How Big Does a Hibiscus Get & Does It Spread?

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The size of hibiscus plants will change over time as they grow and spread.
The size of hibiscus plants will change over time as they grow and spread. (Image: Kevin Forest/Photodisc/Getty Images)

Hibiscus shrubs (Hibiscus palustris) produce vibrant, colorful flowers from July to September. The white, pink and red flowers look pretty in landscaping, but hibiscus shouldn't be planted indiscriminately. In early stages, the shrubs may look petite and compact, but as it matures, hibiscus spreads and grows. Gardeners must plan for the eventual height and spread of hibiscus plants to avoid a painstaking transplantation process.

Cultivation

Properly cultivated hibiscus plants will grow to their fullest potential. Unhealthy plants display stunted, dwarfed growth, if any, and will not lend much to the garden environment. Give hibiscus full sunlight and light, well-drained soil. Heavy clay soils impede root growth, and hibiscus may be unable to grow in such conditions. Amend dense, wet soils with sand, which drains well.

Height and Width

Hibiscus shrubs may grow as tall as 15 feet, though they usually grow no taller than 7 feet in cultivated environments. At the widest point, hibiscus shrubs may spread as far as 5 feet. When selecting a planting site for hibiscus, take these eventual dimensions into account. Notice the shaded areas of the lawn in particular, as the plant requires full sunlight to grow and flower properly.

Root Spread

Hibiscus roots do not have an extremely wide root spread. A 3-gallon container, which is approximately 10 inches wide, is big enough to contain a hibiscus shrub. Container hibiscus will grow in a 10-inch pot, but without constraint, the roots will spread several feet under the ground in all directions.

Pruning

Gardeners may follow their own aesthetic when it comes to pruning hibiscus shrubs. You can leave the hibiscus to its own devices and allow it to grow and spread at will, or prune it to maintain a neat, clean shape. Otherwise, you should prune hibiscus regularly to remove all the diseased, dead and damaged wood. Prune hibiscus at least once every year to remove all unhealthy areas.

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