Answer: There are two types of hardy hibiscus. One is a herbaceous perennial that dies back to the ground and then regrows from the ground each year. This one can be cut back in the fall because the rangy stems will be dead by the next season.
The other type of hardy hibiscus is a woody shrub, Hibiscus syriacus or Rose of Sharon. This one can be pruned as needed to either shape it or control its size. Pruning is best done in late winter or very early spring because it blooms on the new growth of the season. Most gardeners will trim it back at least some to keep it dense and shapely, but it is not strictly necessary and can be left unpruned indefinitely. It can be grown either as a bush or as a small "tree" form.
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