WSU Extension


Cold injury 
Flower and petal blight 
Leaf gall 
Ramorum leaf and shoot blight (Sudden oak death) 
Sooty mold (Black mold) 
Brown soft scale 
Cottony camellia scale 
Root weevils 

print version| pdf version| email url    
Caption: Aphid colony
Photo by: A.L. Antonelli
Camellia : Aphids
(revision date: 3/22/2021)

Camellias are infested by black citrus aphids and other aphids. The black citrus aphid is a small reddish-brown to black insect typically found on new growth and flower buds. These aphids may be found at any time of year, particularly on plants in protected sites. Other aphid species may be brownish or green, and are also often found on new growth. Aphid feeding typically causes distortion, twisting, or cupping of developing leaves. Aphids often produce large amounts of honeydew, a sweet, sticky material which may become covered with a dark growth of sooty mold.
Management Options

Non-Chemical Management
  • Wash aphids from foliage with a strong stream of water.
  • Hand-wipe to control minor infestations.
  • High levels of nitrogen in the foliage encourage aphid reproduction. Switch to a slow-release or low-nitrogen fertilizer if necessary.
  • Natural predators and parasites, including ladybird beetles, lacewings, and parasitic wasps, help control aphid populations.
Select non-chemical management options as your first choice!

Chemical Management

Apply when aphids are first noticed. Test for sensitivity on camellias when using insecticidal soaps. Make sure spray application gets to underside of leaves. Use oils during delayed dormant season.

Listed below are examples of pesticides that are legal in Washington. Always read and follow all label directions.
  • All Seasons Horticultural & Dormant Spray Oil Conc [Organic]
    Active ingredient: oil/pet distillate  |  EPA reg no: 4-80
  • Hi-Yield Dormant Spray
    Active ingredient: oil/pet distillate  |  EPA reg no: 7401-428
  • Ortho Max Malathion Insect Spray Conc
    Active ingredient: malathion  |  EPA reg no: 239-739
  • R-T-U Year-Round Spray Oil
    Active ingredient: oil/pet distillate  |  EPA reg no: 6218-78
  • Safer Brand Insect Killing Soap Conc II [Organic]
    Active ingredient: potassium salts of fatty acid  |  EPA reg no: 42697-60
  • This list may not include all products registered for this use.

+ Show larger images

Caption: Aphid colony
Photo by: A.L. Antonelli
Caption: Aphid cast skins
Photo by: R.S. Byther