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Hibiscus Not Blooming

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Question:

I have a hibiscus tree that has not bloomed in quite sometime. Someone has mentioned pruning the tree down. What do you recommend?

Hardiness Zone: 6a

Waynette from Kansas City, MO

Answer:

Waynette,

If you've never cut it back, you might want to try it. As long as your tree seems otherwise healthy, a good pruning may be just the jolt it needs to kick flowering into high gear. Another idea worth considering is to force your hibiscus into a controlled dormant period for a couple of months. Sometimes this forced rest is helpful for getting flowering plants back on schedule. To do this, water it only enough to keep the soil from drying out completely and move the plant into a cool room (55ºF) for 6-8 weeks. In about March, cut back the stems a bit, move it back into a sunny location and increase watering, allowing only the top _ inch of soil to dry out before watering. Once new growth appears, start feeding it a high potassium fertilizer every two weeks. Too much nitrogen and all you will get is a lovely canopy of green leaves. Make sure your hibiscus is getting at least 5 to 6 hours of full sunlight per day, too. These gorgeous plants really need a lot of sunshine to perform well. If your hibiscus is growing in a pot, make sure the pot is small enough to keep the roots crowded. For some reason when they are placed in a large pot where their roots can freely roam about, hibiscus trees seem less likely to flower.

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Ellen

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