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How to Get Rid of a Hibiscus Plant

By Kathryn Hatter ; Updated September 21, 2017
Get rid of a hibiscus plant you no longer want.

While many gardeners adore their tropical hibiscus plants and shower them with attentive care, a hibiscus may be taking up valuable space in your garden better used by a more frost-tolerant plant. The hibiscus is a member of the mallow family, which includes more than 300 varieties of trees, shrubs, perennials and annuals, according to University of Minnesota Extension. Hibiscus generally produce large trumpet-shaped blooms that last for a single day. If your hibiscus is looking ratty or is otherwise undesirable, you can get rid of a it using one of several eradication methods.

Leave the hibiscus plant in its planting location in the autumn if you are in a climate with cold winters. The standard care of a hibiscus involves either bringing a potted hibiscus indoors over the winter or digging up a hibiscus from the soil and bringing it indoors. If you no longer want your hibiscus, simply ignore it throughout the autumn and the autumn frosts and freezes (and eventually the winter freeze) will kill it. Dig the remains of the plant up in the spring and plant something else you desire in this spot.

Spray glyphosate liberally over the hibiscus foliage while the plant is actively growing. Select a calm and sunny day with temperatures between 60 F and 80 F and spray the plant to coat it with glyphosate. Allow the glyphosate to absorb into the plant. The plant will carry it down to the root system and within one week, you should notice the plant withering and dying. Apply the glyphosate a second time one week later if you do not notice significant wilting.

Dig the hibiscus from the soil with the shovel. Insert the shovel into the soil approximately 6 inches away from the outside edge of the hibiscus and push it down firmly into the soil. Reposition the shovel around the entire plant and then angle the tip of the shovel beneath the roots to loosen the hibiscus from the soil. Transfer the hibiscus to the planting container and firm additional soil around the roots. Give the hibiscus to a friend or a neighbor who will enjoy it.


Things You Will Need

  • Glyphosate herbicide
  • Shovel
  • Planting container (half full of potting soil)

About the Author


Kathryn Hatter is a veteran home-school educator, as well as an accomplished gardener, quilter, crocheter, cook, decorator and digital graphics creator. As a regular contributor to Natural News, many of Hatter's Internet publications focus on natural health and parenting. Hatter has also had publication on home improvement websites such as Redbeacon.