How to Prune a Camellia Japonica


Camellia japonica (Japanese camellia), better known as the common camellia, is shrub grown in United States Department of Agriculture plant hardiness zones 7 to 9. It generally grows to 6 to 12 feet tall, although it can reach up to 25 feet. Its mature width is typically 6 to 10 feet. Camellia japonica is an evergreen shrub with white, pink or red flowers that grow to a width of 3 to 5 inches. They bloom beginning in the fall and throughout the winter until early spring and need occasional pruning.

Step 1

Prune the camellia japonica after it is finished blooming in the spring. You can also prune in the early summer.

Step 2

Remove diseased, dead or damaged stems. Stems that are too long, make the bush look disproportionate and did not bloom well can also be cut back if desired. However, do not conduct a heavy pruning as you may with other bushes.

Step 3

Prune the chosen stems with lopping shears. Make a clean cut back within an inch of the parent branch (the branch from which it is an offshoot).

Things You'll Need

  • Lopping shears


  • University of Florida Cooperative Extension Service: Camellia Japonica
  • University of California Cooperative Extension: Camellias
Keywords: prune camellia Japonica, prune Japanese camellia, prune common camellia

About this Author

Melissa Lewis has been a professional writer since 2005. Her work has appeared in various online publications. A former elementary classroom teacher and media specialist, Lewis is also a script writer, with a movie script, "Homecoming," she co-wrote currently in production. She holds a Bachelor of Arts in psychology.