How Far Back Can I Prune Or Cut Back Severely Damaged Carissa Holly

Filed Under: Shrubs, Pruning · Keywords: How Far, Prune, Cut Back, Damaged, Carissa Holly, Shrubs, Plants · 4621 Views
I have two heavily damaged Carissa hollies (thanks to a teenage driver). What are you recommendations for cutting these back so they can regrow? When is the best time to do heavy pruning and be able to save the plants?

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Answer #1 · Maple Tree's Answer · Hi Sabrina-Your Carissa hollies can be rejuvenated if need be by some heavy pruning (rejuvenation pruning). The Chinese Holly is resilient to severe pruning and recovers quickly. Depending on how much damage was caused will of course depend on how drastic a pruning is needed. If just a few stems were damaged they can be cut out and the rest of the plant pruned down to make the desired shape of the plant look better. If much of the plants structure or natural characteristic was damaged badly you can rejuvenate, regrow a nice full plant again.

Prune back to within 6 to 12 inches of the ground. If they were healthy plants they will regrow quickly and will probably have a lot of new growth by mid-summer. Once the new shoots are about 12 inches long you can prune off the tips which will encourage more branching and a more compact shrub. Late winter-early spring is a good time to do this pruning of your holly. You should do your pruning now. The only time you don't want to prune would be late summer-early fall as the new growth will not have time to harden and can be damaged by freezing temperatures.

Hopefully this has helped.


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Answer #2 ·'s Answer · John's right...Carissa Holly can handle rejuvenation pruning fine. I've pruned damaged Carissa Holly back to 6 inch stumps and they came back just fine. Just keep in mind that hard pruning like this will remove all foliage. It shouldn't take long to start leafing back out though. This is one of the most hardy evergreen plants I know of.


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