The main pruning should be done when flowering is finished and before the start of new growth. If new growth starts to appear early it may be necessary to start pruning before flowering is completely finished. Light pruning can be done at other times to tidy up and remove unwanted growth.
1. Prune according to the space you want the plant to occupy.
2. Shape the plant as you want it shaped.
3. Remove weak internal growth, crossing branches, and branches close to the ground.
4. Then remove or shorten other branches to shape and to open the plant to allow thefree passage of air and light. Dark, dense foliage can encourage the presence of unwanted insects.
5. Shorten branches to a growth bud facing in a suitable direction for the next growthrun.
Watch out for leaf roller caterpillars or other pests and spray if necessary to protect thenew growth. Use an insecticide such as carbaryl, orthene, maldison,etc. Check the labels on the containers and make sure you wear protective clothing and wash when you have finished.
Spray the top of the leaves and the undersides as well.
Aim to copy nature by using a loose layer of material such as leaf mould, compost, bark,pea straw, etc. to reduce loss of water by evaperation. Mulching helps reduce weed growth, keeps the roots cool during summer and may help to provide food as it breaks down. Water and fertilise lightly before applying the mulch.
Make sure the mulch is not heaped up against the trunk of the camellia.