Gardening

Hibiscus hedge


Question: hibiscus hedge


Good morning,
I have a beautiful hibiscus hedge that surrounds the whole garden and I would like to know how many times during the year it must be pruned: in the last few years it has been pruned 4 - 5 times a year (in autumn, in late winter, in spring and a couple of times in summer) to keep it always regular in shape, but despite being beautiful green and dense it tends to bloom little. I wouldn't want prunings to be too frequent!

Answer: hibiscus hedge


Dear Valeria,
Hibiscus syriacus is a very cultivated shrub in Italy, because although it has deciduous leaves, and is therefore completely gray and bare during the winter, in the summer it is very resistant and vigorous, and produces many flowers, starting from late spring, until the autumn. It is a plant that produces long ramifications during the vegetative season, but it is not a good idea to prune it too often, since, removing the vegetative apexes, the future flowers are also removed, which then can only bloom on the smaller and lower branches ; to have a healthy, well-developed, flower-filled hibiscus, two prunings a year are enough: the first is done in autumn, before the leaves fall; the second is practiced instead at the end of winter, and is practiced with the main purpose of removing the branches ruined by the winter weather, and to stimulate the development of many new branches. Because the hibiscus produces flowers on the branches of the year, not on the old branches; therefore, when pruning, we try to shorten the older branches mainly. If a hedge tends to become bulky during spring or summer, you can try to prune only the branches that have already brought flowers, so as not to decrease the number of buds carried by the plant. To stimulate flowering, surely it is also useful to provide a good fertilizer, which you can also do by simply spreading, at the end of the winter, at the foot of the stems, a slow release granular fertilizer, for flowering plants. Since you love hibiscus, so much so that you have many plants in the garden, I invite you to try in the spring to put a flat Hibiscus coccineus in your garden; it is a species native to North America, which also resists well in Italy; produces a fairly loose shrub, not dense and dense, with glossy, dark green leaves; the flowers are very large, dark red, and stand out very well against the background of the foliage. It is not a widespread shrub, and it is a pity because it is quite simple to cultivate, it does not fear frost, and prefers partially shady locations, if watered regularly the flowering is more abundant.