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Hibiscus syriacus

Hibiscus syriacus, commonly called rose of Sharon. Photo courtesy Missouri Botanical Garden 

Q • My two hibiscus bushes have been planted near each other on the west of my house for about three or four years now. I cut them down like I did last year, so that now they are about a foot tall because they were crowding each other and the leaves were turning ugly spotty brown. I would like to know if I can divide them now?

A • Yes, hardy hibiscus can be divided in either spring or fall. Divisions may take two years before they flower well again. Be sure to water both the plants and their new planting sites thoroughly a day or two before the move. Choose a new site in full sun. Enrich the planting holes with generous portions of compost or other well-decayed organic matter. In the absence of reliable rainfall, keep watered until the ground freezes, then apply 2 to 3 inches of compost or leaf mulch for winter protection.