Hardy Hibiscus- cut the wood or not?

corinnasuevApril 8, 2010

Hello all, Last year, Late July, my husband built an incredible bed for me. In the center of the bed are 3 hardy hib's. They did beautifully and loved the spot. When I bought them the dealaer told me they are perennial. Everything I read says they die back to the ground however the wood is ever-present. I also read that it could be end of may before I see growth so don't jump the gun and pull them out.

Do I cut down the old wood? DO I leave it like a hydrangea? I really need help I don't know what to do to make these plants happy. I want to plant more of them around my property but I want to make sure I know what I am doing first. Anything will help!


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im trying to find out the same as far as how long before they start to show life...i have a braided tree one..someone said to peel the bark just a little if it shows green its alive but..my shows green when i did that near the bottom but im not sure about at the branches and i dont want to be cutting or trying to peel bark from them..also down near the bottom where i did do that and it did show green ..we had a lot of rain and it was moist so im wondering if it was just because it was moist that it showed green..hope someone answers our question.

    Bookmark   April 9, 2010 at 9:15AM
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I cut the wood back, doesn't grow on old wood in my zone 6@. They show up later than other perennials.

    Bookmark   April 9, 2010 at 7:46PM
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jroot(5A Ont. Canada (near Guelph))

I agree with cindjo2. My hardy hibiscus are usually the last ones to come up. The old wood can be trimmed neatly to a few inches above ground, ... so that you know where it is.

    Bookmark   April 10, 2010 at 8:02PM
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tomva(7-central virginia)

I cut mine back in the late fall to a few inches then in april ,i pull the mulch away from the wood thats left and they usually start shooting up new growth when temps hit 80s during day and 60s at nite,they grow very quickly,4 ft in a month and half usually here in zone 7 bloom by july 4th,I had three stalks on one plant last year and this year have 8 stalks coming up, in mid may to late may I usually take cuttings and start other plants using root hormone and baggie and jar of water method,works great,and the new plants will catch the mother by july 4th and bloom also,I love hardy hibiscus

    Bookmark   April 13, 2010 at 12:03PM
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Could you explain the method you are talking about. This is for tomva

    Bookmark   April 25, 2010 at 10:30PM
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tomva(7-central virginia)

I just take a sandwich baggie put over a mason jar about half full of water,cut a slit in baggie to add cutting of hibiscus.Dip the cutting in roothormone and put into mason jar in about 3 weeks the cutting will have nice enough roots that u can pot it up and wait till later to plant it but I go straight from the mason jar to in the ground where I want it.This method has never failed me for hardy hibiscus and I have done it probably 25 times worked every time and every hibiscus the next year the single stalk will usually come out with atleast 4 stalks.And like I said the cutting will bloom the same year you take it and usually catch the mother plant by size within a month and half,they truly are fast growing...dont know about the laws and morals of propagating patented plants though...as someone once said u do have to divide your hostas to keep them healthy what are u suppose to do throw the divisions away?

    Bookmark   April 27, 2010 at 2:44PM
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Thanks for the directions, will let you know how I do. Hope as well as you:)

    Bookmark   April 30, 2010 at 9:57AM
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Hi - Wow, that sounds great! I will try to
root some cuttings from my hardy dinner
plate hibiscus. Thank you. tina_2

    Bookmark   May 8, 2010 at 12:06AM
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I have a hardy hibiscus that is many years old. It was in the yard when we purchased the place. We've been there 5 years now and it barely blooms. If I'm lucky it might get a hand full of blooms but they go away within a week or two. Can I do something to help it bloom more and longer? There is a large crepe myrtle a few feet away that shades it some but it still gets some sun. Also I cut it back in late fall for a cleaner appearance. Should I not cut it back? My hibiscus and I need help. Thanks.

    Bookmark   May 16, 2010 at 4:07PM
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tomva(7-central virginia)

sounds as though it might need to be divided,lindaj,put the new divisions in full sun,definetly keep cutting it back in the fall,I dont see your zone on your name,this would help a bit with helping u,I'm assuming your in zone 7 or lower.

    Bookmark   May 17, 2010 at 11:26AM
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dividing sounds good, hadn't thought of that. Thank you, I'll try that.

    Bookmark   May 17, 2010 at 7:51PM
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Can I divide the plant now and how? Do I dig up the whole plant or just part of it?

    Bookmark   May 17, 2010 at 8:57PM
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tomva(7-central virginia)

dividing is best done in the spring,make sure to dig a big hole and u might have to use a handsaw to cut it apart,try to keep 3 to 4 stalks together..make sure to plant at the same level it was previously.u can do it in the fall but make sure its atleast 30 days before any freezes to give it time to root .spring is more reliable.yes dig up the whole plant would be better

    Bookmark   May 18, 2010 at 2:06PM
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Oliver_Shagnasty(East NC)

Cut the dead wood back in the late fall or any time before March leaving a few inches so you will know where it is. Some times my will start showing shoots in May even as late as first week in June. This year it was showing little shoots in april. Spring came early this year.

They do need a lot of Sun. Full sun means at least 8 hours of direct sunshine. 10 is even better. I usually put a little 10-10-10 around the base in March and once it starts growing I hit it with Miracle Grow every two weeks.
it also helps to mix a table spoon of epson salt with one gallon of water and pour atound the base about once every 6 to 8 weeks. They need a lot of water - just don't keep the soil soggy. Hinch the name "Marsh Mallow"

Tomva.s method works really great for starting new plants. I like to dig mine up in the early spring and just shake the pieces apart and plant. I got 9 pots from one of my 4 year old Kopper King this year.

The flowers will grow on new growth only. As soon as a flower wilts I will cut it off. This will help new growth and the energy will not be wasted on seeds. You can't use the seeds of a Kopper King or a lot of the other hybrids anyway.

Patented plants - Tom the biggest thing is you just can't sell the new plants without permission.

Oliver Shagnasty
Beautancus NC

    Bookmark   May 26, 2010 at 9:16PM
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