I have a neglected camellia in my garden that’s grown very big and has overcrowded the shrubs around it, but I don’t want to remove it. Some experts say I should prune it back hard, but then there will be only bare branches left, with few buds. Will the shrub shoot again if I prune it and when would be the right time to do so? I don’t want to kill the plant!
Unless you live in a warm tropical area, where almost anything will grow back after it has been cut, you need to be very circumspect with this plant. I wouldn’t prune everything in one go. Rather, cut back one half of the plant by half, wait for new growth and then do the other half. Prune it during summer (not just before the cold winter) and seal the pruning cuts with Steriseal or Prune Seal.
Text and image: Home