The Q&A Archives: Hibiscus plant

Question: I planted 3 bushes next to my deck last summer-it is now April, when should I expect them to start to show activity for the spring? Should I cut or prune off anything that appears to be dead?

Answer: Hibiscus syriacus, or Rose-of-Sharon, is a deciduous shrub that grows 12-18 inches per year, reaching a mature size of 10-12' Rose-of-Sharon is valued for large flowers produced in mid-to late summer when few other shrubs bloom. The plant grows in sun or partial shade and in any soil. The growth rate ranges from slow to moderate, and transplanting is easy. The single or double flowers are in shades of red, pink, white and purple, depending on the cultivar. Peak bloom takes place in August. Prune in late winter or early spring. Frequent severe pruning gives fewer but larger flowers; no or little pruning gives many small flowers. I suspect that your plant will wake up soon. You can safely prune anything you know is dead and then wait until after it finished blooming to shorten any stems that are growing at odd angles. As your hibiscus matures, you can prune it back hard in the early spring.

Best wishes with your hibiscus!

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