Strikingly beautiful hibiscus flowers are a showstopper in any garden during the blooming period. It is a popular flowering plant maintained as a shrub or tree. It can grow to about 25 feet within a few years after plantation. However, the size may vary according to the type of cultivar that you have planted. Every year, new hibiscus hybrids are developed with superior traits.
Some Helpful Tips
Large showy blooms, tolerance to salt, and adaptability in a wide range of soil types are some of the desirable features of the hibiscus. The flowers are found in different shades, including white, yellow, peach, orange, salmon, pink, and red. Also, the petals can be single- or double-petaled.
Identifying the type of hibiscus that you are growing is imperative to provide optimal care, since the specific instructions largely depend on the cultivar. For example, the tropical type grows best in warm climatic conditions (USDA hardiness zones 9-11) that mimic their natural habitat. In contrary to this, the hardier varieties are adaptable to a wide range of growing conditions (USDA hardiness zones 5-9).
The ideal site is a warm, sunlit area that remains humid for most part of the year. Maximum flower production is observed when this tropical plant is grown in full sunlight. When planting in outdoor gardens, select an area that is less prone to high velocity winds. One more point to be noted regarding tropical varieties is that the minimum temperature should be above 50 °F at night.
As with any gardening project, the first step is to prepare the garden soil in such a way that it supports the plant for fast growth and development. This tropical shrub or tree grows well in a wide range of soil types. Hence, even if you have poor garden soil, you can make amends with farmyard compost to make it more suitable. The only thing is, there should not be any drainage problems.
If winter in your area is extremely cold, consider planting the hardy variety. These varieties can withstand frost and cold winter temperature. Or else, you can consider growing tropical hibiscus in containers, and bringing them indoors in winter. Dig a planting hole 2 times larger than the original root ball size. Place the young shoot and refill the soil.
Basic care involves regular (if not necessarily daily) watering, laying mulch, and applying standard fertilizer in the growing season. While growing in an outdoor garden, the newly planted trees should be irrigated every alternate day. The soil should be kept moist for quick establishment. If you have a tropical variety in a cold region, you need to find more information on protecting trees against chilly weather.
There is no specific technique to prune this tree. The objectives for pruning are to maintain the general shape and remove weak branches. Nevertheless, trimming the twigs is best performed during spring or fall, i.e., well before or well after the flowers develop. Avoid damaging other parts, and use sharp pruning tools to make smooth cuts.
Nothing is more disappointing for a passionate gardener than seeing your plants attacked by diseases or destructive pests. Fortunately, these plants are naturally resistant to many diseases. Aphids are not unusual problems, and they are also susceptible to spider mites and white fly.
By growing hibiscus in your garden, you can also enjoy butterflies and hummingbirds that frequently visit the lovely blooms in the summer. What's more, the flowers can be harvested for making herbal tea. They are also commonly included as a common ingredient in haircare, skincare, and similar cosmetic products.