills mature camellias. However, severe and repeated infections can stress the plant, making it more susceptible to other diseases and pests. Timely and appropriate management practices can help control the disease and minimize its impact on the plant’s health.


Although black spots on camellia leaves are easy to fix, they are a serious problem.  Therefore, as soon as the problem arises, necessary measures should be taken. A little delay can become more dangerous for your plant.

My fixing guides are equally effective for all varieties of camellia plants. So whatever variant your plant is, if you apply the methods correctly, you can quickly make your tree’s leaves fresh and green again.

Happy Gardening.

James Rivenburg
James Rivenburg
James Rivenburg

James Rivenburg is the founder of plantandpest.com, a passionate gardener with valuable experience and knowledge gained through trial and error. The website has a large community of followers who trust his tips and techniques and have succeeded with his advice. He is always Committed to helping others create a beautiful and healthy garden.

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