I got a white hibiscus last year. It was beautiful then, but now the branches look dead, though there is some new growth from the roots. Should I cut it back?
The Gardener’s Answer
Hello, Wilma: I am not sure if you are growing a tropical hibiscus or a hardy one. If this is a plant you brought inside to over-winter, it should not have lost its foliage. If this is the case, you can tell if the branches are still alive by scratching at the surface. If the branch is green underneath the bark, it is still alive. If not, the branch is dead and should be removed. This tropical hibiscus can be taken back outside in the next week. It prefers to grow in full sun but it will need to be slowly acclimated after being indoors all winter. If your hibiscus is growing in the garden, it is perfectly normal that it does not have any foliage this time of year. The perennial hibiscus is one of the last to break dormancy in the garden. They need to be pruned back to about 12 inches every fall. If the growth from last year is still on the plant, go ahead and get your pruners out. This is not a plant that can be divided. The good news is that your plant is still alive and putting on new growth.