Hibiscus forum: Novice Hibiscus Pruning Questions

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Name: Tim
Philadelphia, PA (Zone 7a)
Sep 2, 2016 7:04 PM CST

As the title states, I have some questions about pruning my hibiscus. I am a novice pot-plant gardener living in Philadelphia, PA. Here we have very hot and humid summers and very cold winters. I plan on over-wintering my plant inside the house.

My main question is when should I prune my hibiscus? It seems like there are two schools of though: 1. right before you bring it inside for the winter and 2. Just after new growth starts in the spring. Which one would be right for me?

My secondary question deals with form. My plant is definitely a bush right now. I would like to transform it into a tree standard, if not this year then next. Again, when should serious pruning like that happen and is it something a novice like me should be attempting?

What do you think?
Thumb of 2016-09-03/Tim18h/8821fc

Name: Lori Bright
San Luis Obispo, California (Zone 7a)
Vegetable Grower Roses Cottage Gardener Lover of wildlife (Black bear badge) Keeps Goats
Sep 2, 2016 7:22 PM CST
I like pruning them in early spring. If you plan on making yours into a standard, I would suggest that you do it little by little. Where it is nice to clean up the interior of the plant, it's a stressor to chop out a large portion of the plant structure. I'm making one of mine into a standard. Maybe just a 24" patio standard. My plant is in its third year, (from a cutting) and I think it'll take one more year to finish it. The nurseries use a stake that is attached very firmly, I do it a bit more loosely. Sometimes I'll hedge my bets and let them form two "leaders" and once I feel confident that one is stronger and straighter, I'll remove the backup. During the summer months you can "rub off" any young unruly growth, that way the energy will go where you want it to go. Hope this helps. Green Grin!

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