The Q&A Archives: Cutting Back Hibscus

Question: I have two hibiscus plants which are potted and keeping them outside during spring and summer. They stopped blooming about 30 days ago and I want to bring them in again this fall and winter. They have grown to about 4 feet tall - very leggy - but still healthy green leaves. How far down should I prune the branches since they seem top heavy and I am wondering if all the growth is going into their getting taller and not producing flowers. Thank you for your help.

Answer: Tropical hibiscus can be cut down quite severely without harm. Just remember that wherever you cut a stem, one or two new stems will emerge. You can cut about one-third of the growth down without stressing the plants - in this case 12" to 18" of stem. When bringing your plants back indoors, do it in stages so they can adapt to growing indoors again. I bring my plants indoors at night and take them back outdoors during the day, leaving them in for longer and longer periods of time. Within 7-10 days the plants are acclimated and ready to spend 24 hours indoors. Hope this information helps!

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