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How to Prune Rose of Sharon Trees

By Amma Marfo ; Updated September 21, 2017

The rose of Sharon, known for its large, sometimes papery blooms, is easy to maintain for most gardeners. Like most plants, it benefits from routine pruning and care. Luckily, if you don’t already know how to prune rose of Sharon trees, it is simple and doesn’t require a lot of intense timing or skill. Just keep an eye on your plant as spring comes to know when the time is right.

Check the stems of your plants in early spring before new growth has started for the year. Once new buds are starting to swell, you’ll know it’s time to prune.

Prune by cutting away branches to maintain the shape of the plant. On any branch or stem you trim, make sure two to three buds are left to grow on the branch.

Trim your rose of Sharon to be treelike, if desired, by only trimming near the base of the plant, but leaving the body of it full.

Cut back the plant excessively if it is old or overgrown by pruning the entire plant back to 2 to 6 feet tall.

Remove any suckers or new shoots at ground level by snipping them as low to the surface as possible.

Sever any weak or unwanted wispy branches after your rose of Sharon has flowered. These should be fairly easy to spot because of their lack of leaves, and they may or may not have flowered.


Things You Will Need

  • Hand pruners
  • Mulch


  • Add a layer of mulch around your plants to help cover the cut suckers, which prevents them from coming up and keeps weeds down.