Hibiscus Plants
Q.

Pruning a hibiscus

Zone 6 (I think) Massachusetts | mesaindon added on September 17, 2014 | Answered

How do I cut back/prune a large hibiscus that I bring inside for the winter? Is this even advisable? It's getting to be larger than my green room. HELP!!

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cdnheather
Answered on September 19, 2014

It would help to know what kind if Hibiscus you have and where you live. There are many varieties of Hibiscus which are winter hardy and depending on which variety you have, you can simply plant it outdoors and forgo the hassle of finding enough room and sun light for it to make it through the winter. The major exception are those which you can usually buy in a big box store. Those plants or trees are grown indoors and don't do well outdoors in the cold at all. Having said all that, you can usually prune a Hibiscus quite liberally. You can start by removing any branches which will open up the centre of the plant to air and light. These branches are also usually the biggest/thickest and therefore the oldest branches. Remove all dead branches and those branches which may be growing in an awkward fashion. From there you can reduce the height of the plant by cutting branches back. However, before you start on reducing the height keep in mind that you don't want to remove anymore than 1/3 of the entire plant per growing season. Prune back to just above the first or second node (bump on the branch.) Lastly, Hibiscus blooms on the current year's growth so if you choose to prune in the spring you may lose some blooms. But the blooms you do get are bigger in size.

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