I have a couple of beautiful camellias in my back yard that could use some serious trimming. They bloom so well each year but they need to be cut back a bit. Any suggestions and methods for pruning?
Serious triming (never more than a third on a large specimen) is usually best done when the shrubs are dormant or semi-dormant. Winter in other words. But you can do light pruning after the shrub is done blooming. Starting around July, I would hesitate to prune because it stresses the plant when it is warm and I may end up pruning off the developing flower buds. Below is an interesting article. If cutting them down to a certain size (never more than a third at a time), cut down to a few inches less than what you desire. I also do some pinching in Spring when I want the plant to get bushier.
Here is a link that might be useful: Pruning Camellias
Hi, let me first say I know very little about gardening which is why I am here. I bought a house that belonged to a couple that ran a floral business out of it. There are crazy varieties of every plant you'd want to see in North Georgia. Several camellia trees of the red, white, and pink varieties. 2 of them sit between my deck and backyard. They are around 30 ft. tall and obscure the view to the backyard. I would like to cut them way back (down) so you can enjoy the view of the backyard, but I am not sure if that is something that is recommended and need some help. I am overwhelmed by all of the trees and plants that are overgrown in the yard; azaleas, camellias, gardenias, iris', sour orange trees, fig tree, dogwoods, crape myrtles, japanese maple and magnolias, genko trees, holly (trees)...overwhelmed! Any help is greatly appreciated!
Some of them can be pruned hard to accomplish that goal but I would first spend a few years learning more about all the plants before starting to "touch" them. Once you feel comfortable with your plant knowledge and can determine how the changes will affect nearby plants, you will be in great shape. For example, some of these plants that you mention prefer afternoon shade and may get exposed to too much sun if you start pruning nearby shrubs and trees.
Try contacting a nearby American Camellia Society group to see if any of their members can personally assist or bring them photos or plans laying out the area and shrubs. See the link below.
Here is a link that might be useful: American Camellia Society Clubs in Georgia
Aileen, Although I usually agree with pretty much everything Louis says. I do think there are sometimes a different view. First, are your camellias early, mid or late blooming. Major pruning is best done in winter, or dormant. So if your Camellias are early bloomers no problem. prune to shape cut out crossed branches. Try to keep a natural form in mind as you are cutting. I have seen people in south Ga. cut them all the way down to one foot tall and they come back with a vengence. I hate it when people do this. I say remember when you plant this plant will reach 30 feet don't plant it under windows don't plant them near the door, just because it is a baby and in a one gallon pot. It is just like a child if it is watered and fed it will grow. Having said all that. If you prune now you will lose all flowers for this bloom cycle. If you prune as soon as it is finished blooming the plant will have time to put out new growth and have time to set new buds for the next years bloom cycle.