How Hard Can I Prune Camellias
I have inherited a row of 5 camellias, which have become very tall (10/12 ft) and the bottoms are very woody and "leggy. " How far can I cut these back without killing the plants?
The standard rule of thumb is "no more than a third". However, IMO, if a shrub looks really leggy, it's safe to trim further. If your plant is heavily stemmed, you could take the entire mass back 1/3, then take the stems, one at a time, back another 1/3. As one stem starts looking fuller with new growth, cut another until the entire shrub is "short and phat". I've done other plants this was and have had success.