Bearing large flowers with bright colors, hibiscus plant will be an attractive addition to the garden. This plant or bush is also a great choice for those who want to spice up the garden with a tropical vibe. Luckily, growing hibiscus on your own garden is quite easy and only requires little effort. With enough information about how to plant hibiscus and care for it, you can enjoy the beauty of hibiscus flower for many years.
Getting to Know Hibiscus Plant
Hibiscus is a tropical flowering plant that belongs to the Malvaceae family. It is characterized by lobed leaves and large flowers that shape like a trumpet. Hibiscus flowers come in various bright colors. Red hibiscus and yellow hibiscus are considered the most popular. However, some other color varieties, including white, pink, purple, and orange, are not less attractive.
Naturally, hibiscus tree can reach the height of fifteen feet when it is planted in the tropical area. Meanwhile, the flowers can have six inches in diameter at their blooming stage. These sizes, of course, may vary depending on the planting location.
Due to its attractive features, hibiscus flower is often used to express admiration for someone’s beauty during the Victorian Era. Throughout the times, the plant is also useful for treating several health problems. It has the ability to soothe a headache and aching limbs as well as healing coughs and inflammations.
Types of Hibiscus Plant
Hibiscus plant is classified into three distinctive varieties: tropical, hardy shrub, and hardy perennial. The tropical hibiscus can only be planted in the locations with a warm climate. Meanwhile, two other types—hardy shrub and perennial—are hybrid varieties that can be cultivated in the cold area.
Known as Hibiscus rosa-sinensis, the tropical variety has a small tree with stiff and woody stems. This tropical hibiscus produces more flowers than other varieties. The flowers come in reddish shades (red, pink, orange), yellow, purple, or even multi-colors.
Hardy shrub hibiscusis more popularly known as althea flower or rose of Sharon. The flowers that come from hibiscus shrub are smaller than those which grow in the tropical tree. Regardless, they have special shades of color, such as blue and lavender.
Hardy perennial hibiscus (Hibiscus moscheutos) is also known as rose mallow or swamp mallow. Unlike other types that have trumpet-shaped flowers, this variety has heart-shaped petals in white, red, or pink colors.
Requirements to Grow Hibiscus Plant
When it comes to planting hibiscus, there are several requirements that you need to fulfill. These include soil, light, and temperature requirements.
In addition to the soil that is rich in nutrients, hibiscus plant prefers acidic soil below pH 6.5. If the soil in your garden has a higher number in the pH scale, you can mix it with peat moss to balance the acidic state.
Hibiscus needs full sunlight in order to grow. The plant needs to be exposed under the direct sunlight for 4-6 hours a day. The best location to acquire such amount of light is on the west or south side of the garden.
Because it belongs to the group of tropical plant, hibiscus prefers warm temperature to grow. It will thrive well when the temperature ranges between 16 and 32 degrees Celsius. Conversely, this plant cannot tolerate freezing weather and might die if the temperature drops below zero. For this reason, you need to bring the plant inside during the winter.
How to Plant Hibiscus
Hibiscus is not only suitable for flowerbed in the garden. You can also grow this flowering plant in a pot or container. However, the method for each planting medium is slightly different.
Planting Hibiscus in the Flowerbed
Firstly, dig a hole that is deep enough for the root ball to stay. Place the root ball carefully in the middle of the hole, and then add a half part of the soil. Once the plant is placed still, add water to the soil and let it dry. Add another half of soil to cover the stem. When all is done, the new plant of hibiscus should be watered immediately.
If you plant more than one hibiscus at a time, note that it should be planted in 2-3 feet away from each other.
Planting Hibiscus in the Pot or Container
Growing hibiscus in the container is considered more practical, especially if you don’t have enough space in the garden. Besides, a potted hibiscus plant is easy to be placed in any ideal location.
The method is mostly similar to the procedure of planting in the soil. However, when planting hibiscus in the pot or container, you need to choose a container with enough drainage holes at the bottom. Therefore, the water will have a good flow system while the roots of the plant can grow easily.
Place the potted plant under direct sunlight for at least six hours a day. However, when the weather is overly hot or humid, the pot should be placed in a shady area. Once the plant grows taller, you need to move it into a new pot that has a larger size than the old one.
How to Care for Hibiscus
Just like any other flowering plants, caring for hibiscus means that you need to water and fertilize the plant regularly. Hibiscus plant should be watered on a daily basis during warm seasons. When the flowers bloom in the spring or summer, the plant requires a larger amount of water. Meanwhile, in the fall and winter, you only need to water the plant when the soil looks dry.
As for the fertilizer, there are several options you can choose. One of the most effective types is potassium compost that can be added to the soil. Alternatively, you can use a diluted liquid fertilizer once a week or a slow-released type once a month. Whichever type you choose, keep in mind that hibiscus should only be fertilized in the spring or summer.
Now that you know the basic information about how toplant and how to care for hibiscus, you can start to grow this tropical flair on your own. With the right procedure for planting and caring, hibiscus plant will reward you with its bright-colored flowers. They will be the center of attention in your garden, or in any place you put it for that matter.