Trimming Cleyera japonica - Knowledgebase Question

Cary, NC
Avatar for HEUBEL
Question by HEUBEL
May 2, 1999
When is the best time to prune Cleyera japonica? Some of my shrubs have 18" shoots. I want to contain the growth.

Answer from NGA
May 2, 1999
Photo by dave
 Cleyera japonica is related to camellia and grows at a moderate rate to 15' tall and wide, with graceful, spreading, arching branches. If you don't have room for a mature Cleyera, you might consider moving it while it's still young. If you just want to prune for neatness, you can prune in spring, cutting back any growth that's especially vigorous and out of place. Instead of cutting the tips of the stems out (which will result in two new stems growing at the outside of the shrub), cut the stem back to the center of the shrub. This technique will keep the inside or center of the plant full and eliminate excessive growth on the outside of the shrub.

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