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Pruning hibiscus in autumn: what pruning should be done in October? (Incl. several special cases)

When you think of hibiscus, you immediately imagine the container plant or garden hibiscus. But there are some special cases, such as the giant hibiscus, hybrids like the rose hibiscus “Marina” or the hibiscus hedge, which need special care. How to cut hibiscus, when to do it and what to consider when cutting these special cases, we tell you in the article.

What to cut in October?

Hibiscus cutting after the end of the flowering period

For now: there are many different species and varieties of hibiscus, each has its own requirements for location, soil and is cut at different times. Of course, these requirements should be taken into account so that the plant can easily survive the winter. However, as a rule, the following pruning measures are possible in October:

  • A nurturing pruning, removing ailing, weak, inward-growing shoots, should be done in early October. Plants that are infested with pests or suffering from a disease can also be pruned. Only the diseased parts of the plant are removed.
  • Faded flowers are best removed immediately after the end of the flowering period (i.e. also in early October). Wilted flowers are entry points for pests and provide breeding grounds for fungi and bacteria.
  • Rose marshmallow, which is primarily grown as an indoor plant, can be cut back throughout the year.
  • Perennial marshmallows are also traditionally cut back in the fall. They are hardy and can tolerate October pruning with no problems.

Hibiscus hedge trimming instructions in October

Common fall pruning mistakes:

  • When nurturing pruning in the fall, plants are cut back to the old wood. This is actually a mistake, because the hibiscus will then no longer sprout from it.
  • Old or diseased plants can be transplanted. Before transplanting, they are first cut back sharply. However, the right time for this is not in the fall, but in the spring.
  • Evergreen varieties are not pruned annually, but only when needed. That is, when they need to be brought into the desired shape. The right time for this is also spring.

Pruning hibiscus: Several special cases at a glance

Hibiscus tree pruning in autumn goes (1)

Pruning giant hibiscus

Giant hibiscus is so called not because of its height, but because of its large flowers. One of these flowers, which it bears in summer, can reach a proud 30 cm. However, the giant hibiscus is not only a beautiful eye-catcher, but above all an easy-care garden plant that can withstand temperatures as low as – 28° Celsius. The hardy shrub is mostly offered as hybrid cultivars in this country.

Giant hibiscus is pruned back heavily in autumn, immediately after the end of the flowering period. In this sense, it is an exception, as it is perhaps the only Hibiscus species whose shoots are cut off close to the ground in the fall. By the way, the potted plant is also cut back.

Giant hibiscus cutting tips for autumn


The pruning of a hedge

If several hibiscus bushes are planted next to each other, then they can be grown as a hedge. But they are cut into the desired shape only in the spring, just before the resprouting. Autumn is not the appropriate time for this.

What you can and should prune in the fall, however: Ailing, inward-growing shoots. Old, heavily woody shoots that no longer produce flowers and leaves. If there is an infestation: cut off all infested plant parts close to the ground.

Cut hibiscus tree

The hibiscus tree is actually the garden hibiscus. At the request of the amateur gardener, the bush can also be grown as a standard tree. Topiary is carried out only in the spring, when the branches sprouted on the sides are cut back. In the first few years, the tree will not form flowers, but once it has reached the desired height, the shoots can be shortened slightly at the top. This will stimulate flower formation.

In the fall, around the beginning of October, the main shoots can be shortened so that they will sprout again full force in the spring and form a dense crown.

The variety “Marina

Hibiscus Marina belongs to the hybrid varieties. The rose hibiscus has an upright growth and can grow up to two meters high. It is popular for its beautiful purple flowers and is also flown by butterflies and bees until early autumn.

The flowering period of the variety “Marina” extends into the fall. In October, immediately after the end of the flowering period, the annual wood is cut back a little. Older shoots can also be removed if they are diseased or no longer produce flowers. However, severe pruning is not advisable. The plant will no longer sprout from the old wood and will only form flowers on this year’s wood.

Pruning hibiscus: The right time is crucial

Hibiscus cutting instructions and tips for amateur gardeners

Prune the hibiscus on a cloudy but warm day. It is best to do this early in the morning so that the plant can then recover during the day. Do not prune the hibiscus during heavy rains or if it is expected to rain in the next few days. Place the freshly cut container plant in a wind-protected, rain-protected and sunny place in the garden. You can cover the garden plants with fleece so that they do not burn.

You do not need to fertilize and water the hibiscus immediately after pruning. Both of these could encourage new sprouting. Young shoots are very sensitive to frost and can freeze if temperatures fall below 10 degrees Celsius in the evening . Intersections should also be kept dry so that they can heal quickly. Wetness could lead to rot and in the worst case the whole plant may die.