When can and should Hibiscus be pruned. I've seen several recommendations. It seems like it's best to wait for spring to prune them but do you leave the stems standing all winter? If I do wait how far back do I prune these stems.
There are some suggestions that they can be lightly? pruned in late summer early fall but never late fall or winter. Also that the blooms can be cut back to encourage bushier graowth.
Is there a standard accepted way to prune these plants. I'm in Zone 6.
Are these the hardy hibiscus (Hibiscus moscheutos) that die back to the ground each year? If so it really doesn't matter, this year's stems will die and it'll make new stems next year, so you can cut the stalks back in the fall/winter as soon as they die, or leave them until the spring. They can be a little slow to wake up in the spring so many people will leave the stalks standing until new growth starts so that you remember there's supposed to be a plant there but it's a personal choice, the plant won't care either way. Next year, if you want your plants to be a little more compact you can pinch them early in the season--someone else asked a question about this the other day and I posted a link to an earlier thread where pinching was discussed http://davesgarden.com/community/forums/t/1123557/
If it is rose of sharon (Hibiscus syriacus) instead, then it is a deciduous shrub that will lose its leaves, but the stems themselves don't die and will put out new leaves next year. They don't necessarily need to be pruned, so if you're happy with its size and how it's growing then you can leave it alone. If you do want to prune it, the best time to prune is probably spring, but since they bloom on new wood it's not going to be as picky about pruning time as some other types of plants (you don't have to worry about pruning off next year's flowers if you prune it in the fall, for example)
Thanks. They are all moscheutos so I will prune them down in the fall, leave a little above ground for the spring location and then pinch some of the new branches back when they come up in the spring. I guess I was reading about tropical hibiscus. These sound easier to care for and they are spectacular just the same.