Home and Building, Volume 18 Number 1 (June 1955)
Pruning: There is a difference of opinion as to the necessity of and the time to prune camellias. However, camellias do need shaping, some more than others.
Branches having a tendency to grow irregularly should be straightened by pruning or staking. Wild growth should be pruned back and weak growth should be removed. Varieties with a spindly or loose habit of growth can be induced to bush by pruning. Branches lying on or too near to the ground should be removed to prevent insects from having an easy access to the plant.
In pruning, if possible, cut back no further than two eyes on the last cycle of growth by making a clean slanting cut with a sharp knife or pruners.
Pruning should be done just after the blooming season and just before the first cycle of growth as a majority of the flower buds form on this cycle; and pruning after the first cycle may remove most of the flowers. Pruning can also be done at the time of picking flowers, if desired.
Do not prune the upright stem of Chandleri Elegans or "Francine" until the growth has reached the desired height. The growth will be mostly lateral once the upright central stem is cut.