How to trim a camellia tree


How to Prune Camellia Bushes | Camellia Care – Perfect Plants Nursery

Camellia bushes are a garden favorite, especially if you’re living in USDA zones 6 to 9. Their showy flower buds grace your garden from winter to spring, while the evergreen foliage offers shade and privacy all year round. To keep your Camellia looking beautiful we’re going to give you a step-by-step guide on how to prune a camellia bush.

An unkempt camellia bush isn’t an attractive sight. Pruning may not be an essential part of the plant’s maintenance, but most gardeners recommend yearly trimming of the bush to keep it attractive and healthy. Continue reading to find out how pruning helps and how to prune your camellia bush for the best outcomes.

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Types of Camellia Bushes

Shishi Gashira Camellias produce beautiful deep pink flowers and are one of the earliest blooming trees in the Spring. Once the flowers bloom they will continue to bloom for one to two months. Plus, they’re evergreen plants that show off their dark green foliage year-round. These hot pink flowers with a bright yellow center make the perfect centerpiece for any home or occasion. Pink Perfection Camellias have a beautiful soft pink flower against deep forest green leaves. These beautiful flowers bloom from summer to fall and bloom again in late winter to early spring. The Pink Perfection is best grown as an accent plant to really make your landscape pop! Yuletide Camellias have a Christmasy red color with a golden center that show in late fall to early spring. The flowers aren’t the only thing you’ll love about this plant. The glossy green leaves are a year round sight for your yard. This plant is great for containers to give your porch some holiday cheer or as an accent plant.

Why Do You Trim Camellias?

Overgrown camellia bushes aren’t as beautiful as you’d like them to be – that’s for sure. You aren’t making the most out of your landscape if you’re not keeping your garden plants in good shape. However, pruning isn’t all about enhancing the looks.  Over the years, the branches become weaker without proper pruning and the flowers become less attractive. Plus, it also makes the plant susceptible to diseases when you don’t prune your older camellia. Weaker camellias are vulnerable to frost damage and strong winds since they have thin branches. All these problems can be avoided with proper, regular pruning techniques. A good trim will boost their health and prepare them for blooming with full vigor for the following season.

When to Prune Camellia Bushes

Camellia Flowers The best time to prune Camellias is at any time of the year if you just plan on giving it a neat look. However, if your goal is to boost the flower production for next year, prune it just after it finishes flowering for the season. For Pink Perfection Camellia,  pruning is best done in May or June, once they finish blooming in the Spring.

Sasanqua camellias, including Shishi Gashira, blooms from late fall through early winter and sometimes spring, so you’ll be pruning them in winters before the growing season in spring. The objective is to prune the shrub before the new growth, so you don’t accidentally snip off any blossom buds getting reading to bloom for the next season.

How To Prune Camellia Bush?

Up Close Camellia Flower Pruning camellia japonicas isn’t tough at all. You can prune them in the same way you do with all shrubs. Also, since they don’t grow too big, you can get away with a pair of hand pruners for the smaller branches, and a pruning saw for the larger ones.  

Remove Dead Branches

Start by removing the dead and weak branches and twiggy growth on the inside of the plant. Use bypass pruners to cut off the dead branches from the source, or at least two inches below the damaged point. Removing these branches and foliage clears some space for air and light to reach the foliage growing in the shaded areas of the shrub.

Remove Suckers And Unwanted Branches

Once you’re done getting rid of the dead material, get to the plant’s base and remove any broken branches and suckers. Also, remove crowded branches or crossing branches to allow air circulation between the shoots and prevent diseases.

Trimming Camellia’s Long Shoots

Trim the branches that are blocking pathways, shading neighboring plants, or rubbing against a wall. Remove or trim all the overgrown shoots as well. Unless you have an overgrown camellia tree to prune, cutting back to less than one-third is sufficient each year to stimulate new growth. However, severe pruning may be required if you have a big, dense camellia bush in your garden that has been neglected for years.

Severe Pruning

If you want to cut back your camellia bush severely to the desired height, use a pruning saw to cut back all the branches, leaving only 1. 5 feet of growth above the ground. This type of pruning is best performed in early spring when growth is at its best, and the plant can quickly recover from the intense trimming. Once the camellia shrub is rejuvenated, you can resume the regular annual pruning routine of cutting back to less than one-third.

Pruning camellias won’t take much of your time but will pay off with a healthy, attractive bush that adds elegance to your outdoor landscape. Other than pruning it to boost its health, you can also give it the desired shape. The camellias you’ll order at our online store can beautifully be shaped into a small camellia tree once they’re a bit larger too.

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How to prune camellias: and when to prune for more blooms

(Image credit: Michelle Garrett)

Learning how to prune camellias will maintain their eye-catching beauty for years to come.  Camellias are a familiar sight in spring, drawing the eye with their early blooms, stark against their glossy dark leaves.

It's easy to learn how to grow camellias. The flowers range from deep red to white, bright pink to salmon pink and everything in between, so they make a wonderful addition for flower bed ideas. Some have loose open flowers, showing off yellow centers and other have tightly packed double or semi-double flowers in perfect geometric patterns. 

If you have darker corners in your garden, camellias are great shrubs for shade to brighten a shady spot of the yard, but it's important that you maintain them well to keep these evergreen shrubs looking their best.

Camellias are a great choice if you’re thinking about container gardening ideas, and they can also be planted directly in the garden. Their native growing conditions are in part-shady woodland, so they don't like hot, sunny sites and need protection from wind, frost and morning sun that can damage the flower buds after a frost.  

Read on to learn how to prune camellias. 

How to prune camellias to keep them tidy

(Image credit: Michelle Garrett)

You shouldn’t need to prune a young camellia plant until it’s around 4 years old, other than keeping broken or diseased branches in check. It’s best to wait until it is well established with the right growing conditions before you decide whether or not it needs to be pruned. 

When pruning any flowering shrub or plant, ensure that the blade you’re using is sharp and clean. It’s a good idea to sterilize your secateurs if they have been previously used to cut back a diseased plant. 

(Image credit: N/A)

Jen Stark, master gardener and founder of Happy DIY Home says: ‘Camellias can benefit from you pruning them every few years to stimulate healthy growth and thin out the more twiggy branches. You should prune them in the late spring months (May or June) to allow sunlight to get to the shrub's interior.’  The exact time of pruning will depend on the hardiness zone where you live.

This late-spring prune to tidy the plant and reinvigorate it will be after the camellia has finished flowering. If you can, check the pruning instructions for your specific variety of camellia before going in with the blade. If you don’t know the variety, take a good look at its natural growth habit and prune accordingly. 

How much to prune

(Image credit: Mark Bolton)

How much you cut off the branches of your camellias depends on the desired effect. 

To encourage more growth and produce a taller, bushier shrub, trim 1 inch (2.5cm) off the ends of the branches. 

To keep the camellia roughly at its existing height and spread, cut up to 3 inches (10cm) off the length of the branches

To reshape a very overgrown camellia you will need to prune it in two stages and sacrifice its flowers for the following season. Start with a drastic prune in late winter or early spring, reducing it by a third to a half of its former size – or more in extreme cases. As new shoots start to appear in the growing season you will prune again to thin out the bushy new growth from the centre of the plant to encourage fewer, but stronger new stems. They are fairly fast growing shrubs, so should soon regain their former size.

How to prune camellias to prevent disease

(Image credit: Getty Images)

According to The American Camellia Society , when pruning camellias it’s important to prune limbs ‘flush to the feeder branches without leaving nubs. These leftover branches could eventually provide host for disease to enter your camellias.’

To help prevent disease and pests, you need to know how to prune camellias to open up the center of the plant. 

‘Thin out some of the branches in the interior of the plant to improve airflow and sunlight penetration,’ says Jen Stark. ‘Look at the inner branches and remove weak or small ones, making sure they're not the main branches in the plant.’ 

Pol Bishop of Fantastic Gardeners also advises clearing all the stems from the lower 6-10in. (15-25cm), depending on the plant’s size, of the main trunk to prevent any small stems from touching the ground and infecting the plant with diseases. He adds that a fully grown camellia plant will tolerate drastic pruning without any long-term effects.

As for pruning technique, Tammy Sons, owner of Tennessee Wholesale Nursery , says it’s best to cut to a leaf that is pointing in the direction that you want the branch to grow, keeping in mind the overall shape and look of the plant. 

‘You can also choose to remove branches completely that are not growing in the right direction. It’s best to prune a camellia over time – each year cutting back until you reach a shape and size you are happy with,' she adds. 

If you maintain them in this way to keep them looking their best, camellias make a great choice as shrubs for the front of the house to improve its curb appeal.

(Image credit: Michelle Garrett)

When should I prune my camellia?

Camellias can be pruned in late spring, after flowering to promote healthy bushy growth. This only needs doing every few years and shouldn’t be done on a young plant. They will tolerate being pruned at any time of the year, but they start to grow next years’ buds shortly after flowering, so to ensure that you get blooms the following year, you should ensure not to cut these off. 

(Image credit: Michelle Garrett)

Can camellia's be cut back hard?

Camellias can sometimes be cut back hard. They are very tolerant of pruning, and sometimes it is necessary to prune them back hard to rejuvenate a particularly large or scraggly plant. This may also be necessary if you see the number of blooms start to dwindle each year. They can be cut right back to around 3 foot tall if necessary. This will encourage bushier growth, and more flowers. 

What is the best way to prune camellia?

The best way to prune your camellia will depend on the condition that it is in, and its size and age. A young plant, under 4 years old, should not be pruned at all. 

It is best to give camellias a light annual prune, just after they have flowered. Remove any material that looks untidy. If you have a plant that has already become unruly and is in poor shape it can be cut back much harder. 

(Image credit: Crocus)

How far back can you cut a camellia?

Camellias can be cut back quite hard, if necessary, although this might compromise blooms for the following year, it should encourage new, strong growth and plenty of flowers in the future. A mature, large camellia can be cut right back to 3 foot tall if necessary to reset its growth and get it under control. 

Above all, bear in mind that camellias are strong plants. They usually bounce back well, even after a severe pruning – you just might reduce the number of blooms the following season, that's all.

Karen is the houses editor for homesandgardens.com and homes editor for the brand’s sister titles, Period Living and Country Homes & Interiors, and an experienced writer on interiors and gardens. She loves visiting historic houses for Period Living and writing about rural properties for Country Homes & Interiors, and working with photographers to capture all shapes and sizes of properties. Karen began her career as a sub editor at Hi-Fi News and Record Review magazine. Her move to women’s magazines came soon after, in the shape of Living magazine, which covered cookery, fashion, beauty, homes and gardening. From Living Karen moved to Ideal Home magazine, where as deputy chief sub, then chief sub, she started to really take an interest in properties, architecture, interior design and gardening. 

When are camellias pruned? Gardening included

Camellias are one of the most colorful flowering plants. Thanks to their large flowers of very bright colors, they stand out in any garden. In addition, they are able to live for many years if the necessary care is provided, including pruning. But, Do you know when camellias are pruned?

If you want to know what types of pruning are available for camellias, when to do them, and how to get the most out of your plant, here are the keys.

Index

  • 1 Why are camellias pruned?
  • 2 When are camellias pruned?
  • 3 Types of pruning
    • 3.1 cleaning of pruning
    • 3.2 Cutting pruning
    • 3.3 Blooming pruning
  • 4 How to cut camellia steps
    • 4.1 camellias in development
    • 4.4 Prune for more blooms

Why are camellias pruned?

If you have ever seen a camellia, you know that it is a beautiful shrub. Not only that, but its bloom is one of the most beautiful. And thinking about cutting branches or even flowers is something unthinkable.

But the truth is that pruning has many reasons to exist. With it you can get:

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  • Let the camellia have a more effective action.
  • To have more flowers and better quality.
  • Improved plant growth.
  • Another breath from her, which heals the camellia.
  • Diseases do not manifest.

These are just some of the benefits of camellia pruning and reasons why it should not be neglected. It's okay if you don't do it the first year, because it's a way for him to adjust to his new home, but it's convenient that you do it from the second year.

When are camellias pruned?

The first thing we will answer you is when the camellias are pruned. It's easy because The best time for this is winter. Not in the most severe winter, but at the end of it, when spring comes and frosts are impossible. This way you can enhance its flowering.

Now, as we will see a little later, you should know that there are several types of cutting, which means that depending on where you live and the type of haircut you are going to have, you will have to choose one or another moment. We will explain it to you below.

Trims

As you know, most plants, trees and shrubs have different types of pruning that cause the plant to change. But each of them has a regular time to perform. Thus, we have:

Cleaning pruning

In this case, looking for camellia is as healthy as possible and improves flowering.

What has been done? You should cut branches that are completely dry, those that are sick and cannot recover, those that are crossing over, or those that are bad. As well as offspring and sprouts coming out of the soil itself.

When is it produced? need to take advantage of the winter to spend it, but always avoiding frost.

Shaping cut

This is characterized by the fact that it is a more common cut for to form camellia . To do this, you have to choose a shape (in a fan, accordion, round ...) and germinate those sprouts that are outside the silhouette that we want to achieve.

When done? During the year. Since the camellia is a plant that grows well, you will have to make sure that it does not lose its shape throughout the year. So you have to cut often.

Blooming pruning

Also called flower thinning. Pruning technique to enhance flowering. It consists of cutting the smallest flower buds, always prioritizing the size of the flowers over the number of them.

This is done at the moment when the buds begin to form, but if it is already in full bloom, you should not touch it. This does not mean that you will be able to remove any new cocoons it may create later.

How to prune camellias step by step

Let's move on to the practical part, that is, learn how camellias are cut. To do this, you need to follow several steps. These are:

Have tools handy

Not that you need a lot, but you should have some gloves and a pruner.

The latter must be disinfected before cutting branches or flowers to prevent infection from another plant that may be diseased.

We therefore recommend that you use alcohol or something similar to disinfect before cutting and also after you are done.

Pruning camellias according to cleaning pruning

If you are going to prune for cleaning, you must make sure that which branches you have to cut.

To begin with, we recommend doing this with a dummy. Remove them as low as possible. Also shoots that come out of the ground.

Next it's time for the branches. Start with those that you see dry or sick. Once you eliminate them, you should continue with those that intersect or have a slightly straight shape. Thus, you not only clean, but also saturate with oxygen and give space to the plant.

Camellia trimming in progress

In case you want to trim information, you must be clear about the design you are going to give. For example, if you want it to look like a ball, you will have to remove all the shoots that come out of this formation.

We also recommend that be cut back as this will make Camellia more dense and look much better. Also, believe it or not, it will cause new shoots to appear.

Prune for more blooms

In case of thinning the flower most importantly, when it sets buds, leave only one or two on each branch. This way he will have more power to pull them forward and the flowers will be bigger.

Yes, there are some specimens of camellias that thin out themselves, that is, they themselves pull out buds before flowering, in order to leave only those that are able to stretch forward. If your plant is like this, you may want to avoid this type of pruning because if you do this as well, you may run out of flowers.

In general, we can tell you that camellias are very resistant to pruning and that if you follow the recommendations, you will not have any problems with this. However, if you have any doubts about when to prune camellias or care for them in general, you can always contact us and we will try to answer you as soon as possible.


When are camellias pruned? Gardening included

Camellias are one of the most colorful flowering plants. Thanks to their large flowers of very bright colors, they stand out in any garden. In addition, they are able to live for many years if the necessary care is provided, including pruning. But, Do you know when camellias are pruned?

If you want to know what types of pruning are available for camellias, when to do them, and how to get the most out of your plant, here are the keys.

Index

  • 1 Why are camellias pruned?
  • 2 When are camellias pruned?
  • 3 Pruning types
    • 3.1 Cleaning pruning
    • 3.2 Forming pruning
    • 3.3 Flower pruning
  • 4 How to prune camellias step by step
    • 4.1 Have tools handy
    • 4.2 Pruning camellias according to the cleaning pruning
    • 4.3 Pruning camellias in the stage of formation
    • 4.4 Prune for more bloom

Why prune camellias?

If you have ever seen a camellia, you know that it is a beautiful shrub. Not only that, but its bloom is one of the most beautiful. And thinking about cutting branches or even flowers is something unthinkable.

But the truth is that pruning has many reasons to exist. With it you can get:

Subscribe to our Youtube channel

  • Let the camellia have a more effective action.
  • To have more flowers and better quality.
  • Improved plant growth.
  • Another breath from her, which heals the camellia.
  • Diseases do not manifest.

These are just some of the benefits of camellia pruning and reasons why it should not be neglected. It's okay if you don't do it the first year, because it's a way for him to adjust to his new home, but it's convenient that you do it from the second year.

When are camellias pruned?

The first thing we will answer you is when the camellias are pruned. It's easy because The best time for this is winter. Not in the most severe winter, but at the end of it, when spring comes and frosts are impossible. This way you can enhance its flowering.

Now, as we will see a little later, you should know that there are several types of cutting, which means that depending on where you live and the type of haircut you are going to have, you will have to choose one or another moment. We will explain it to you below.

Trims

As you know, most plants, trees and shrubs have different types of pruning that cause the plant to change. But each of them has a regular time to perform. Thus, we have:

Cleaning pruning

In this case, looking for camellia is as healthy as possible and improves flowering.

What has been done? You should cut branches that are completely dry, those that are sick and cannot recover, those that are crossing over, or those that are bad. As well as offspring and sprouts coming out of the soil itself.

When is it produced? need to take advantage of the winter to spend it, but always avoiding frost.

Shaping cut

This is characterized by the fact that it is a more common cut for to form camellia . To do this, you have to choose a shape (in a fan, accordion, round ...) and germinate those sprouts that are outside the silhouette that we want to achieve.

When done? During the year. Since the camellia is a plant that grows well, you will have to make sure that it does not lose its shape throughout the year. So you have to cut often.

Blooming pruning

Also called flower thinning. Pruning technique to enhance flowering. It consists of cutting the smallest flower buds, always prioritizing the size of the flowers over the number of them.

This is done at the moment when the buds begin to form, but if it is already in full bloom, you should not touch it. This does not mean that you will be able to remove any new cocoons it may create later.

How to prune camellias step by step

Let's move on to the practical part, that is, learn how camellias are cut. To do this, you need to follow several steps. These are:

Have tools handy

Not that you need a lot, but you should have some gloves and a pruner.

The latter must be disinfected before cutting branches or flowers to prevent infection from another plant that may be diseased.

We therefore recommend that you use alcohol or something similar to disinfect before cutting and also after you are done.

Pruning camellias according to cleaning pruning

If you are going to prune for cleaning, you must make sure that which branches you have to cut.

To begin with, we recommend doing this with a dummy. Remove them as low as possible. Also shoots that come out of the ground.

Next it's time for the branches. Start with those that you see dry or sick. Once you eliminate them, you should continue with those that intersect or have a slightly straight shape. Thus, you not only clean, but also saturate with oxygen and give space to the plant.

Camellia trimming in progress

In case you want to trim information, you must be clear about the design you are going to give. For example, if you want it to look like a ball, you will have to remove all the shoots that come out of this formation.

We also recommend that be cut back as this will make Camellia more dense and look much better. Also, believe it or not, it will cause new shoots to appear.

Prune for more blooms

In case of thinning the flower most importantly, when it sets buds, leave only one or two on each branch. This way he will have more power to pull them forward and the flowers will be bigger.

Yes, there are some specimens of camellias that thin out themselves, that is, they themselves pull out buds before flowering, in order to leave only those that are able to stretch forward.


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