How to Prune Hibiscus Trees
The hibiscus tree, Hibiscus rosa-sinensis L., is native to China but widely planted in tropical areas of the United States. For most of the year, hibiscus trees produce large flowers that open for only one or two days. The plant blooms on new wood, so heavy pruning greatly reduces flower production. The best course is to prune lightly throughout the year. If heavy pruning must be done, do so in February or March, before the surge of new growth in the spring.
Clean tools before pruning. Sanitize them with rubbing alcohol or a 10 percent bleach solution before each cut. Use pruning shears or loppers for most cuts.
Remove dead, diseased and broken branches. Make cuts at a 45-degree angle just above a healthy bud, or cut back to the main trunk flush with the branch collar.
Prune out weak branches and branches that rub or interfere with other branches or nearby structures.
Maintain the size and shape of the tree by pruning a few branches each month. Trim the longest branches each month until the bush is the size and shape desired. This will allow you to prune the tree without interrupting flowering.