How to Prune Hibiscus | A Proper Caring & Growing Guide


Articles, products, and services offered on this site are for informational purposes only. We recommend using caution and seeking professional advice. This site provides general information. We are part of the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program. is compensated for sales resulting from links on our website.

Please review our disclaimer before taking action based on anything you read or see.

The Hibiscus is shrubby plants of solitary magnificence. They have large flowers, up to 10cm, with very bright and cheerful colors. They are perfect plants to have in pots or warm-temperate and tropical gardens, as they are also very easy to care for. In this guide, I will discuss how to prune the hibiscus.

How to Prune Hibiscus

Hibiscus plant arrives in an assortment of shapes, sizes, development propensities, and opposition levels. Before pruning a hibiscus, it is important to know the variety you grow since plants wilt in winter (herbaceous) must receive a different treatment than those that remain above ground but lose their leaves (tropical). When you know how to prune your specific variety of hibiscus, repeat the process every year for good plant maintenance.


  • In fall, prune the withered growths of an herbaceous hibiscus to only 8 to 12 inches (20 to 30 cm) tall. Use a clean hand pruner. For the winter, place leaf mulch on and around the remaining portions of the plant. Remove mulch in spring and cut dead branches to ground level.
  • After the last frost, spring prunes tropical hibiscus varieties, such as “Rose of Sharon” or “Chinese.” Check the plant for dead branches and cut them down to a ground-level where they join a healthy stem.
  • Check the healthy growth of a tropical hibiscus by determining the location of the oldest and tallest stems and where the branches brush against each other. Cut crisscrossing branches where they join a healthy stem or ground level if there is no bypass zone.
  • Prune old, brittle plant branches where they join vigorous growth or healthy within the stem itself. If it is possible to cut within the same stem, cut the branch just above a set of two or three leaves. 
  • Keep trimming a tropical hibiscus until a third of the plant is removed, leaving only three or four strong, healthy branches. Ideally, the remaining branches should grow outward from the center of the plant.
YouTube video

How to Prune Hibiscus in your Garden

Pruning hibiscus promotes healthy growth and abundant flowering. Hibiscus is a large group of annuals and perennials, often in the form of a tree with a long main stem and topiary around it? This form is generally called a standard. Proper annual pruning is important to maintain the shape of the hibiscus, especially when there is a tree in the garden where it can easily cross your space if it is not tamed.


  • Mix one-piece household bleach with three parts water in a bucket and prepare a disinfectant solution. Soak the scissors in the solution for about five minutes. Allow the device to air dry.
  • Remove dead, diseased, or damaged hibiscus branches from healthy wood as soon as you notice them. After each incision on the diseased, dead branches, disinfect the pruning tools in the disinfectant solution.
  • Stand three meters from the hibiscus and watch the branches protrude from the tree in the garden, obstructing your view or blocking the flow of light or air. The best time to prune hibiscus is in early spring. Try not to eliminate more than 33% of the plant at a time.
  • Trim selected branches with hand scissors and a trimmer, then cut another branch or tree trunk approximately 1/2 to 2 inches from the branch collar. A branch collar is a slightly elevated area at the bottom of a branch where a branch grows out of a larger branch or trunk.
  • Squeeze old hibiscus flowers before they form seed heads. This will promote flowering.
How to Prune Hibiscus

Things you will need 

  • Bleach
  • Bucket
  • Hand pruners 
  • Lopper

How to Grow Hibiscus

  • Cut a piece of the stem of about 12 centimeters of a Hibiscus bush. It is necessary that this only have between two and three leaves; if you have more of these, just remove them carefully. Leave it overnight soaked in a container of water. The best time to do this will be in the spring, as both species are delicate when grown by cuttings.
  • Choose the most appropriate area to plant it. Keep in mind that it can grow up to 3 meters. Select a spot that gives it enough space to grow normally.
  • Buy some substrate with a balanced content of vitamins and minerals. Dig a hole 5 centimeters deep, add a handful of compost, introduce your cutting and cover it with the substrate, securing it so that it does not fall. As it does not yet have roots, you can fix a wooden stick by tying it to serve as a support.
  • Water it as soon as you finish planting it. You should not water it so often. Remember that we have to wait for the roots to develop. Doing it once every three days is enough. If you follow these steps to the letter in a couple of months, you should already show off your flowery. Learn how often you should water new sod.
YouTube video

Hibiscus Plantation Using a Sucker

You will have more chances of their occurrence since they already have their respective roots. You won’t have to go through thorough procedures. Get the variety you like best at your local nursery and keep it for a couple of hours in a vase of water. Dig a hole about four inches deep and plant it by adding the respective substrate.

The best thing to do is to sow several suckers simultaneously so that their appearance is harmonious when they grow up. If you plan to do this, dig a longer hole, so its roots are out of the way as they get used to the soil.

Hibiscus Plantation Using a Sucker

Necessary Care for the Hibiscus

  • We recommend that you plant them in mid-spring or early summer. To make sure the plant sticks, we have to provide it with the maximum amount of light. This applies to both the tropical and the hardy hibiscus.
  • Once the plant has stuck, water it every other day with plenty of water. Do not skimp on the amount you supply. They are lovers of water when they receive the sun’s rays at the same time. Do it when the sun is starting to go down.
  • Provide compost at least once a year. If the winter has been very strong, we recommend that you pay it back so that it receives extra energy and recovers from such a hard blow.
  • To stimulate its flowering, prune it in early January to produce them as soon as the spring season begins.

Since pruning needs to take care of growing hibiscus.


The ideal range for this plant is between 13 and 21 ° C. Originally from warm climates. It cannot stand cold at all. Therefore, if you live, the temperatures in winter drop below 0 ° C, you will not be able to grow it outdoors. Try to keep it in a pot and take it indoors in the cold months.


Regarding the place where to locate your hibiscus, it must protect it from the cold, and at the same time, grant it several hours of sunlight a day. However, it can be damaged by direct rays of light at midday, especially in the hot spring and summer months.


It is important to carry out abundant watering, especially when the plant is flowering. At that time, always keep the soil moist but never cause waterlogging since it can cause fungi problems. 

Then in winter, the watering should decrease although if in places with very dry winters, you can spray its leaves to increase the humidity.


The fertilization season should begin in the spring when the plant begins to wake up from winter. Then make contributions of fertilizer every 15 days until the end of flowering. It is always good to perform a soil test. This will allow knowing its composition, being able to carry out more precise fertilization.


Pruning should not be missing in this brief list. 

How to Prune Hibiscus: FAQs

How to prune hibiscus?

When pruning hibiscus plants, they should be cut by about a third, leaving at least two or three knots on the branches for new shoots to appear. These cuts should be made just above the knots, leaving about a quarter of an inch. Remove any weak, diseased or dead growths and crossed or long-legged branches.

How to prevent hibiscus from becoming leggy?

At the first circumcision, cut off the muscular limbs. Hibiscus plants tolerate heavy pruning well and benefit from it, and it is the only way to regain control of a long-legged shrub. Trim or remove all the limbs of the long legs to return the plant to its desired shape.

Would it be a good idea for you to cut off dead hibiscus blossoms? 

Cutting is simple! There are many benefits to removing dead flowers. This procedure cleanses the plant’s appearance and controls the spread of seeds, and encourages your flowers and plants to grow fuller and fuller than before.

Last Words

We believe you have taken a great deal concerning this article on the best way to prune the hibiscus flower and other necessary subtopics discussed in it.

Comments are closed.