Some of the leaves on my flowering Camellia have yellow patches on them. The discoloration is only on new growth on the south-facing side of the shrub. Some of the leaves show physical damage, but others don't. The Camellia was here when I bought the house, so I don't know what variety it is, but it has pink double flowers.

What is causing this? If it's something that I need to treat, how do I do that?

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2 Answers 2


It looks like camelia mosaic virus to me, sometimes called camellia yellow mottle. As far as I know, there isn't anything to do about it, but on the other hand it doesn't seem to be vary harmful to the plant.


Is your flower variegated? "One of the mysteries of camellias is the fact that certain of them have random yellow blotches on some leaves. A plant may be quite large and have just a handful of leaves with this condition. These yellow blotches are caused by a harmless virus. Just when and how the virus got into the camellias is anyone's guess. Plants in China which may have a 3,000-year history are found with this same virus and to-date no botanist we've heard of has offered a factual cause or reason for this. Nevertheless, because of the virus, the flowers the camellia produces are a marvelous mixture of random bi-color. If the basic flower is pink or red and since the effect of the virus is white, one will find streaks or blotches of white all through the flower. Naturally, on white camellias which contain a virus this will not show up on the flower. One remarkable example of this is the 'Shibori Egao' camellia. A showpiece plant by itself, it is made the more so by pink flowers shot through with streaks or blotches of white which patterns are singular to any given flower. "

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