The Q&A Archives: Pruning Hibiscus and Magnolia Trees

Question: When is the best time to prune magnolia trees and hibicuis
trees? I have 2 hibicus trees and one magnolia tree in my
yard and they need obvious trimming but I don't want to
kill them.

Answer: Flowering magnolia trees are not usually pruned except to remove dead wood or tidy up storm damage. The deciduous magnolias bloom early in the spring on the previous year's growth, so any pruning would only be done in late spring after the bloom period to avoid removing the flowering wood.

A hardy hibiscus, Hibiscus syriacus or Rose of Sharon should be pruned in late winter or early spring before it begins to grow for the season. It can be pruned lightly to remove any winterkill and the seed pods or it can be cut off close to the ground to renew it, or anywhere in between. Pruning later in the season may remove the blooms for the current year as these plants bloom on the new growth of the season.

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