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Old 04-08-2012, 07:03 AM
621 posts, read 1,119,695 times
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Hi, just bought a house in SW Florida and there are multiple very large hibiscus shrubs in the yard. Three are very large, overgrown, droopy and pretty much a mess.
We haven't had rain here in months, and a couple of the shrubs are in places where I can't get water to them.
They need to be trimmed and cut back, but should I do it now or should it wait till the rain starts in the summer?
How tender are these plants?
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Old 04-09-2012, 08:01 AM
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We always found them pretty robust. I'd trim back only about 1/3 now, then trim again as the rainy season begins. About the only thing in FL I killed with excess trimming was an arbor vitae. (That includes plants I WANTED to kill, LOL!)
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Old 04-09-2012, 08:05 AM
Location: Great Falls, VA
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I used to have a Hibiscus plant, and it was pretty strong. So in my experience you should be able to trim it and it shouldn't be a problem, but I'm definitely an amateur and not an expert. Its a beautiful plant though, with gorgeous flowers!
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Old 04-12-2012, 10:46 AM
Location: Mtns of Waynesville,NC & Nokomis, FL
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Dunno what 'very large' means; some varieties can grow to almost tree sized.
Most hibiscus sites will rec'd pruning in 'late spring/early summer', though the lack of rain here in SW FL would lead me to wait until rains come, to prune.

Not knowing what your hibiscus 'look like', I would rec'd a qtr to a third careful pruning, as opposed to the usual 'chain saw' hedge-like pruning so often done here, by the 'landscape' people.

The flowers come on new growth, and the pruning should give impetus to new 'wood'. Some pruning later in summer is also ok. I would pass on any serious pruning in Nov-April, other than cleaning up sprouts or deadwood. My 50Cts.
GL, mD
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Old 04-13-2012, 12:04 AM
Location: Sarasota FL
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If the hibiscus is overgrown, leggy, droppy, it probably means that no one has been taking care of them. It would also indicate that they haven't had any fertilizer in a really long time. Trimming should have been done weeks ago, so do it now. If you wait for 'the rain', you will be trimming new growth where the new flower buds form.
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Old 04-19-2012, 05:56 PM
Location: Florida
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They like water. Carry water to it until the leaves perk up. THey should feel kind of hard.
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Old 04-21-2012, 06:11 AM
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thanks for the replies! I did some light pruning on them back in February, and I'm starting to see some new leaves and buds coming. You have confirmed my thoughts that with the drought I should wait till some rain comes before they really get cut back.

They aren't so tall, as they are wide and naked. Just not taken care of for a long time from their looks.
Thanks again!
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Old 04-22-2012, 04:45 AM
Location: Out there somewhere...a traveling man.
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Hibiscus are strong plants and will recover from severe trimming. If it were me I'd trim them back now to the size and shape I'd like them to be and then periodically through out the year trim them to keep that shape. The do not like to be overwatered. If you see a lot of yellowing of the leaves with green veins then you're overwatering. They like a general purpose fertilizer and additional iron. If you want a massive amount of flowers feed them Super Bloom or Miracle Gro bloom buster asw soon as you see new growth.
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Old 04-24-2012, 01:42 PM
Location: Native Floridian, USA
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I had hibiscus plants on the side of my house that were almost up to the gable end. They had been there for 20 years and were protected. I whacked away on them most years and they were killed back almost to the ground in a couple of freezes but, they came back. I finally pulled them out and put in something else. I am always pulling up my yard and putting in something else, except for my camillias and some crepe myrtles.
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Old 09-16-2012, 11:44 AM
Location: Alexandria, VA
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Reviving this thread: I overwinter my large braided hibiscus in the house, roll it out on the deck in warm weather. During a really windy storm earlier this summer it fell over - it's now pretty crooked in the pot. I need to cut it before bringing it in now as it's at least 8 ft. tall, it's currently blooming like crazy so I don't want to cut it down yet. October maybe? Also, I'm going to try to repot it in the same pot w/fresh potting mix once it's cut and I can possibly handle it. Any thoughts?

Last edited by Flamingo13; 09-16-2012 at 11:44 AM.. Reason: typo
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