Tea Seedling Disease

Asked May 4, 2017, 10:43 PM EDT

How do I find someone experienced with tea plants to diagnose a problem with browning and dying leaves? I live in a fairly remote area about 10 miles SE of Toledo, Oregon.

Lincoln County Oregon greenhouse diagnosis of plant problems horticulture

5 Responses

A few questions to begin with and likely will have a few more

Camelia species/cultivar?

Being grown in a greenhouse?

How long ago were they planted, from seed or transplant-where purchased?

Soil medium used?

Are you growing these commercially or intend to?

Camellia sinensis v assamica. They are currently in an unheated hoop house (although I used heat mats during the winter). They were started from seed on 6/22/2016 and the seeds were purchased from Camellia Forest Nursery. I used 3 parts G&B Organics Acid Potting Mix to two parts G&B Organics Potting Soil. I am growing them commercially in that I hope to plant a significant number around my property (I hope to start another 1500 this year) to eventually process some tea. I currently have about 200 seedlings.

I had also purchased a number of tea varieties in pots from the nursery at the same time. Those mostly defoliated before the end of summer. I did send the above pics (and a couple of the defoliated plants) to Camellia Forest Nursery by email and this was his reply: "I think you are having several problems. The tea that defoliated last summer probably got too dry. I don't know what is causing the spotted leaves in the 3rd and 4th pictures. Possibly some injury followed by an infection--I have had cold injury that looks somewhat like that in other Camellias. The next two pictures are sunburn or drying out under hot conditions."

I have the seedlings planted in 5x16 2mil poly bags with drainage holes in the bottom. We did just have a very sunny hot day just prior to finding the seedlings with the leaves almost totally brown. The spots had occurred on the live plants last summer as well.

Thank you for your time. Have a great day!


I have reached out to one of our Plant Disease and Plant Problem diagnosticians that are better versed than I, particularly with commericial operations.

I am home horticulture so your issue exceeds my expertise.

You will receive a response shortly from OSU

Thank you, Liz. Have a great day!


OK, since this is going commercial you really need to send in samples to the Plant Clinic. There is only so much we can see with images and some background into. The clinic can make isolations and determine biotic from abiotic causes. Please send in a representative sample: