How to Trim Hibiscus Trees


The hibiscus tree is commonly found as a potted plant throughout many landscapes because of its striking flower colors. These blossoms come in an array of shades like purple, orange and pink and grace the tree almost all year. As you enjoy your hibiscus, prune the plant to keep the tree shape attractive and enable the blossoms to grow as much as possible. Fortunately, these plants can withstand an aggressive pruning.

Step 1

Cut out dead limbs during late January and February, using the pruning shears. Make smooth cuts to ensure that the tree heals properly.

Step 2

Trim out leggy branches to shape your tree and remove 1/3 of the plant. Cut branches all the way back to the bud line.

Step 3

Cut out diseased limbs or branches that rub against each other. Continue this light-trimming practice throughout the year.

Step 4

Cut your hibiscus tree down in the fall to 1 to 2 feet above the soil. This prepares your plant for dormancy so that essential nutrients go to new growth.

Things You'll Need

  • Pruning shears


  • Alabama Cooperative Extension System: Hibiscus: A Plant That Blooms All Year
  • University of Florida: Hibiscus in Florida
  • Aggie Horticulture: Follow Proper Pruning Techniques
  • University of Minnesota: Hibiscus

Who Can Help

  • University of Illinois Extension: Chinese (Tropical) Hibiscus
  • Iowa State University Extension: Hardy Hibiscus for a Tropical Look
  • University of Arkansas: Hibiscus
Keywords: hibiscus, trim hibiscus, care for hibiscus

About this Author

Jenny Glass has been writing professionally since 2001 and is a glass artist with a Web design and technical writing background. In addition to writing for Demand Studios, she has been a contributor to "Glass Line Magazine" and runs her own art glass business.