How to Prune hibiscus tree

Dont, know how to prune a hibiscus tree well. In this blog, we are going to explain that step by step. Bytheway pruning your hibiscus tree can effectively maintain its healthy growth and promote abundant flowering.

Pruning is removing the unwanted part of the plant so that the plant can spend its nutrients in essential factors like flowers, leaves, and overall growth. Pruning also improves air circulation and helps the plant’s new growth.

Cutting back hibiscus should be done once a year. The best time for pruning is after winter or early spring.

Hibiscus is a beautiful showy plant with a wide range of colours like yellow, red, pink, white, orange, and purple.

It is used for medicinal purposes also, like hibiscus tea reduces blood pressure, as it has more antioxidant properties that protect your body against oxidative stress.

It is mainly used for ornamental purposes in gardens and as a cut flower for bouquets.

Pruning a hibiscus tree helps encourage new growth, and if you follow the pruning steps correctly, your garden will be bright with colourful hibiscus flowers.

In most tropical and subtropic areas, hibiscus rosa sinensis is grown because it is a hardy deciduous flowering shrub.

If you follow this simple guide, you can easily prune your hibiscus tree correctly and maintain it more attractive.

Steps To Prune Your Hibiscus Tree

Understand your hibiscus variety before pruning:

Before pruning, you should understand which Hibiscus tree is of which variety to ensure appropriate techniques. There are three types of hibiscus variety.

  • Single flowered variety
  • Double flowered variety
  • Multi petal varieties

Select the right time for pruning:

The effective way to prune your hibiscus tree is to remain dormant after winter or spring. But you should follow a different pruning pattern in all hibiscus varieties because it varies according to type.

Choose properly sterilized pruning tools:

It is compulsory to have pruning tools if you own a garden, but it also includes choosing the right ones. You can quickly gather all the tools from a nearby store or get them online.

Here are a few essential tools to trim a hibiscus:

Garden scissors:

You only need a few tools to prune your hibiscus. A good pair of garden scissors is more than enough for pruning work.

Well-sanitized, clean, and sharp blades will help prune your hibiscus tree.

Garden scissors are handy to make precise cuts and prevent damage to the hibiscus tree.


It is very much useful for thicker branches of hibiscus.

Loopers provide the leverage and cutting power required: the shorter handles and lightweight design offer easy use and excellent manoeuvrability.


Use hand gloves to avoid injury or infection from thorns or rough branches.


Before using any of the tools mentioned above, first, sanitize them with the help of disinfectant spray or alcohol.

It mainly helps to reduce the spread of infections and diseases.

Understand and assess your hibiscus health and growth:

Begin to inspect your hibiscus tree to see whether it is overall healthy or not. Signs of disease will be wilting of leaves even if the soil is moist; sometimes, even the pest infestation also will affect the health and growth of the hibiscus plant.

To avoid spreading pests and disease attacks, remove that part from the tree to keep the tree healthy.

Remove unwanted diseased and dead branches:

Removing dead, diseased, or damaged leaves and limbs helps keep your hibiscus healthy.

Aside from health aspects, pruning your hibiscus also contributes to maintaining its beauty during its flowering season.

Use clean, sterilized gardening scissors to remove the affected branch tip.

Pruning hibiscus for shaping:

You can shape your hibiscus tree by controlling the size and giving it a gently rounded shape.

After pruning, new shoots will emerge in the pruned parts of the hibiscus tree and give a more pleasing and balanced appearance.

If you want growth from the hibiscus tree in the desired direction, cut in the bud or leaf node to encourage new growth.

Prune your hibiscus tree for size control:

Mainly cut away the lower side branches close to the main trunk and remove the faded flower leaves on the plant.

Refrain from excessive pruning because it will affect the hibiscus tree’s future growth.

Different hibiscus varieties and their pruning techniques:

Pruning techniques vary according to the variety of hibiscus. Understanding your hibiscus variety first before starting to prune would be best.

Tropical hibiscus ( Hibiscus rosa sinensis): 

Tropical hibiscus pruning depends on the conditions of your location.

This variety also requires regular pruning to maintain a compact shape and encourage abundant flowering.

Dead parts should be removed to promote new growth.

Hardy hibiscus (Hibiscus moscheutos):

This variety requires less pruning.

Trim them lightly to remove any damaged or dead ends.

Rose of Sharon(Hibiscus syriacus):

Prune this variety after winter or before spring to remove deadwood, shape the tree, and encourage vigorous blooming.

Before pruning, research that variety and follow the appropriate method for the specific type.

Proper pruning cuts guide for hibiscus:

If you do proper pruning cuts, you will turn your hibiscus tree into a flowering machine during the season.

Use clean pruning shears:

Make sure to use clean, sanitized, sharp pruning shears to make clean cuts without tearing or crushing the branches of the hibiscus tree. 

New growth will happen in the place of the pruned area, always prune in the branches facing outwards.

Cut ¼ inch from the top of the node near the leaf/twig at an upwards 45-degree angle. 

This method of pruning avoids infestation.

Never cut the branch more than ⅔ because it will directly affect the hibiscus’s health and growth.

II.Cut above the branch collar:

Hibiscus is an aggressive grower, so dont be afraid to prune it back heavily. Mainly trim the swollen area where it connects to the main stem.

Dont, cut too close or leave stubs, as they prolong healing and invite diseases.

III.Remove suckers and water sprouts:

Hibiscus bloom on new wood, so it is sure to do any old dead growth that isn’t blooming but takes away from the beauty of ornamental shrubs.

Prune them off to redirect the tree’s energy to more desirable growth.

Clean the debris after pruning:

After pruning, clean up all the leaves and fallen twigs, dispose of them immediately, or dry them separately. 

Later crush them using a leaf crusher and use them as compost for trees but make sure it should be free from pests and diseases.

Types of pruning in hibiscus tree:

There are several types of pruning techniques, but only essential types are listed below. Here are some standard pruning techniques for hibiscus:

Crown thinning:

Crown thinning is an essential pruning technique that removes smaller, weaker limbs from the top of your trees.

This pruning is mainly done to reduce the overall size and height of the hibiscus tree.

It helps to promote branching and density.


Remove 1/3rd of your tropical hibiscus’s oldest, longest branches or dormant hardy hibiscus to maintain air circulation and light penetration within the tree canopy.

This prevents pest and disease infestation and healthy growth.

Through pruning:

Sometimes the leaves may get dried due to many other factors, so removing them is very important because it may be a factor for disease infestation.

Renewal pruning:

Pruning the overgrown older branches is often required to rejuvenate the hibiscus tree.

It stimulates new growth and maintains the health and vigour of the hibiscus.

What are the common mistakes to avoid when pruning hibiscus trees:

It would be best if you did pruning with precision and care to avoid the common mistakes which are listed below:

1. Dont do excess pruning:

While pruning, trim the plant dont do excess pruning. If you do, it will indeed stress your hibiscus plant and hinder its expected growth, and you can see a visible reduction in flowering.

2. Choose the correct timing:

Analyse and choose an appropriate time to prune your hibiscus plant for optimal results.

3. Sanitize your pruning tools:

Before pruning, clean and sterilize your tools with alcohol or disinfectant.

4. Precision cut:

Refrain from crushing your hibiscus branch by improper cutting. Make accurate cuts in the hibiscus tree to avoid infestation.

If you follow the steps mentioned above, you can maintain the health and vitality of your hibiscus tree.

How to maintain pruned hibiscus tree?

After pruning, it is vital to maintain the hibiscus tree for its health and appearance. Follow the steps given below:

Regular watering:

Hydrate your hibiscus tree to maintain its health after pruning. Soil should be kept moist but not soggy.

Proper fertilizer level:

Always give your hibiscus plant complete fertilizer to get all nutrients for its growth and flower.

Inspect pests and diseases:

Constantly monitor your hibiscus tree for pest and disease infestation to remove it in the initial stage.

Use natural pesticides or repellants to avoid overall damage to your hibiscus tree.

Following the above steps can keep your hibiscus tree healthier and get vibrant coloured blooms.


If you have a hibiscus tree in your home and want to prune means, first learn how to prune through some tutorials or read some blogs, then gain the knowledge and start to prune.

 Follow all the abovementioned guidelines; you will surely get the best results.

Frequently asked questions:

When to cut back hibiscus?

The hibiscus tree is usually cut back in late winter or early spring. Cutting back the hibiscus tree is traditionally done in the first 15 days of February. It is the time around when your plant starts growing.

What is the best tool to prune the hibiscus tree?

Small to medium-sized hibiscuses use hand pruners like pruning shears and secateurs.
Use a pruning saw, loopers, and bypass-cutting machine for larger branches and trees.

How often should I prune my hibiscus tree?

Annual pruning is preferred but varies according to the variety and specific requirements.

How to prune a braided hibiscus tree?

The braided hibiscus tree is unique. It requires special attention while pruning.
1. Assess the structure of the tree.
2. Remove dead, damaged, or crossing branches.
3. Dont disturb the braided form. Just trim the outer branches.
4. Evaluate appearance regularly for balance.

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