Camellia Plants
Q.

Recovery time of mature 20ft. camellias chopped down to knee-high level by mistake?

Zone 29209 | kokolisg added on December 18, 2018 | Answered

Our yard maintenance service mistakenly chopped down our 2 beautiful, flowering, 20 ft tall camellias. They left the bottom 3 feet of branches. So I'm wondering if these will ever come back/recover? If so, how much do they grow and when? I'm finding conflicting information on the internet (surprise, surprise), so I figured maybe you could help me. We live in Columbia, South Carolina.

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BushDoctor
Certified GKH Gardening Expert
Answered on December 18, 2018

It would be worth mentioning that by next season, probably not this year, you will expect the growth you once saw. It will take this year to recover, but you may still get a show.

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BushDoctor
Certified GKH Gardening Expert
Answered on December 18, 2018

Generally, this is a way to control the size of this particular plant. This will lead to bushier growth, often much better than previous years. There is a bit of recovery time, and it is a bit early to do this, but it won't harm this any. There is a disease recovery process that requires cutting them back to about 1 foot from the ground. They will come back just fine from that.

The most important thing will be patience. Let them recover before feeding, and give them a yearly pruning to keep them manageable and more productive.

This article will give you a general idea of how to prune these: https://www.gardeningknowhow.com/ornamental/flowers/camellia/pruning-camellias-how-to-prune-a-camellia-plant.htm

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