“When is the best time to trim tropical Hibiscus?” Question from Jane of Tampa, Florida
Answer: You can prune these evergreen tropicals at any time to manage plant size, encourage denser growth, and induce more flowering, but pruning is best done in late winter when they are blooming very little.
These tropical Chinese shrubs flower on new wood, and pruning encourages the development of new wood, so it’s a great way to get them to bloom more. Here are five good hibiscus-pruning tips.
- Late winter is generally a good time to prune, but wait until the weather is sure to be consistently warm.
- Use clean, sharp pruning shears.
- Make 1/4-inch angled cuts above the leaf joints (the angle’s point should be towards the leaf joint).
- Remove sprawling, unruly branches that ruin the plant’s bushy shape.
- Refrain from pruning again until the following year unless your shrubs become too overgrown.
Just be sure to refrain from pruning when your hibiscus are in full flower.
Black Gold Horticulturist
Plants are the lens Jessie views the world through because they’re all-sustaining. (“They feed, clothe, house and heal us. They produce the air we breathe and even make us smell pretty.”) She’s a garden writer and photographer with degrees in both horticulture and plant biology from Purdue and Michigan State Universities. Her degrees were bolstered by internships at Longwood Gardens and the American Horticultural Society. She has since worked for many horticultural institutions and companies and now manages communications for Sun Gro Horticulture, the parent company of Black Gold. Her joy is sharing all things green and lovely with her two daughters.
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