The red-leaf hibiscus is a tropical shrub that can be grown as an annual or a perennial, depending on the climate. Items needed to care for the hibiscus are all-purpose fertilizer, pruning shears and insecticidal soap or horticultural oil.
Water and fertilize the hibiscus
Water the red-leaf hibiscus once a week with at least 1 inch of water. Test the ground's moisture after watering by digging 6 inches deep around the base of the plant. The soil should be moist, but not overly wet. Fertilize the red leaf hibiscus once a week during the spring and summer with a 10-10-10 or 20-20-20 all-purpose fertilizer.
Trim the branches
Use pruning shears to trim the top and ends of the branches. Trim during the spring and summer to encourage the plant to produce new growth. Remove dead and diseased branches. Do not prune after new buds start to appear.
Spray with insecticidal soap
If aphids, mealybugs or white flies appear, spray the hibiscus with insecticidal soap or horticultural oil once a week. Continue until the insects are gone.
Cut the hibiscus
When the leaves begin to fall off the hibiscus, cut it down to soil level. Do this before the first frost.