Hibiscus home in the wild is the subtropical region, where it grows as a woody shrub. The plant blooms in stunning bright-colored mostly in red, orange and yellow flowers. They are in trumpet shape, with vibrant showy filament growing from the center. Hibiscus is loved by gardeners for its beauty and the possibility to be easily grown. But the important issue they have to solve is how to create the best conditions for the plant to bloom, entirely covered with its great flowers. On this page, we’ll answer the questions, where do hibiscus grow best and what conditions it requires. From this article, you’ll also know how to propagate this flowering trees successfully and save them from the pests.
Table of Contents
- What plant is hibiscus?
- Some tips on how to grow hibiscus plant
- Care for hibiscus tree
- How to grow hibiscus from cuttings
- Treatment of hibiscus against infestations and pests
What plant is hibiscus?
Hibiscus grow to 8–16 feet (2.5-5 m) height. They are easy to care for when given the proper conditions. In temperate climate zones, this tropical tree survives year round in the garden, no matter whether planted in pot or in the ground. But if you grow hibiscus in colder places, it should be brought indoors for the winter.
Some tips on how to grow hibiscus plant
Hibiscus are rarely grown by seed, but bought from a nursery as potted plants, instead. You should take one with a lot of developing flower buds and leaves that are without marks and spots. After purchasing, you can plant hibiscus either in a pot or in the garden. The ideal place for this tropical plant is in the yard, on a location with well-drained soil and full sun. Dig a hole in the soil and add some compost in there. When placing the tree in the hole, make sure that the top of its root ball is on the level of the ground surface. Fill with soil around the root ball, slightly burying the top. At the end, water the plant and add some more soil on the top.
How to grow hibiscus in a pot
You can simply put the nursery pot with hibiscus into a decorative pot and add an all-purpose fertilizer. But the better way is to plant it in a vessel with well-draining soil. Do not forget to add fertilizer after planting.
Care for hibiscus tree
Hibiscus are famous for their longevity. They are “tough-as-nails plants”, says the botanical researcher Adrienne Roethling. So, the plant does not need much care, but in order to flourish well, you should think of providing it with the best conditions.
When kept in the garden, choose a location with 6–8 hours of full sun daily. In case you keep it indoors, put the pot on the sunniest window.
Hibiscus grows well in moist, well-drained soil. It’s good to add there a compost, which will help the aeration and to retain moisture.
The needed water
Hibiscus doesn’t need a lot of damp in the soil. That’s why, water the plant only when the top inch of the soil is already dry.
Fertilization of hibiscus
You may fertilize, if you want the tree to bloom with an abundance of flowers. A slow release fertilizer, applied once in spring, is good enough for this purpose.
The needed temperature
Hibiscus thrive in warm climates in the range between 60-85 °F (16-29 °C). When the temperature drops less than 55 °F (13 °C), the plant should be removed inside the house.
How to grow hibiscus from cuttings
Fortunately, hibiscus are quite easy to propagate. Take some cuttings from the plant in early spring before the appearance of flower buds. Cut 6 in length (15 cm) stems without a flower bud and remove the lower leaves, leaving only one layer of upper leaves. Put these stems in water, waiting for the roots to grow. Then, plant the stems in pots or directly into the ground.
Treatment of hibiscus against infestations and pests
Though easy to care for, gardeners run into some problems with pests that hibiscus trees suffer from.
It’s one of the common pest infestations of hibiscus. You can identify mealybug by the small white cottony balls on buds, stems and leaves. All you should do to prevent this infestation is to allow airflow between the hibiscus and plant them on some distance. It’s also important to keep the infected plants far from the healthy ones. Then you can cure the infected trees by removing the buds, stems and leaves with mealybugs formations. At last, spray with water and treat the infected plants with horticultural oil or insecticidal soap.
This fungal disease is identified by the white powder on the plant’s leaves. The mildew may appear when the nights are with low temperatures and the days are warm. In order to cure the plant, you should remove the infected with powdery mildew leaves, then be careful not to water above the leaves. This will stop the disease from spreading.
Sometimes you may notice that in some places the leaves on your hibiscus are yellow. That means probably that the tree needs micronutrients, like iron and magnesium, to be added. It’s time to add some fertilizer.