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Southern California Regional Reports

Caring for Camellias | Southern California Regional Report

Photo: Rachel Young

Spring has arrived, and we are on our way to summer, so most gardeners are not thinking about their camellias (Camellia spp. and cvs., Zones 6-10). However, May and June, after camellias have finished blooming, is the best time to prune them. If you wait too long, you could end up cutting off next years’ flower buds. Camellias push new foliar growth in the summer months, so late spring is a great time to give your shrubs a haircut, ensuring they bloom well next year.

Grab the pruners when the last petal falls

Photo: Rachel Young

As soon as the last flower has past, you can begin pruning. First, make sure you understand which type of camellia you have. Camellia japonica, the most common type, has medium-size, glossy green-black leaves and large formal blooms. Camellia sasanqua has smaller leaves and more delicate blooms—the petals fall easily from the plant, similar…

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