To learn how to prune hibiscus plants you will need to know when to do so and need sharp and clean tools. Other steps include identifying branches and leaves to prune and giving it your desired shape.How to Prune Hibiscus Plants

Pruning your plants carefully will keep them in shape and ensure that they grow stronger. If you’d love to learn the best ways to prune your hibiscuses, read this article.

How to Prune Your Hibiscus Plants in 6 Simple Steps?

To prune your hibiscus in six simple steps you must know the best time to do so. Identify leaves and branches that need to be removed, reduce the height of other branches, give your hibiscus your desired shape and do some finishing touches and water and fertilize the plants.

1. Know the Best Time to Prune Plants

The best time to prune your hibiscuses is in early spring or late winter so that they can heal and grow throughout the year without interruptions. Pruning your plants later in the year like in the summer months should be strictly for necessities or emergencies. For example, prune off diseased leaves or branches as soon as you can see them.Know the Best Time to Prune Plants

So long as your purpose of pruning your hibiscus is to keep its growth or shape in check, prune it early in the year. Prune the bushes when planting other plants so that every plant in your garden will start (or continue) growing in spring.

2. Identify Leaves and Branches to Prune

When it’s time to prune your hibiscuses, select the parts of the plants that will go. Weak, dead, or diseased leaves, stems, and branches are the first parts to search for. Cut them off first. This is called selective pruning.

After removing the diseased or damaged parts, it’s time to check for overcrowded parts. If one or two stems or branches look overcrowded, prune them to keep the plant neat. You can either start pruning the plant now or indicate them with a marker so that you can prune them later.

3. Reduce the Height of Other Branches

After removing the damaged and overcrowded branches, you are almost done. Now is the time to take a few steps backward and look at the plant. Is it taller than what you want? If so, cut back the tall branches so that your hibiscus can have your desired height.

Hibiscus trees are most beautiful when they are not taller than you, so always put their height in shape. Please make use of a measuring tape when pruning your hibiscus (especially if you have multiple plants to prune) so that you can have a uniform height for every plant.

4. Give Your Hibiscus Your Desired Shape

Now is the time to do some hard pruning. Using your pruning tools, cut the hibiscus plant to give it any shape of your choice. This step in pruning hibiscuses is optional, but it makes your plants very beautiful. Consider making shapes such as spheres, hearts, and ovals with the plants.Give Your Hibiscus Your Desired Shape

If you are not skilled at pruning plants, leave this step and move on to the next. Also, remember that shaping your plants will require you to prune and maintain them regularly if you still want them to keep that shape.

5. Some Finishing Touches for the Plants

Again, take a few steps backward and look at the plant. Are you proud of your work? If so, well done, and congratulations, as you are done pruning the plants. However, if you left some branches uncut, now is the time to cut them off.

After pruning your plants, dispose of the waste. Do not use the cut leaves and stem as mulch for the plant. Dispose of them so that you can keep your plants safe from decomposing fungi.

6. Water and Fertilize the Plants

Plant care isn’t complete without watering the plants. Your hibiscuses can lose hydration from their cut branches, so water them so that they can stay hydrated. Watering helps them to heal quickly from the cuts.

Pruned plants become bushier. This means that they will most likely grow more leaves and branches. To help your plants so they can grow their new leaves successfully, fertilize them. Fertilize them, especially if the soil is not nutrient-rich. If the soil is nutrient-rich, you can just water them and you are done with them.

How To Know When to Prune Hibiscuses in 6 Methods?

How to know when to prune you hibiscuses is if you can see that it’s becoming leggy, if winter is on the way or they are too crowded you can prune. If some branches are damaged, flowers are not forming or they are growing too large you can also prune.

– Spy if Your Hibiscus Plant Is Leggy

Pruning will encourage new growth in your hibiscus, so prune off the leggy parts. Leggy branches are those branches that look very weak and can’t stand firm. Prune them off so that new ones can grow and replace them.Spy if Your Hibiscus Plant Is Leggy

Why are the branches leggy in the first place? What assurance do you have that the new branches to grow will not be leggy? Before pruning off the leggy branches, know the cause so that you can fix it before the new branches grow. The major cause of leggy branches is a lack of sufficient sunlight.

– Keep an Eye on the Weather Forecast

Prune tropical hibiscuses before the winter comes so that they can survive the winter. Even though your plant is a hardy hibiscus, prune it, as it will still lose its leaves in the winter. Pruning it a month before it goes dormant on its own (when winter comes) will help it save nutrients and energy.

If you have asked “Should I cut back my hibiscus for winter?” before? The answer is yes, as tropical hibiscuses are warmth-loving. To know when to trim hibiscus for winter, simply check the forecast and prune the plants a few weeks before the snow comes.

Note that it is not necessary to prune your indoor hibiscuses, as the temperature indoors is usually suitable for them. However, ensure that they get enough light throughout the winter.

– Check That Your Hibiscus Plants Are Not Too Crowded

When growing common hibiscuses, you’d see new plants growing below mature ones. In time, the planting area will be crowded with hibiscus plants and you’d see true branches intertwined. You have to prune the plants and clear the area so that it can look presentable.

When pruning your hibiscuses to clear overcrowded plants, remove the little plants and suckers growing below mature ones. Also, reduce the size of plants that have grown too large.

– Prune Dead or Dying Branches

While this is not a pruning problem, pruning is part of the solution. When your hibiscus has some diseased branches, it signifies that the plant has been attacked. Leaving those branches can expose the other branches and plants to diseases. Therefore, prune off the diseased parts.

However, ensure that you know the cause of the disease first before you prune off the branches. Know the cause, prune the branches, then treat the plant. If you only prune without treating the plants, other branches will get the disease.

– Observe Whether Flowers are Forming

Are your hibiscuses not producing flowers? It could be because the branches are too old, weak, or diseased. It could also be because of some environmental factors such as soil pH, unsuitable temperature, lack of nutrients, etc. Pruning them will make way for young ones that will produce flowers.Observe Whether Flowers are Forming

After identifying and fixing the blooming problem, you still need to prune the old branches so that new ones can grow. Also, remember to fertilize the plants after pruning them.

– Make Sure They Don’t Grow too Big

Do you have an overgrown plant? You need corrective pruning to keep the plant back in size and shape. Use your tape to check the height so that you can know how many inches to cut off. Ensure that your plants have your desired size and shape.

Frequently Asked Questions

– How Often Should You Prune Hibiscus Plants?

You should prune your hibiscus plants once or twice annually. However, for emergency pruning, you can prune the plants as often as necessary. For example, remove dead branches even though you have already pruned the hibiscus earlier in the same year. Just remember not to over-prune the plants.

– What Tools Do You Need to Prune Hibiscuses?

Some tools that you need to prune hibiscuses are sharp pruning shears, gloves, and measuring tapes. The shears should be disinfected so that you do not expose your hibiscuses to harmful microbes. Also, you need water and fertilizer to properly care for the plants after pruning them.


Hibiscus pruning will surely be easier for you after reading this article, right? Before you go prune the plants, remember these points from the article:

  • Remove every dead leaf, stem, and branch when pruning your hibiscuses.
  • Pruning hibiscus for winter indoors is not necessary, as the plants are safe from extreme winter temperatures.
  • If your hibiscuses have leggy stems and branches, prune those parts so that new ones will grow.
  • Pruning hibiscus in summer should just be for emergencies, as the best time to prune the plants is in early spring.

Now, go cut your hibiscuses and make them pretty. Remember to use the hibiscus care tips in this article.

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