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Camellia Pruning

    Date Posted: Thu, Mar 02 - 4:57 pm


  • We have a camelia bush in our front yard that is as old as our house. It’s probably 25 ft wide at its widest. It’s in desperate need of a trim, but I have no idea how to do that! I don’t want To harm the bush at all, but I know it needs to be trimmed. I can provide pictures if helpful!
  • Answer

  • Hello there, so you have a very happy camellia on your hands. I'm going to guess it's a japanese camellia, flowering from mid-winter to early spring. The other popular variety is camellia sasanqua, which flowers in late summer, fall or early winter (depending on selection) and is generally smaller and looser than the japanese varieties. Either way you want to wait until after the plant blooms to prune (otherwise you'll miss the bloom period). Of course, if that isn't you uppermost concern and you just want to get it under control, then anytime can work. I'm attaching an article from Southern Living magazine that describes a pruning method I think will work for you. The method basically treats the shrub as a tree which would decrease your time and effort of trying to prune such a large plant back to shrub proportions. Here is the article. The last paragraph is the key. As always use sharp clean pruners and pruning saws so disease isn't transferred to the new cuts you'll be making. Good luck and happy gardening!