How to Prune Hibiscus Plants

by Alex Kountry
Updated on

Hibiscus plants are a common sight in many yards and gardens. They are known for their large, bright flowers, but they can also become overgrown and leggy if they are not properly cared for. Pruning hibiscus plants is a necessary part of their care, and it is not as difficult as it may seem. Follow these simple tips to keep your hibiscus plants looking their best.

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Hibiscus plants are grown for their large, colorful flowers, which bloom profusely from summer to fall. While they are generally low-maintenance, hibiscus plants benefit from pruning to remove old and dying flowers and stems. Proper pruning techniques will encourage new growth and more flowers. Read on to learn how to prune hibiscus plants.

The Basics of Hibiscus Pruning

It’s important to prune hibiscus plants regularly to encourage new growth and to prevent the plant from becoming overgrown. You should prune your hibiscus plant every 6-8 weeks during the growing season. To prune your hibiscus plant, start by cutting away any dead or dying leaves. Next, trim back any long stems. Finally, cut away any branches that are crossing over each other.


The best time to prune hibiscus plants is in the late winter or early spring, before new growth begins. If you wait until the plant has already started to put out new growth, you risk damaging or even killing the plant.

There are two different types of hibiscus plants: tropical and hardy. Tropical hibiscus plants are typically only hardy in zones 10-12, while hardy hibiscus plants can survive in colder temperatures, down to zone 4. If you’re not sure what type of hibiscus plant you have, it’s always best to err on the side of caution and wait until late winter or early spring to prune.

##Heading: tools
You will need a sharp pair of pruning shears for this job. dull shears can damage the plant and make it more difficult to get a clean cut. You may also want to consider using a tree trimmer or pole saw if your hibiscus is large.


The most important tool for pruning hibiscus plants is a sharp, clean pair of shears. Avoid using dull shears, as this can damage the plant. A nice, sharp pair of pruning shears will make the job much easier and will help you get a cleaner cut.

In addition to sharp shears, you’ll also need a stool or ladder if your hibiscus plant is taller than you are. It’s always best to prune plants when they’re at eye level so you can see what you’re doing. Having a stool or ladder will help you reach the top of the plant so you can give it a nice, even prune.


Hibiscus are notorious for their temperamental blooming habits. Many hibiscus growers have frustrating experiences with these beautiful plants, often because they do not understand how to prune them properly. Read on to learn about the three main types of hibiscus pruning and how each can benefit your plant.

Pruning hibiscus plants is a necessary part of their care, as it helps to encourage new growth and keep the plant healthy. There are three main types of hibiscus pruning: deadheading, pinching, and shearing. Learning how and when to use each of these techniques will help you keep your hibiscus looking its best.

Deadheading is the process of removing spent blooms from the plant. This encourages the plant to produce more flowers, as it does not have to expend energy on producing seeds. Deadheading is best done on a regular basis, as soon as the flowers begin to fade.

Pinching is the process of removing new growth from the tips of the plant branches. This promotes bushier growth and can help to control the shape of the plant. Pinching should be done every few weeks during the growing season.

Shearing is the process of trimming back all of the branches of the plant at once. This can be done for aesthetic reasons or to encourage new growth. Shearing should only be done once or twice a year, in late winter or early spring.

Pruning for Size

Pruning is a necessary part of hibiscus care. By pruning, you can control the size of your hibiscus plant. Pruning also encourages new growth, which can make your plant fuller and more vibrant.

When to Prune

Hibiscus plants can be pruned at any time of year. However, the best time to prune Hibiscus is in late winter or early spring, just before the plant begins to leaf out and produce new growth.

How Much to Prune

When pruning hibiscus for size, the amount you prune will depend on the plant’s age and the desired shape or size. For young plants, prune up to one-third of the plant. For older plants, you can remove up to one-half of the plant. Each time you prune, make sure to cut back to a healthy bud or branch.

Pruning for Shape

Hibiscus plants can be kept small by pinching or pruning them. Pinching is done by using your fingers to gently remove the tips of new growth. This will cause the plant to branch out and become fuller. Pruning is done with a sharp pair of shears and is used to remove dead or diseased branches, as well as to shape the plant.

When to Prune

Hibiscus plants are often pruned to promote growth, control shape, and encourage blooming. The best time to prune your hibiscus plant will depend on the type of plant and your climate. Most hibiscus plants bloom on new growth, so in regions with mild winters, it’s best to prune in early spring. In regions with colder winters, wait to prune until after the last frost date.

To encourage growth and blooming, cut back one-third of the plant’s stems. For SHAPELY plants, focus on pruning stems that are out of proportion with the rest of the plant or that are crossing over other stems. To promote bushier growth, cut back stems at different heights all over the plant.

How to Prune

Initial pruning of hibiscus should be done soon after planting. For best results, wait until the plant has flowered, then cut it back by one-third to one-half. This will encourage branching and result in a bushier plant. Once the plant is established, it should be pruned every year or two to maintain its shape and promote new growth.

There are a few different ways to prune hibiscus plants. For example, you can shear the plant to create a formal hedge, or you can do selective pruning to remove specific branches. Whichever method you choose, it’s important to make clean cuts at the right time of year.

Shearing is best done in late winter or early spring, before new growth begins. To shear a hibiscus plant, use sharp pruning shears to trim all around the outside of the plant, creating a uniform shape. Be careful not to cut too deeply into the plant, as this can damage new growth buds.

Selective pruning can be done at any time of year, but it’s best to avoid pruning during the plants’ active growth period (usually late spring through summer). To selectively prune a hibiscus plant, simply remove any branches that are crossing over each other, rubbing against each other, or growing in an undesirable direction. Cut these branches back to the point where they meet another branch or the main trunk of the plant.


In conclusion, proper pruning of hibiscus plants is essential for maintaining their health and preventing them from becoming overgrown. By following the tips outlined in this article, you can keep your hibiscus plants looking their best all year long.

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About the author

Alex Kountry

Alex Kountry is the founder of HayFarmGuy and has been a backyard farmer for over 10 years. Since then he has decided to write helpful articles that will help you become a better backyard farmer and know what to do. He also loves to play tennis and read books