How to Revive an Old Camellia Bush


The camellia, with its dark, glossy green leaves, is a slow growing evergreen bush that can reach a height of 15 feet. Large blooms of white, pink, red or purple appear in late winter in colder regions, making the camellia bush a sought after addition to the landscape. Thriving in part shade to full shade, with proper care, a camellia will be healthy and keep delivering blooms year after year. Pruning after the bush blooms and before new growth appears can help to revive an old camellia bush.

Step 1

Clean tools by wiping with alcohol or dipping in a mixture of 1 part bleach to 9 parts water.

Step 2

Cut dead, insect infested or broken limbs at the trunk.

Step 3

Cut rogue limbs that project out beyond the shape of the bush. Cut back any limbs to attain a desired height and width suitable for the location or to thin the bush.

Step 4

Cut a camellia back by one-third when the overall shape or condition cannot be improved with general pruning. Repeat the one-third pruning every year for three years, at which time all growth should be new.

Step 5

Cut a camellia to the ground if the bush has been damaged by storm, insects or other calamity. Even when severely pruned, the bush will re-grow though it may not bloom the first season.

Things You'll Need

  • Pruners
  • Loppers


  • American Camellia Society: Pruning Camellias
  • Virginia Camellia Society: Pruning & Disbudding Camellias
  • Oregon State University Extension: Spruce Up Older Camellias with a Late Spring Trim
Keywords: camellia, pruning camellia, shrubs

About this Author

Barbara Raskauskas is a certified e-learning specialist and certified Microsoft Office specialist. She has written web content, technical documents and course material for a decade. Raskauskas now writes how-to's, product reviews and general topics published on several websites, including Demand Studios.