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How to Prune Outdoor Hibiscus

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The hibiscus is an ornamental bush that planted outdoors as a landscaping element. It has colorful flowers and alternating green leaves. You can prune hibiscus plants to maintain their size and keep them healthy. In the spring, you can prune hibiscus to maintain size and shape. It can also be pruned in the fall. The focus in the fall will be to remove dead or damaged branches. Hibiscus responds well to pruning, and you can remove one-third of the branches safely to create new growth.

  • The hibiscus is an ornamental bush that planted outdoors as a landscaping element.
  • You can prune hibiscus plants to maintain their size and keep them healthy.

Sterilize the blades of your pruning shears by rubbing them with hand sanitizer using a clean rag. This will help prevent the spread of plant diseases to your hibiscus as you prune them.

Cut the branches back in early spring. You can trim approximately one-third of the branches off as long as you leave two to three nodes or bumps on each branch. Make the cut above a leaf node that is facing up or out from the branches using pruning shears. Clip long branches that are disproportionate to the rest of the bush first and continue to prune the remainder of the bush in the same manner.

Prune any dead branches back to the base of the hibiscus in late fall using pruning shears. This will provide the new shoots in the spring with an opportunity to grow without the weight of dead branches in the way.

  • Sterilize the blades of your pruning shears by rubbing them with hand sanitizer using a clean rag.
  • Make the cut above a leaf node that is facing up or out from the branches using pruning shears.

Prune Hibiscus

Hibiscus adds a tropical vibe to any landscape, whether planted in patio pots or in a relaxing warm-climate garden. Pruning hibiscus to remove dead or ailing branches also helps the plant stay healthy. It's also the best way to encourage the overall shape of the hibiscus. Deadheading—the process of removing faded, wilting blooms—benefits many types of flowers, including hibiscus, since it helps the plant redirect its energy into creating more blooms. If you prefer to use tools, bypass hand pruners are ideal, speeding up the process when deadheading lots of flowers. * Tropical hibiscus varieties don't tolerate cold well, so they aren't good options for a garden outside of USDA plant hardiness zones 10 to 12. Instead, wait until late winter or early spring when temperatures start to rise. Tropical hibiscus:** The tropical varieties can be pruned any time during the growing season to help shape them and to remove dead branches. If you place it in a cool, dark place such as a basement, save the pruning until late winter or early spring. Nodes are the bumps on the stems from which leaves grow. An eligible node for pruning may have a leaf on it, or it may just look and feel like a bump.  * To encourage the plant to grow inwards, prune 1/4-inch above a node facing the center of the plant. New growth will sprout from the node and grow inward. * Use bypass hand pruners to make the cuts.  A mature tropical hibiscus with lots of dead branches may benefit from a hard prune, or cutting back much, if not all, of the old growth. Expect to wait at least a couple months for the first new flowers after a hard prune.

  • Hibiscus adds a tropical vibe to any landscape, whether planted in patio pots or in a relaxing warm-climate garden.
  • An eligible node for pruning may have a leaf on it, or it may just look and feel like a bump.  * To encourage the plant to grow inwards, prune 1/4-inch above a node facing the center of the plant.

Prune Hibiscus

Hibiscus adds a tropical vibe to any landscape, whether planted in patio pots or in a relaxing warm-climate garden. Pruning hibiscus to remove dead or ailing branches also helps the plant stay healthy. It's also the best way to encourage the overall shape of the hibiscus. Deadheading—the process of removing faded, wilting blooms—benefits many types of flowers, including hibiscus, since it helps the plant redirect its energy into creating more blooms. If you prefer to use tools, bypass hand pruners are ideal, speeding up the process when deadheading lots of flowers. * Tropical hibiscus varieties don't tolerate cold well, so they aren't good options for a garden outside of USDA plant hardiness zones 10 to 12. Instead, wait until late winter or early spring when temperatures start to rise. Tropical hibiscus:** The tropical varieties can be pruned any time during the growing season to help shape them and to remove dead branches. If you place it in a cool, dark place such as a basement, save the pruning until late winter or early spring. Nodes are the bumps on the stems from which leaves grow. An eligible node for pruning may have a leaf on it, or it may just look and feel like a bump.  * To encourage the plant to grow inwards, prune 1/4-inch above a node facing the center of the plant. New growth will sprout from the node and grow inward. * Use bypass hand pruners to make the cuts.  A mature tropical hibiscus with lots of dead branches may benefit from a hard prune, or cutting back much, if not all, of the old growth. Expect to wait at least a couple months for the first new flowers after a hard prune.

  • Hibiscus adds a tropical vibe to any landscape, whether planted in patio pots or in a relaxing warm-climate garden.
  • An eligible node for pruning may have a leaf on it, or it may just look and feel like a bump.  * To encourage the plant to grow inwards, prune 1/4-inch above a node facing the center of the plant.

Tip

Prune your hibiscus each spring to maintain its size and proportion. Keep your pruning shears sharp.

Warning

Wear gardening gloves when pruning to avoid scratches.

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