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We bought a house last year with a lovely hibiscus tree (plant?), about 8-9 feet tall, main trunk maybe 4" diameter. It gets lots of south/southeast direct sun in the morning and nothing direct the rest of the day. The main branches are basically all directed towards the sun. I'm trying to learn how, if possible, to coax it to be more evenly distributed over time, maybe by introducing some slight pressure on the trunk and branches in the direction I want to encourage it to grow. I'm very new to caring for this plant and don't even know what to Google (nothing I've tried seems to give relevant answers).

What should I be searching for and reading about? Any specific advice? Thanks in advance! photo of uneven tree

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  • How much sun does that shrub get? 1-2 hours, max?
    – Jurp
    Apr 23, 2022 at 22:31
  • The house faces NNE and we're in NYC. I guess it gets maybe 3 hours some days? It flowers like crazy in the summer. Apr 24, 2022 at 1:42

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The shrub was planted with a straight trunk, so the lean you're seeing is not a result of the original planting technique. Logically then, this leads to it being the result of the shrub not receiving enough light. Hibiscus shrubs (Hibiscus syriacus) are listed in reference materials/sites as requiring full sun to part shade. Generally, full sun is 6+ hours of sun and part shade is 4-6 hours of sun - maybe 3-6 hours, if the shade is not from a building or densely leaved tree. With the plant facing NNE, it's unlikely to be getting enough sun except, perhaps, near the summer solstice. Trying to correct the lean is likely to result in any new growth also leaning to the left. If you want a more symmetrical shrub, you should plant one that is more tolerant of the low light environment.

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