How to Shape a Camellia Japonica Pink Perfection Plant


Brightening the doldrums of winter, Pink Perfection camellia (Camellia 'Pink Perfection') bears pale rosy-pink flowers with extra rows of petals. This classic, heirloom variety of hybrid camellia dates to 1875 when it was first introduced to gardeners. Slow-growing, pruning is rarely necessary for this plant. But reserved tip pruning or reduction of long, irregular branches can be done to gently shape the shrub. Prune in early spring, after flowering, to allow for new leaves and stems to grow and mature over the summer and autumn.

Step 1

Examine the shape and form of the Pink Perfection camellia. Note if there are any awkwardly barren or lopsided areas of the shrub.

Step 2

Make crisp, one-motion snips of the hand pruners on long, errant stems you wish to reduce. Make the cut 1/4 inch above a living leaf or swollen bud. Do not become overzealous in pruning as camellias are slow-growing and regrowth results improve after 2 to 4 years.

Step 3

Refrain from pruning thin or weak-looking branches on sides of the shrub with scarce foliage. Pruning more robust, healthy branch tips with ample light results in better regrowth and results.

Step 4

Use patience with the camellia, as it will take decades to become a substantial and impressive specimen. Think twice before cutting new growth, especially at the tip of the shrub, as these stems become the foundation for a larger, better blooming plant years down the road.

Tips and Warnings

  • Prune Pink Perfection camellia in early spring, not in autumn and winter. Allow new growth plenty of warm time over the summer to grow and mature. Pruning late in the growing season also likely removes branch tips that may produce a flower in spring.

Things You'll Need

  • Hand pruners (secateurs)


  • "Dirr's Trees and Shrubs for Warm Climates"; Michael A. Dirr; 2002.

Who Can Help

  • 'Pink Perfection' Rose-form Japanese Camellia
Keywords: camellias, Pink Perfection, pruning

About this Author

James Burghardt has written for The Public Garden, Docent Educator, numerous non-profit newsletters and for's comprehensive plant database. He holds a Master's degree in Public Horticulture from the University of Delaware and studied horticulture and biology in Australia at Murdoch University and the University of Melbourne's Burnley College.