How to Shape a Hibiscus Tree


Shaping your hibiscus tree will help it to have an aesthetically pleasing shape and ensure its long life, keeping it manageable and rejuvenating its blooming abilities. Pruned into the shape of a topiary tree with a rounded head, the hibiscus makes a vibrant focal point in a small flower garden. Start to prune and shape your hibiscus during the spring months before it gets ready to bloom.

Things You'll Need

  • Pruning shears
  • Heavy twine
  • Cut the hibiscus so that only the main stem exists, according to the Garden Grower website. Place a sturdy cane or limb next to the tree for support. You can tie the cane loosely to the main stem with a piece of heavy twine.

  • Trim all the shoots off the sides until the tree reaches the desired height.

  • Allow shoots to form once the tree reaches the desired height. To form a bushy head, only allow shoots to form around the top of the tree.

  • Prune each spring before the new flowers form. This will encourage vigorous growth and a prolific display of the large blooms. You need to cut off approximately two thirds of the length of the side shoots to encourage the growth and blooming.

Tips & Warnings

  • Hibiscus trees thrive in full sunlight, so if you have them outdoors, but need to over winter them inside due to frigid temperatures, it is best to place them near a window with full sunshine all day.

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  • Photo Credit Hibiscus image by Cédric FROEHLICH from
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