Hibiscus forum: Pinching/pruning hardy hibiscus

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Name: Ben
Maryland (Zone 7a)
Image
Benjoe90
Jun 16, 2020 8:43 PM CST
Does anyone pinch or prune their hardy hibiscus plants?

I have some 3 year old seed grown hibiscus laevis that finally bloomed last year. They topped out at over 6 feet tall. But in a few thunderstorms they started to flop.

I need the vertical growth because i dont have much garden space.

I was wondering if anyone pinches the growing tips for a bushier less prone to falling form.

Is there a certain time/height that is best to prune?

I have 2 that i am experimenting with, one i pinched the growing tips at about 4 ft tall, and the other i whacked back to only about 1 ft tall. I feel like the latter will have diminished blooms from such a drastic cut.

Thanks
Benjoe
Name: Eric
Hawthorne, fl (Zone 9a)
Bee Lover
Miamiu
Jun 18, 2020 6:05 PM CST
I tend to let them grow as is because I am under the impression pinching will reduce the blooms you get since they are usually at the top of the stems.
[Last edited by Miamiu - Jun 18, 2020 6:05 PM (+)]
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ElPolloDiablo
Jun 28, 2020 3:46 AM CST
If you are having that kind of trouble it means either you had one bad thunderstorm (it can happen) or your hibiscus is getting too much nitrogen. Too much nitrogen will make new growth spindly and frail: generally speaking hibis only need potassium and phosphorous to improve flowering. They are pretty good at looking for nitrogen themselves.

You can easily solve your predictament by getting three or four 5ft long ½" rebar (#3 Imperial size) driving them in the ground around your hibiscus and then running steel wire every ½ft around them. No matter how heavy the plant it is, #3 Imperial rebar will prop it up.
I am just another white boy who thinks he can play the Blues.
Name: Ben
Maryland (Zone 7a)
Image
Benjoe90
Jul 9, 2020 7:53 AM CST
Thanks for the suggestions. I think next year i will try using a tomato cage to try to keep them upright. They may look weird for a few weeks in the spring. But they grow so fast they should obscure the cage by late june
Name: Ben
Maryland (Zone 7a)
Image
Benjoe90
Jul 19, 2020 9:46 AM CST
They are finally flowering now. Im not sure if cutting them back actually did anything besides make the tops sprout more branches. They still are topping out at around 7-8 feet tall. The stems seem a little more sturdy though. Ive only had tie them all together instead of actually staking them up.

The one i cut back to only 1 ft tall is very far behind in bud forming. I may get a few blooms very late in the season. It has not grew more than 3 ft tall since the chop.
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