The frequency for pruning hibiscus shrubs is based on a given location's climate, notes Hidden Valley Hibiscus. Hibiscus shrubs are safely pruned before a warming trend, such as at the onset of spring, several times during summer or in early autumn.
Any time branches are cut from a hibiscus shrub, it is considered pruning, though there are different types of pruning. Cutting only the upper tips from the branches of young plants to encourage fuller growth is called pinching. Cutting a few branches from the plant to make it grow into a desired shape is called selective pruning. Cutting back all the branches of a plant to encourage fuller new growth is called full, rejuvenating or hard pruning. Finally, cutting out only the damaged or unattractive branches of a hibiscus is called corrective pruning.