I have 3 large hibiscus about 3 ft high. They are really bare and spindly right now. Should I cut them back or leave alone?
Yes, cut them back.
Cut them back! I have grown hibiscus for the past five summers, and as long as they are trimmed every now and then, and watered well, they bloom from March-October. I have one that I completely abandoned in the back yard that went through our freeze that is already putting out green leaves again...
It is amazing what those hardy plants will put up with!
How far back should you prune them?
It really depends on which variety you have..Tropical or Hardy..the Hardy return from the ground...the Tropical don't need to be pruned as they leafed out later on..I have the tropical and never prune except to shape..check out my link...Tropical have shiny leaves and the Hardy have dull ..Mine is a Double..which you'll not see in Hardy Hibiscus..Jeanne
Here is a link that might be useful: Tropical or Hardy
I cut my hardy ones back to the ground. I already have new growth at the base and know from previous years, that last year's stalks don't put on new growth.
My hibiscus are rosa-sinensis. Is that tropical or hardy? There is no sign of leafing out right now. They have been under our carport all winter and have been watered moderately.
H. Rosa Sinensis is the standard tropical species. It is a tropical shrub, a woody perennial. However, it can be treated as a herbaceous perennial and cut back. It probably does not need to be. The spindly branches will start to leaf out soon if alive.
It is not truly hardy in your zone (8)and a bad winter will kill it. There are several 'hardy' hibiscus species, some woody some herbaceous, including: (1) H. Moschetus (I'm not sure how to spell that) (2) H. Syriacus (3) H. Mutabilis etc.
And rosa sinensis is not the only tropical, but that's neither here nor there
Thanks for the info. I may but back some but not fully to the ground.
I had mine in a pot left outside all winter for 4 years and then when I moved to my new home I planted it out into my gardens 4 years ago (I've had mine for 8 years!)..it has come back every year and I never prune it except to keep it in bounds...It will not hurt to leave it alone and see if it leafs back out...Jeanne
I have a Hibiscus that only gets around 3-4 ft. tall. I replanted it this year in better soil (I moved to a new house) and it seemed to thrive like it never has before. I'm thankful for this question because it is right in front of a west facing window and I have Christmas decorations on it that can't be seen unless I trim it back. Glad to know I can without any complications.