I think I've seen some people post that they don't cut theirs back because hardy hibiscus can be a bit slow to sprout in the spring, so leaving the old stems up reminds them where the plant is located in the garden. So I don't know that it would be the end of the world if you didn't cut it back, but if you know where your plants are and don't want the dead stems hanging around it certainly doesn't hurt to cut them.
If you want to cut them back to make them bushier, that would be something to do when the new sprouts come up in the spring, pinching them or trimming them a bit early on could make them bushier. Cutting back the old dead branches wouldn't have an effect on how bushy next year's new growth is since that starts fresh from the base.
HI..thought i"d jump in...I just got these newbies a month ago..they are Hibiscus mochatas mix. When they arrived they were mere sticks and now are beginning to show growth. If you can see a close up (sorry alittle blurry, but you can get the jist). Some show new growth from under the soil, others show the new growth from the base of the stem...I've had them in previous gardens before and just love them, personally I cut them back (late fall or early spring), either is appropriate...just don't cut them back tooooo far, leave an inch or so just in case there are buds just above the ground. Old stalks will eventually become loose and easily pulled when they are no longer viable. I'm guessing but I believe these are Lord Baltimore, Lady Baltimore and ?????? I like the taller varieties as the new one with shorter stems just look a bit out of place with such LARGE flowers (10-12"). And yes, they are one of the LASTperenns. to emerge in the spring. But boy oh boy they are worth the wait, too bad they aren't fragrant...Kathy
Ps., I got these from Direct Gardening .com. The price was about $5-7.00 for 9. I can't remember exactly, but I remember they were Very inexpensive. At one of my local nurseries they are considered a premium plant and are very pricey ($15 gallon size, with 3-5 stems)...I may have to just settle for the fact it may be a year or two before I get a great show but it's worth it...Kathy
Ps. Also just found out the other day that deer like to munch on them, have an older one in the garden ( got last year on clearance), and found all the flower buds have been munched off, DRAT!!!!
I'd use caution ordering from Direct Gardening, they don't have a very good rating in Watchdog. Glad you got lucky Kathy but want to make sure others do their homework since they have more than twice as many bad comments as good. http://davesgarden.com/products/gwd/c/231/
Last fall I cut my hibiscus back. I don't have my Lady Baltimore planted with my other hibiscus. Some how I missed cutting Lady back. I can see Lady Baltimore from my living room window. This spring I looked out and saw a bird going up and down the dead stem. I watched and the bird was stripping the "bark" off the stem for its nest.
I'm growing HH from seed and my seedlings are nearly 2 feet tall and there stem finally is getting thick (the poor seedlings were top heavy for about 2 months). They are growing very well despite 3 being in a pot.
Should I tranfer and give them there own pot in Fall or just leave them be?
When I grew some from seed, started in a 21/4" pot, I waited til the stems thickened a bit (actually the first stem died down almost to soil level and then resprouted). When the second stem produced alittle girth I potted them individually into 21/4" for each. It sounds like yours are doing great!!! I personnaly would go ahead and plant them in the ground this fall (with enough time for them to root in and include mulch around them so they are snug for the winter). What ones did you grow? Kathy
They are HH but it's a surprise what they will look like. Someone gave me seeds from hybrids they made and attempts to cross HH with rose of Sharon. I just notice one of my plants just started growing a bud, too early to say what it will become but if it blooms I'll post here!
I have a Hardy Pinot Noir that I dug a portion from my Mother in laws plant and I don't cut it down until the spring when I see the dead stalk and I just break it off. i haven't had a problem doing it that way and they are really late coming up too so just remember not to get get worried and think they are dead give them time they will come up.
I have mine next to the foundation of the house so it can get the warmth of the house.