Pruning Back Camellia Bushes
We have two very old camellia bushes. They were planted in 1982 and are now tree-shaped about 6' tall with trunks about 3 inches in diameter. We want to cut them back as far as we can to let them start over because they just aren't very pretty any more and their blossoms fall off almost as soon as they bloom. Will they survive a severe pruning back to the major plant trunk?
Certified GKH Gardening Expert
You can use a technique called rejuvenation pruning. Basically, you cut out 1/3 of the longest, leggiest stems each year until it gets to the fullness you would like it to again. Do not do more than 1/3 a year. It will not be able to handle more than this.