Hibiscus – pruning time is slowly approaching


Shrubs that do not need much care and still pleasure us with a flood of beautiful flowers every year are great. One of those great undemanding shrubs is the Syrian hibiscus (Hibiscus syriacus), also called shrub altea and you will see a lot of it in gardens and all over the place. This shrub is typical for producing a large number of bell-shaped flowers, but also by a long flowering period. So, if you love plenty of flowers we advise you to prune your hibiscus and you should do so at the right time.

Will it bloom this year?

All of us ask this question year after year because before your hibiscus blooms, you have to wait quite a long time. Hibiscus usually does not produce first flowers until June, but when it does it continues flowering until the end of September. New flowers only live for about two days, but as soon as the flower fades away a new flower is produced, almost immediately. This is why hibiscus is almost constantly surrounded by flowers. Hibiscus in Europe can deal with frosts, but this was not always the case. Hibiscus varieties were cultivated rather successfully and the first varieties showed a relatively good level of frost resistance, but flowers were smaller and rather plain.


Photo: Pixabay

Most beautiful flowering plants

There are many varieties of hibiscus and we can safely say that they produce one of the most beautiful flowers. The original species only had small flowers, but today’s varieties produce large flowers with a diameter of up to 15 cm. There are also several colour shades – typically light purple, but you can often see white and other flowers, including deep red.

Easy cultivation

Hibiscus is happy when exposed to a sunlight and enjoys a well-drained soil. It will also grow in a shaded area, but expect to have fewer flowers. If you have young shrubs cover them with twigs for the winter and continue do so for the first three years. After that, your shrub should be strong enough to handle freezing weather. However, many people value hibiscus too much and keep covering them for longer. It may seem to you that your hibiscus is not doing very for the first two to three years as the growth may be rather slow but do not worry. This is normal and during the next following years the grow should speed up and you should experience a growth of about thirty centimetres per year.


Due to the slow growth, there is no need to prune hibiscus for the first three years. Older bushes are very dense and need to be pruned so the light can reach inside. If you hibiscus is too dense it will be prone to various mould and fungi. You should prune your hibiscus in the spring – between March and April. Since flowers grow on new branches, shorten the old ones (by two thirds) to promote growth. Properly cut shrub will produce more flowers of larger size.

Preview photo: Pixabay

Radek Štěpán

Gardening is my hobby, I have a lot of experience and I am happy to share it.


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