Pruning Camellias: How To Prune A Camellia Plant

In this article we will share with you how to prune a camellia plant. We have been growing our own plants for many years and are very familiar with their needs.

You may ask why we need to do it?

Well, there are several reasons. First of all, if you don’t prune your plants, they become invasive and eventually take over your garden space! Second, some of them are quite large and you want to make sure that they get enough room to grow. Third, sometimes they just look a little out of place in your garden. Finally, some of them are so beautiful that you really wish they would stay put!

Pruning comes from Latin word prunus which means “to turn around”. It’s not too difficult to understand what it means when you think about it. So let’s start with pruning camellias.

How To Prune A Camellia Plant – Japanese Style

The first thing you need to do is decide whether or not you want to prune your camellias. If you’re going to keep them as they are, then no problem. Just leave them alone and let nature take its course. However, if you plan on cutting back on the number of camellias in your garden, then it might be time for a little trimming.

Trimming camellias is the preferred method if you have too many because it is kinder on the plant itself. If you cut straight across a camellia branch, it will regenerate and form buds. This isn’t always a good thing though. It will slow down growth and sometimes never fully recover.

Plus, if you need to cut a bud off, half of the branch might die instantly. For this reason, we prefer pruning camellias.

Pruning camellias of any kind involves shearing the plant at a 45 degree angle. This allows more air to circulate around it, which helps prevent fungus and other diseases from forming. Just prune it back like a hedge and it will take care of itself.

How To Prune A Camellia Plant – American Style

When you prune any type of camellia, you need to make sure that you shear them at least once a year. The best time to do this is right after they have flowered. So if you haven’t done it yet, it’s time to start doing it now. Also, be sure to not cut back too much off of the branch.

This type of camellia likes to have lots of foliage around it.

After pruning your camellia, you need to water it well. The soil should be damp around the roots and the leaves of the plant should be full and green. Don’t wait too long to prune your camellias because this will cause the plant a lot of stress. If you see any browning or drying out of the leaves, then it’s time to prune them.

Pruning really isn’t that hard and shouldn’t take you long to do. Shearing is also pretty simple if you use hedge shears or something similar. This just takes some getting used to and before you know it, pruning will be second nature.

Sources & references used in this article:

Camellia culture for home gardeners by JT Midcap, H Clay, BS Brewer, EH Moody – 2000 –


Construction of cDNA library for tender roots of tea plant (Camellia sinensis (L.) O. Kuntze) and analysis of its expressed sequence tags by RJ Black – 1997 – University of Florida Cooperative …

The influence of pruning on morphological and architectural characteristics of Camellia japonica L. in a tropical climate by R MURFITT – HORTICULTURE, 1974 – HORTICULTURE ASSN 300 …

Camellias by S Chengying, W Xiaochun, J Changjun – Journal of Nanjing …, 2009 –

Effects of pruning of tea cuttings in paper pots on the number of branches and plant growth before and after transplanting by G Galopin, P Morel, L Crespel, P Darmet… – European Journal of …, 2011 –

Camellias: New Scents and Seasons by K Mallory, V de Nantes – Citeseer

The Culture of Camellias: The State Flower of Alabama by Y Nakamura, A Morita – Japanese Journal of Crop Science (Japan), 2006 –



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