How To Prune A Hibiscus Tree ( Revealed!)

Last Modified

March 13, 2023 by Hirah Ehsan

Pruning is an essential part of maintaining the health of your plant. Pruning hibiscus is very easy and it also keeps the plant in a good condition

Hibiscus are showy beautiful plants with large prominent flowers that can bring an embellished and decorative feel to your garden.

In addition to the beautifying effects of the flower, its buds are edible and can be used to make sweet tea.

Nature Of Hibiscus Plant:

Hibiscus has short-lived flowers that usually bloom for a day but if the Hibiscus plant is pruned correctly.

Then a profusion of flowers and a full bloom of colors can be witnessed with new flowers blooming every single day.

The hibiscus family is large with a wide variety of plants that include herbaceous perennials, woody shrubs, and even trees

The most common varieties found in gardens are Hibiscus, Hibiscus rosa_sinensus, or Chinese hibiscus which is a tender evergreen shrub only grown in tropical regions.

Pruning Hibiscus:

For correctly pruning hibiscus, it is important to know which variety of hibiscus are you dealing with

There are various varieties of hibiscus and if you treat your hibiscus correctly you will get a flower-blooming machine.

So, if one-day flowers fade there is vigorous sprouting of new flowers to succeed them.

How Hibiscus Should Be Pruned:

The correct pruning of hibiscus depends on which type of variety you have.

After identifying the variety of the plant, all pruning should be carried out by a pair of sharp, clean secateurs.

The pros of using a clean tool are that it helps to minimize the chances of infection and a clean cut made by a sharp tool will heal easier as compared to a messy cut.

Cutting Back Hibiscus:

Hibiscus can be cut right back if you want a more blossoming plant and a neat look of your plant.

The Hibiscus plant grows with terminal flowers which means each flower grows on the end of the plant so pruning a healthy hibiscus plant will promote the plant to produce more flowers and more growth of the branches.

Old plants can also be pruned to prevent further decay and promote new and healthy growth.

When To Prune Hibiscus:

Pruning and the natural growth pattern of the plant must be lined up.

Never prune hibiscus in late fall or winter as this will prevent the plant from flowering in the early spring.

The exact timing of pruning depends on your location but generally, it is better to do major prunes in early spring and minor prunes at the beginning of fall or September.

Sterilization Of Pruning Tools:

Sterilization of the pruning tools before and during pruning each plant is very necessary to stop the spread of the disease

Sterilization of the tools can be done by rubbing alcohol, horticultural disinfectant, or hand sterilizer.

Tools should be sharp. If you use a dull knife or a saw it can do more damage than good to the plant and compromise its health of the plant

Location Of Pruning:

It is very important to know where to prune as the site of the pruning is the site of new growth. Always, keep in mind to prune the plant on branches facing upwards.

You will make each cut one by four inches from the top portion of the node with an angle of 45 degrees upwards.

The lower end of each cut should always be near the center of the bush while the upper end of the cut can be towards the higher ends of the bush.

This will enable water to run off along the surface of cuts and will prevent it from pooling which in turn will prevent infection.

How Much Pruning Is Adequate:

The general rule of pruning is that you should never prune or cut two-thirds of any branch off. If you are cutting too much of the plant, it will do more harm than good and will damage the plant.

Now let us tell you how you can prune different types of hibiscus trees. 

How To Prune Native Hibiscus Tree:

Hibiscus moscheutos the other names of which are rose mallow, swamp mallow can sometimes grow a bit too leggy and tall. To maintain a healthy height it is a prerequisite for it to be pruned.

 Make sure to cut its stem back towards the end as they are the growths of the previous season and the hibiscus will not grow from these stems.

This procedure should be done in late winter or early spring before the appearance of new growths.

Make sure to use a sharp blade and if you feel like the plant is looking a little tender, you can tie it to give it good support.

How To Prune Tropical Hibiscus tree:

These flowers are very fragile with glossy dark stems and vibrant red flowers which can only grow in tropical areas.

Tropical hibiscus shares some characteristics with native hibiscus and if you live in cooler environments.

You can grow tropical hibiscus but the prerequisite is to bring it indoors for a warmer environment.

This type of hibiscus should be pruned until it achieves a tree-like an appearance and the timing for pruning depends on the area where you live.

Never prune tropical hibiscus in the fall as it can increase the risk of freezing the new tender growth.

How To Prune  Hardy Hibiscus:

This variety has heart-shaped dull green leaves and flowers of pink and white colors.

Pruning for this variety is not required in summer as it is a foliage growth period however, the stems can be pinched back if a shrubby form is desired.

Once the plant has done flowering, it is necessary to remove spent blooms. After fall if you want to prune then you can leave three to six inches of stem to allow growth.

This plant is known for its incredible flowers and looks much more attractive when the wilted blooms are removed.

New sprouts appear in springtime and during this period, any remaining overwintered stems can be trimmed off by using sharp cutting instruments

This will allow hibiscus to bloom fully and the new sprouts will develop faster giving the plant a bloomed and appealing appearance

Hardy hibiscus is considered to be cold-tolerant and have showy flowers with a wide range of colors.

Additional tips:

Pruning the hibiscus tree is vital for maintaining the good health of the plant.

When hibiscus trees are given adequate water and fertilizer during the active growing season, there are greater possibilities of thriving plants.

It is essential to let the soil dry between watering so as to prevent fungal rot. Keeping soil dry in winter.

Then resuming watering when the spring arises will help the plant remain healthy for a long time and will allow it to experience full bloom once spring arises.

Blooming and feeding fertilizer will help the plant live a long life.

Recommended feeding technique is to feed one by four teaspoon fertilizer diluted in one gallon of water once a week during summer.

 It is not good to feed plants in winter because they are not actively growing

Following the above procedures and keeping a good eye on your plant will enable the plant to grow and blossom fully.

By doing so, you will be able to make your garden adorned with fully bloomed colors of hibiscus flowers.

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