Hibiscus is a beautiful tropical plant. You can find it as large shrubs or small trees. It has many colors like peach, red and yellow, and it has a trumpet shape. If you plant hibiscus you will have flowers for a long period of time and you will be able to enjoy its blossoms and other amazing beneftis.
This plant is divided into four categories: the tropical, the hardy , the rose of Sharon and the other varieties. Let’s see in what ways we can take care of our exotic hibiscus plant. It is considered to be a delicate plant and you must take care of it whether it is placed indoors or outdoors.
Hibiscus Sun Care
Sunlight is very important if you want your plant to grow and produce amazing blossoms. That doesn’t mean that it should be exposed to direct sunlight or that it should have insufficient sunlight. There should always be a balance between water, heat, and sun.
In areas with mild temperature, you should place the plant where there is plenty of sun. In hot and dry temperatures place your plant to a place that has shade and partial sunlight. In hot and humid climate find a place where there will be partial shade and sunlight too.
This tropical plant is a very delicate flower and it can sunburn. Yes, you read it well sunburn. This will happen if you have placed it in your house or even the greenhouse and you expose it in direct sunlight during the summer months. The leaves will start changing their color in bright yellow or white color and that means that they got burnt.
If you want it to adapt to the new environment expose it every day to sunlight for an hour. You should be careful where you place it because you don’t want to think that the place is great when actually it isn’t. A good idea would be to place it close to trees because it will get more sunlight than placing it behind a fence or somewhere in your house.
If you notice that the blooms start to fall before they open then make sure to check whether the plant is moist and that it hasn’t dried out. When the heat goes up the watering should go up too.
Planting or Potting Hibiscus?
You have bought your beautiful exotic hibiscus plant and you start to wonder should I plant it in a garden or in a pot? It all depends on the place where you live. If you live in a warm place and the winter isn’t that cold then you can plant it in your garden.
If the winter is freezing cold then you should place it in a pot and move it in your house to protect it from the cold. It need warm climate and the roots must be protected.
Before you plant your exotic plant in the ground you should make sure that the soil is the right one. You should prepare your soil in order to plant it but also you should ensure that your soil is the right one for your plant.
The first thing that you should do would be to test your soil and its ability to drain the water. Make a hole in the soil and pour a gallon of water in it. If an hour passes by and the water disappears then the soil is perfect for your plant. If the water isn’t drained then you should amend the soil with a material which is called ‘clay-busting’. This will help you plant your hibiscus.
You should also test the water permeation. When you open your hole you should check if the water soaks well in the soil. If it doesn’t soak that could have as a result for the plant to die due to drought. Let the water soak for 30 minutes and then check the water line.
If you see that the water is 8 to 10 inches down and moist then you can plant it because the soil is perfect. In case it doesn’t, dig a large hole and add planting mix and then plant it and be careful with the roots. If your soil is sandy then make sure to add compost and to water and fertilize the soil.
The time has come for you to dig the hole. As we mentioned if the soil is good you won’t have any problems. If you have troubles with the soil then dig a much larger hole and add compost and fertilizer. If the weather is quite cold then dig dipper and ensure that the roots have plenty of space to grow.
It is time. It’s time to plant this amazing masterpiece. Once the hole is ready, water it so as to be moist. Prepare your plant and take it out of the pot as gently as you can in order not to harm the roots. Plant it smoothly and add the soil. Don’t forget to water it again for 2 or 3 times. After two weeks you can start fertilizing it and you’re done!
Hibiscus in a Pot
If your soil is not the appropriate one and the climate doesn’t help then you do have the ability to keep your plant in a pot. In this way, you will be able to move it around the house and outdoors too without worrying that your plant won’t bloom.
The best diameter for a pot is 10’’ and larger. The particular one is easy to pick up and you can move it around easily. You could also have different pots with hibiscus inside and you could also use different pot colors to create a colorful space. The potting mix is also important.
Despite the fact that there are potting mixes that are not expensive you shouldn’t buy them because the water won’t be able to drain. For this reason, you should choose a mix that will contain composted bark, peat moss, and coco coir. Organic ingredients are a great solution too.
You could use worm castings and bat guano. What you should do is to go to a nursery and ask for advice and see what they are going to suggest. Remember that a good pot mix will keep hibiscus healthy for a long time whereas with a cheap one you don’t know for how long your plant will live.
When you keep it in a pot you should use fertilizer too. You can add ½ of the dose when you water it. You should check the leaves to make sure that your plant is healthy because in case you see burnt edges you should stop fertilizing it for 3 weeks and reduce the dose.
Pruning is the final thing that you should do. The more branches your plant has the more flowers it will give. The way you prune it will determine the side that the branches will grow. You will decide which position is right for you and where you want it to point to.
Apart from the leaves that need pruning, you should keep in mind that the roots need pruning too. The roots should be pruned every two years. You should check them by easing the pot from the roots. If you see a mass at the bottom then you should definitely prune it. Use a sanitized knife and cut 2 inches of the rootball.
When you finish with that add two inches of potting mix, place the hibiscus back and water it. That’s it, the hard work is done. Your lovely plant is as good as new. If you follow these simple steps you will be able to keep this aromatic plant in a pot.
Whether you want to keep your plant in a garden or in a pot it all depends on the climate and the soil. Keep in mind all the tips that we mentioned and choose the appropriate method to keep it safe.
Since it is a very delicate flower you should pay extra attention in the way that you water it. Below we are going to talk about the different ways to protect it when you have to water it because climate, as we mentioned before, plays a significant role that the plant is going to grow and you want it to be perfect.
The quantity of the watering will play a major role in the way that your hibiscus is going to grow. It needs a lot of watering during the warm days and even more during the hot days. Due to the fact that it is a tropical flower the quantity and amount of water are important.
Hibiscus needs daily watering. It depends on the weather, how hot is it and on the soil. You need to water it on a daily basis. The soil around the roots should be wet; it is difficult to determine when it is planted in the soil. If you keep it in a pot it is easier.
Also, the pH of the ground should be from 5.0 to 7.0. It would be best to water it twice a day because if the water isn’t enough then the flower won’t grow as it normally does and it won’t produce as many blooms as you expected. Watering it in the morning and in the afternoon will be perfect.
The weather plays a significant part too. If the weather is too hot water hibiscus accordingly, under no circumstances should the flower be dried out. If the weather is cold then water it but not too much. In a frosty night just sprinkle it. The secret is not to let it dry out.
If your it is planted in your garden then water each plant separately, in this way the water will be absorbed by the roots and this exactly what we want. If the flower is planted in a pot them make sure that there are no visible lines between the areas you watered. If you see any dry areas water them again but don’t overdo it.
As we saw watering is divided between the warm weather and the cold weather. In the hot weather, it needs a lot of water. In the cold, you need to make sure that the plant won’t dry out and that fungus won’t attack its roots. The roots are the key, protect them and if possible during the cold weather keep them warm and your plant will produce beautiful blooms.
Unfortunately, even though it is an extremely beautiful flower there are pests that want to feed off from it. These pests might suck up its juice, lay eggs and they can spread diseases too. What should we do in order to protect our amazing plant?
What you have to do first of all is to identify the pest or pests that want to feed off your hibiscus. There are specific insects that want to feed on your plant. Before you go and buy a random pesticide have a look at the pests and their control because you don’t want to buy a pesticide that won’t help you.
Chemicals or Non-Chemicals?
There are different types of control techniques with which you can protect your hibiscus. There are the chemicals, and the non-chemicals (also known as organic ones). The chemical ones can either be organic (which means that they aren’t as harmful to us as they are for pests) and the synthetic ones. The synthetic ones are pesticides that are produced in the lab and they are harmful to us, the environment and to the insects too.
It all depends on the type of pests that you have on which type of pesticide or pesticides you are going to use. You could start with the organic one and then if the pests continue to harm your plant you should move to the chemical ones. If you are ill or allergic to specific chemicals then use the organic one.
It all depends on the pests that you’ve got. Some can be spotted with the naked eye and others are only seen by the symptoms. You could use a magnifier to check for any pests. Aphids and white flies can be easily spotted. The most difficult to see are the spider mites.
For the ones that are not visible, you will understand them when your hibiscus starts to get yellow leaves and there are no blossoms. Then, unfortunately you will have to use pesticides that will help you control the damage, if possible. Below we are going to examine some of the most usual pests and the way that you can control them.
Once again the methods that you are going to use are up to you. Don’t forget that sometimes water can help on its own. Let’s have a look.
As an extremely beautiful flower, for this reason, many pests tend to ‘visit’ it. White flies are very common pests. They produce a sticky and sugary substance. This is called honeydew and it can cause black fungus that you might find on the leaves. They lay their eggs on the underside of leaves and they look like oval and flat scales. It takes them a month to hatch.
You can control the white flies by spraying them with water. If you are going to use any other products make sure that you will read the instructions. The particular pests can’t handle the cold temperatures. Make sure that you’ll check or have someone check you hibiscus before you buy it.
Aphids are small insects that are soft-bodied. Their color can vary from yellow, pale green, pink, and black. Some of them might have wings and others can be without wings. They grow on the undersides of the leaves and they suck the plant juices and the leaves become yellow.
These ones produce honeydew too. As a result, other insects are attracted like ants. This might have as a result for the fungus to appear in your Plant. You have to control it immediately or else diseases might spread to your plants. Spray it with water or insecticidal soap or horticultural oil if you spot them.
Mealybugs have an oval shape. They stuck on the undersides too and they suck the plant juices. While they feed they inject toxins that have as a result for hibiscus to be destroyed. The leaves become yellow and mold starts to grow.
You have the ability to control them by using insecticidal soap and horticultural oil too. You will see which one is the most appropriate one in order to use. Remember that you can use water first and if they don’t go then use one of the other two and always read the instructions first.
You can understand that your hibiscus has spider mites because its leaves turn yellow and they start to fall. Spider mites prefer warm and hot weather. A magnifier will help you spot them. If you happen to notice that some leaves turn yellow start looking for them.
You might spot them by the small spider webs too. You will be able to see the sunlight if you look carefully enough. The spider mites can be also be seen if you keep it inside your house. So how can you get rid of them?
There are different ways in order to get rid of them; it all depends on where you have the plant (indoors-outdoors) and how big the damage is. You can spray them but during the evening because there won’t be any people around and when you do it use a respiratory mask.
Another way would be to wrap the plant (if your plant is indoors) with a fabric and secure it at the base. Fill in your bathtub with water. The temperature of the water must be 32C. Make sure that your plant or plants are submerged in the water. You should leave it there for about 45-60 minutes.
If you do that then hopefully the spider mites will disappear. When you take them out of the bathtub make sure that you’ll keep them out of bright light and that you won’t water it for quite some time.
In case your hibiscus-plant is outdoors use your hose and repeat the same process. Don’t forget to repeat the same process again 2 to 3 times every 5 to 7 days because you want to kill the eggs too. It is quite possible then that your plant will be safe.
As we have already mentioned hibiscus is a delicate flower that apart from water and sunlight needs fertilizer to help it grow and especially if you have decided to keep it in a pot. The potting mix is used so as the roots to keep the water and absorb it. Your plant needs something more from you.
Potassium is one of the ‘foods’ that this plant needs the most. Potassium is essential because it moves all the nutrients to all the cells of the plant. In this way becomes more resistant to diseases and drought. It helps it also in the photosynthesis process.
If something happens to your plant then potassium kicks in and saves the plant. This is very helpful especially the period when hibiscus starts to bloom. Potassium is extra necessary then because the plant needs more food.
Phosphorus should be one of the ingredients that you should avoid. Phosphorus can keep the other ingredients and as a result, the plant can’t absorb them. You have to use very small quantities of phosphorus if you want your plant to be healthy. You shouldn’t use fertilizers that have high amounts of it because the plant will be damaged.
Nitrogen shouldn’t be used in high dose too. If you use too much of it the leaves of the plant will turn to dark brown which means that it will die. If you start noticing something like this make sure that you’ll reduce the amount in half or in most cases you should stop using the fertilizer for about 2 weeks.
When you will buy your fertilizer make sure that it will contain iron, magnesium, and copper. Buy the one that is good for hibiscus and always read the instructions. Hibiscus needs small amounts instead of big ones. If you do it properly you will have a healthy and beautiful hibiscus. Apart from being a pretty flower, it can be used in other ways too.
Did You Know About Unique Hibiscus Uses? Check This Out
Hibiscus has unique uses. It can be considered as a superfood. Apart from the fact that is a lovely flower you can use it for other things too. You can make delicious tea and you can also create your own shampoo and hair mask for great hair.
There are benefits when you make your homemade hibiscus tea. First of all, it is rich in vitamin C and it consists of minerals like flavonoids. It has also laxative properties, it will help you with cramps during the menstrual circle, it good for your blood pressure (but don’t drink too much).
It also keeps your lever healthy, it reduces blood sugar levels and finally, it protects you from hypertension.
Hibiscus Tea Recipe
Hibiscus tea is actually quite easy to make. You can make it with fresh flowers or dried ones, it’s up to you. Your tea can be either hot or cold. When you prepare it you can add other herbs, if you want to.
- Add 2 cups of flowers ( or 1/2 dried ones)
- Add 8 cups of water
- Add ¼ cup of Honey
- Add 3 tablespoons of Lime juice (preferably fresh)
When you use fresh hibiscus flowers make sure that you’ll take out the calyx at the base where the stem is. Take out the pistil too; it’s the thin thread that looks like a tube. If you use dried ones you just add them.
Add the flowers to water so as to boil. Use a large pot. When the water starts to boil then cover the pot and switch it off. You can also add other herbs as we said before like lemon or even basil. Let it brew for 15 to 20 minutes, add the honey and finally, strain the tea.
The tea is ready to be served. Once you strain it you can either use a teapot and drink it as a hot beverage or you can place it in the fridge and have a gold tea. It is up to you to create your tea the way you want to.
You can use the hibiscus to make your own shampoo. You need only 4 ingredients to create your own aromatic shampoo. You must have 15 leaves, 5 flowers, 1 cup of water and 1 gram of flour. You only need 5 minutes to prepare it.
What you have to do is to boil the leaves and the flowers; you will add the cup of water. Boil the ingredients for 5 minutes and then let the mixture cool. When the mixture is cool add the gram of flour. Use this shampoo to wash your hair three times a week.
Hibiscus can keep your scalp healthy because the leaves create a slight lather. The slight lather keeps your hair clean and the natural oils of your hair aren’t being removed.
Hibiscus Hair Mask with Yogurt
Another way that you can use it’s flowers is to make your homemade mask for strong and healthy hair. You only need 3 ingredients for this recipe. The whole recipe needs one hour. You should have:
- 1 flower
- 3 to 4 leaves
- 4 tablespoons of yogurt
You should pulverize the hibiscus flower with the leaves and create a paste. Add the yogurt until the mixture is smooth. Apply the mask to your hair and leave it for 1 hour. Wash your hair as you normally do. You can use the mask twice a week.
This mask is great for your hair because it nourishes them, and the roots will become stronger. You will immediately see the results because don’t forget that all the ingredients have no chemicals.
As Ralph Waldo Emerson said,: “Flowers are a proud assertion that a ray of beauty outvalues all the utilities in the world”. Hibiscus is an amazing tropical flower that has a unique beauty. You can find it in different colors that you can choose from.
You can keep it either indoors or outdoors the only thing that you should have in mind is the sunlight, the water and the fertilizer that you will use. It is delicate plant that gives wonderful blossoms and you should make sure that it receives all the necessary care.
When you fertilize it make sure that you give the right amount because you don’t want the leaves to burn and as a consequence the plant to die. Always read the instructions, and ask in a nursery in order to buy the right one.
If you follow all of the things that we mentioned, be sure that you will be able to keep your plant healthy and with blooming flowers for a long time. Also, bear in mind that this plant is not just a flower but it has unique uses too.
We can use it in order to make our own homemade beauty products and of course we can make out own homemade tea. What is more satisfying than making your homemade tea, and ask friends and family to come over and taste your delicious hibiscus tea?
To sum up, enjoy every moment of planting and caring of your hibiscus and you will be able to sit in your garden and admire all the work that you have done. Hibiscus is a unique flower with unique uses too. It is up to you to choose it and make it part of your home and garden.