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Does Hibiscus Need a Trellis? (Quick Answers)

You may have seen many gardens with plants having support. That wooden or metal structure is called a trellis and is used to keep plants that don’t have a sturdy trunk, straight and strong. 

Now if you want to grow some hibiscus to adore your outdoor areas you might ask if hibiscus needs a trellis? Let’s dive in to know!

Does hibiscus need a trellis?

Hibiscus that are tree-formed might need a trellis to stand strong and straight. However, hibiscus plants don’t usually grow sturdy trunks except for a few species that come with robust stems. So it’s wise to place the stake next to the hibiscus tree to secure it.

A trellis is a support system for plants. In simple words, they are the framework of wood or any other material that lets plants climb through them. Trellis is used for those trees or plants that aren’t strong from their base, mostly shrubs.

Since hibiscus belongs to the mid-shrub or sometimes to the shrub family, gardeners get confused about whether they need a trellis to grow or not. 

Trellis is placed amid the plants that don’t grow robust stems and only a few varieties among the 300 species of hibiscus grow strong trunks or robust stems. Others are weaker since they don’t have a robust stem to stand strong. 

That indicates hibiscus should be given trellis to keep them from risk.

If a hibiscus plant is not joined with a trellis at its early stage, it may not grow properly. Without the support of a trellis, a hibiscus plant can collapse or bend due to heavy wind, rain, or overcrowded flowers of its own.

Moreover, a few species of hibiscus have a climbing nature. For example, hardy hibiscus, a type of hibiscus that can climb up to 15 feet if maintained in a suitable condition. Hibiscus plants also require a trellis to stand upright and grow in a straight direction.  

Considering all these reasons, we guess you’re convinced that your hibiscus needs the help of a trellis to grow strongly and properly.

Do hibiscus climb? 

Not all of them but some varieties of Hibiscus can climb. Depending on their variation Hibiscus can climb up to 15 feet high.

Hibiscus has a few variations that portray different characteristics while growing. The one we notice much is the tropical one which grows like a tree. 

Tropical hibiscus is a tree-formed variety of the hibiscus family. It has a stronger stem and grows as a shrub. Tropical hibiscus is generally 3 to 8 feet tall and doesn’t climb.

But a specific type of Hibiscus, hardy hibiscus, is able to climb as a vine. 

Hardy hibiscus is fast-growing compared to the common varieties of Hibiscus. This species of Hibiscus produces large flowers in Hardy hibiscus that grows as a vine and can reach up to 15 feet tall. Hardy hibiscuses are weak by their stem and need a trellis to climb while growing taller.

Will hibiscus grow on a trellis?

Hibiscus plants that don’t grow a robust stem need a trellis for support. Since a trellis is placed to keep them upright and strong, any hibiscus plant will finely grow on a trellis.

Hibiscus don’t always grow strong trunks. It can fall or bend with a load of its flowers while growing. strong wind and severe rain too can break a hibiscus plant if not supported with something powerful to carry its load. 

Thus it’s required to place a trellis behind or amid a hibiscus to ensure its’ strength. But many people fear placing a trellis with hibiscus might stop its growth. Whereas a trellis helps a hibiscus tree to stand strong and grow taller properly.

Trellis when kept beside a hibiscus tree doesn’t affect its growth or height in the wrong way. It lets the plant reply to the structure and grows upright.

Three reasons why hibiscus needs a trellis

If you’re about to plant a hibiscus but are confused about whether it needs a trellis or not, we’ve here explained three reasons why hibiscus needs a trellis:

To prevent breaking or bending: 

Not every variety of hibiscus plants has a strong stem. So they are always at risk of falling or bending due to various reasons, for example heavy rain, windy weather, even the load of hibiscus flowers and their leaves.

But if a hibiscus is supported with a strong structure from the early stage the chance of it falling due to a weak stem reduces. 

To grow taller and straight: 

Plants that tend to grow higher often can’t reach their height if not helped. Since a few types of hibiscus having a weak trunk aren’t firm enough to climb high on their own, a trellis is required to encourage their height.

Similarly, when not supported by a trellis, hibiscus plants can grow larger in a random direction whereas relying on a trellis it grows straight.

To look decorative: 

Hibiscus is beautiful no matter how you grow them but their beauty can be multiplied if you keep a trellis beside the plant. 

The trellis behind a hibiscus not only lets it grow but also makes it decorative. A wooden trellis acts as a wall behind a hibiscus tree and creates an aesthetic look. 

Since hibiscus need support, placing a trellis is always a good idea as it can be decorative as well.

How do you support a hibiscus with trellis?

Since most hibiscus doesn’t grow robust stems, keeping a trellis with this plant will help it to stand strong. Also, placing the trellis within the hibiscus let it climb freely.

To support your young hibiscus tree with trellis you might need to follow a step-by-step guide. So here it is:

Select the right trellis: 

Trellis comes in various structures such as flat trellises, cages, arches, etc. Depending on how you want your plant to bloom choose any design. If you’re selecting a trellis for outdoor, consider weather-proof ones. 

Ensure correct placement: 

Place the trellis correctly. You can keep it behind the plant as a wall. Or it can be placed amid the hibiscus. But wherever you place it make sure it’s near to the center of the plant so that it can reach the trellis for support. 

Place the trellis without harming the hibiscus’s branches or roots.

Place it on the ground: 

Dig a 10-12 inches’ hole on the ground and insert the leg of the trellis. Use water spray to soften the soil and hammer to push it deeper. Then fill up the hole with soil if needed.

Make the plant rely on it: 

Lightly guide the vines branches or stems to lean on the trellis. Braid them within the grids, steps, and curves so the plant can grow to wrap the trellis. Tie the plant loosely with the trellis with any soft rope or ribbon too to secure the support.

How to train a hibiscus?

Hibiscus are mid-length shrub plants. But with proper procedure, you can train your hibiscus to grow it as a tree. Here we’ve shared the process of training a hibiscus step by step:

Choose the stem and time: 

As you picked a younger version of a suitable hibiscus, choose a sturdy, thick, and single stem of the plant that will act as the trunk of the plant. It’s suggested to start the training in the early spring.

Cut it properly: 

Remove all the stems, and branches from the selected stem so that it doesn’t interfere with the plants’ trunk. You can use pruning shears or lopping shears depending on the thickness of the stem.

Place a stake: 

On the ground set up a stake of any material for example cane or wood. The stake should be at least 3-foot-tall with a board of 1 by 1 inch. Insert the stake in the soil carefully so that the stem doesn’t get affected. 

Tie them up: 

Now tie the stem with the stack with a not-so-hard rope loosely but firmly to prevent bending.

Trim occasionally: 

Trim the stem occasionally so that it keeps growing in one direction, straight and upright.

Pinch the tips: 

When the stem has reached your desired growth, pinch its tips. It will help to make a full sunshade on the top. 

Let it bloom: 

Finally, when the stem has turned into your desired length tree, stop pinching it so that it can grow flowers.

Final Thoughts

Hibiscus is a mid-shrub or shrub plant. Not every variant of this plant grows a strong trunk keeping a few species aside. Without a trellis, a hibiscus may bend, break or not grow properly. So to support them to grow strong, tall, and right, they should be given a trellis.