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For many plant lovers, hibiscus are a must in the living room because of their beautiful flowers. The indoor hibiscus, also called Chinese hibiscus, is available in different varieties with filled or unfilled flowers in different colors. As an easy-care plant, the indoor hibiscus is ideal for cultivation in pots or tubs. However, the Chinese rose must be cut regularly so that it does not become bare and the flowers do not appear as a result.

To cut

The indoor hibiscus is a perennial plant that does not require much care. So that you can enjoy the popular plant for a long time, it must be cut once a year.

Is cut to:

  • many flowers developed
  • produces a dense leaf dress
  • get more stability
  • can grow healthy

You can also determine the shape and size of the plant with one cut. In general, the following applies to the indoor hibiscus: the harder it is cut, the more lush the blossom. You also don't have to do without the flowers after the cut, since the indoor hibiscus always blooms on the new shoots.

Tip: The indoor hibiscus is a pruning-tolerant plant. He also forgives you for some cutting errors.


The best time to prune the plant is in autumn or spring. For both seasons, the room hibiscus must not be exposed to cold at the time of cutting. This delays the healing of the cuts and makes the plant more susceptible to pest infestation.

Ideally, you cut the indoor hibiscus:

  • in September or October or
  • in March or April

In autumn, the time must be chosen so that the room hibiscus is cut before moving to the winter quarters. It is best to give him two weeks to recover. Pruning takes place in the spring after the plant has been brought out of its winter quarters. The optimal temperature for a cut in spring is a room temperature between 20 and 22 degrees Celsius. During the hibernation, the indoor hibiscus must not be cut. During this time, the plant slows down its metabolism. So you have less energy available to close the wound.

Tip: If your room hibiscus is one of those varieties that bloom all year round, this plant must also be cut. Blossoms are lost, but the indoor hibiscus thanks you for the sacrifice with many new blossoms.

types of cuts

Before you put the clean pruning shears on the indoor hibiscus, you should briefly consider which goal or goals you want to pursue with the cut. Because not all cuts are the same.

So the gardener distinguishes between:

  • education cut
  • maintenance cut
  • taper cut
  • radical cutback

Education, maintenance and rejuvenation pruning are carried out depending on the age of the plant. The radical pruning is a solution to save the indoor hibiscus when it has become ill or has been attacked by pests. However, it can also be used for improved growth.

education cut

A training pruning, also called a growth pruning, is usually done once a year during the first three years of the plant's life. The aim is to achieve more density and volume in young plants, i.e. the indoor hibiscus should branch better. Autumn is the best time for pruning.

During growth pruning:

  • all shoots shortened by a third to three quarters
  • Cross-growing shoots and branches cut off

Tip: If you did not carry out the training cut in the autumn, you can do it in the spring.

maintenance cut

When the indoor hibiscus reaches adulthood and shows dense growth, the cut primarily serves to preserve the plant.

This means:

  • Maintaining the dense foliage
  • development of many flowers
  • vigorous growth

Maintenance pruning is done once a year in spring or fall. In order for the indoor hibiscus to develop well, the following twigs and branches must be cut off.

  • withered branches
  • diseased branches
  • weak looking or softened branches (above three or four eyes)
  • branches protruding too much on one side (at the deepest branching)

taper cut

With increasing age, so-called light spots can form in indoor hibiscus. The withered branches not only spoil the appearance of the plants, but also use up nutrients unnecessarily, so that the plant has less vigor to develop new shoots and flowers. A rejuvenating cut serves to prevent or close gaps. Therefore, the procedure depends on the density of the plant.

  • Preventive cut: Cut out dead branches
  • Normal exposure: Cut off transversely growing and withered branches + cut back by a third
  • Strong illumination: Cut back branches and trunk by two thirds

So that you don't have to thin out the indoor hibiscus in the first place, normal thinning should be carried out every few years in addition to the annual preventive cut.


Radical cutback

A radical pruning (radical cut) is an extremely strong intervention in the physique of the plant. Completely radical pruning should only be done in exceptional cases, for example if the plant has become ill with a fungus or a pest infestation is already very advanced. Gradual radical pruning over several years can certainly be done for improved growth.

radical cut

Radical cut as a rescue measure

Unfortunately, there is no guarantee that the plant will be saved with a radical pruning. But it increases the plant's chances of survival. Here's how to do this radical cut.

  • main stem: Shorten to just above the first branches
  • branches: Cut off all but the lowest branches

Tip: In order to save the room hibiscus, the radical cut may be carried out at any time of the year.

Radical pruning for improved growth

If the indoor hibiscus grows poorly and the flowers do not appear, then a radical cut should be carried out for improved growth. In contrast to the radical cut as a rescue measure, however, there is no radical cut immediately, but the cut is made over several years. This makes the intervention easier for the room hibiscus to cope with. This pruning is complete when the first branches on the main trunk are about two inches above the ground. For this radical cut, cut as follows.

  • Cut back by two-thirds in the first year
  • Subsequent years: always a bit more than the previous year

When the radical cut is finished after three to four years, the educational cut follows in the next year.


You don't need any special tools to cut the plant. A pair of standard pruning shears will suffice. It is important that you always cut with clean and sharp pruning shears. If a diseased plant or a plant infested with pests was previously cut, the secateurs must be disinfected.

Tip: The simplest form of disinfection is to hold the blades of the pruning shears in the flame of a gas burner or lit alcohol (use the fondue container, for example) for a few seconds.

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