I need some advice on a situation with some Camellia bushes that were damaged by fire from a house that burned close to them in Eudora. They were burned on one side pretty badly and I pruned some of this damage off. As workers came in to clean up the site, they took it upon themselves to trim them severely.....these are 60-70 year old camellias and they are now about 3 feet in height. With winter approaching, what is your suggestion to salvage these lovely plants.....my first thought is to cut them to the ground and put pine straw on top of them.....but don't know if that is the best solution....Please help.
I think they have been cut enough for now. I would put some extra mulch around them if the weather gets really cold this winter—because they are now much more exposed and more susceptible to winter damage. I have found camellias to be pretty tough plants—especially in south Arkansas. As old as they are, they have a well established root system and once we get back into a growing season, I think they will begin to grow. It will take time to get them to a decent size again, but be patient, water and lightly fertilize, and they should rebound.
Is it too late to prune Sasanqua? Mine bloomed until a few weeks ago. They are about 7' - 8' feet tall, and bare around the lower 2 to 3 feet. They are about 20 years old.
It is definitely not too late to prune camellias. Most sasanqua camellias have finished blooming but the Japonica camellias are still blooming in many gardens. I have pruned a few limbs on mine and will finish up when I prune the azaleas. Camellias set flower buds in late summer, so you have ample time to prune and allow recovery time. Try to get it done by early May if possible.
All links to external sites open in a new window. You may return to the University of Arkansas Division of Agriculture web site by closing this window when you are finished. We do not guarantee the accuracy of the information, or the accessibility for people with disabilities listed at any external site.
Links to commercial sites are provided for information and convenience only. Inclusion of sites does not imply University of Arkansas Division of Agriculture's approval of their product or service to the exclusion of others that may be similar, nor does it guarantee or warrant the standard of the products or service offered.
The mention of any commercial product in this web site does not imply its endorsement by the University of Arkansas Division of Agriculture over other products not named, nor does the omission imply that they are not satisfactory.