Pruning Rose of Sharon Plants

How to Prune Hibiscus syriacus

Easy tips for pruning rose of Sharon plants. How to prune Hibiscus syriacus into different shapes. Turning rose of Sharon shrubs into beautiful trees. How to rejuvenate an old, overgrown Althea bush.



Picture of a mature rose of Sharon bush in full bloom.

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Late winter or early spring is the proper time to prune these summer and fall bloomers.

Thin out any crowded stems at the base. Remove all dead, weak, and crossing wood at the base or cut it back to an outward facing node.

To encourage the rose of Sharon bush to produce larger flowers, cut stems back to 2 buds. This will also keep the plant short--a rose of Sharon shrub as opposed to a tree.

When growing Hibiscus syriacus as a hedge, it will perform better when cut back with loppers than if you shear it with a hedge trimmer.

How to Rejuvenate an Overgrown Rose of Sharon Bush

My Aunt Charlotte's rose of Sharon.

This rose of Sharon bush is growing in my Aunt Charlotte's Connecticut back yard.

She maintains the natural vase shape of the plant by making only thinning cuts (removing the entire stem) and removing dead, broken or crossing stems each spring before the plant breaks dormancy.

The plant at the top of this page is maintained in a more rounded shape by the use of heading cuts (shortening the stems).

When pruning rose of Sharon, heading the stems back makes the shrub grow bushier and wider. It also gives you more growing tips which will produce more flowers.

You can give an old, overgrown shrub a new lease on life by pruning one third of the oldest main stems to the ground each spring for 3 years.

After the third year, you will have a refreshed, more compact, better flowering shrub.

In subsequent years, prune the rose of Sharon plant according to the instructions at the top of this page.

To Convert a Bush into a Rose of Sharon Tree

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Pruning Rose of Sharon bushes into trees is easy.

Start by cutting all but the main stems you want to keep to the ground. You can leave just one main stem or make a multistemmed tree with 3 trunks.

Once you've decided which stems you want to form your tree's trunk and eliminated all others, limb up the remaining stems to where you want the tree's canopy to begin.

Now, all you have to do to maintain the tree form is remove any new stems that pop up from the ground and rub off new shoots growing below the tree's canopy.

Clip back wayward stems growing from the rose of Sharon tree's crown at any time of year to keep it symmetrical.

Buy Rose of Sharon Bushes

Buy Rose of Sharon, 3-N-1

Minerva Rose-of-Sharon

Minerva Rose-of-Sharon

An old-fashion favorite in a newer, improved form! Lustrous dark green leaves remain attractive all season.


Helene Rose-of-Sharon

Helene Rose-of-Sharon

An old-fashioned favorite. The dark, lustrous foliage looks good throughout the season.


Blue Bird Rose of Sharon

Blue Bird Rose of Sharon

This exceptional cultivar ensures at least three months of late season blooming as 3-4" rich blue flowers.


3-n-1 Hardy Hibiscus

3-n-1 Hardy Hibiscus

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More Hibiscus Growing Info:

'Lord Baltimore' Hibiscus: Hardy Dinner Plate Type

Hibiscus mutabilis, the Confederate Rose

Rose of Sharon Bush: Tropical Flowers on a Hardy Shrub

Lower Your Blood Pressure by Drinking Hibiscus Tea

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