Do you Really Know Everything about Hibiscus Plant Care?
The Hibiscus plant is scientifically referred to as the genus Hibiscus and belongs to the Malvaceae plant family. It is a rather popular plant throughout the world, especially the Asian subcontinent.
The Hibiscus tree has several species of its own, more than 200 of them. The most popular among these is the China Rose or the Chinese Hibiscus. Other major species of the Hibiscus tree are stated below.
- Kenuf (Hibiscus Cannabinus)
- Mahoe (Hibiscus Tiliaceus)
- Rose Mallow (Hibiscus Moschuetos)
- Rose of Sharon (Hibiscus Syriacus)
- Roselle (Hibiscus Sabdariffa)
Popular as the China Rose
The Hibiscus Rosa-Sinensis is better known as the Chinese Hibiscus or the China Rose. Hibiscus Rosa-Sinensis is a tropical flowering plant, native to the Asian subcontinent. It is one of the most popular varieties of the hibiscus plant.
Hibiscus Rosa-Sinensis or the Chinese Hibiscus tree is generally grown as a tiny evergreen shrub. It grows only just 5 meters tall, at the most, and 3 meters wide. The plant is marked by its trumpet-like leaves. The colours of the flowers of the Chinese Hibiscus vary in colours like orange, peach, pink, red, white, yellow, etc.
Hibiscus Rosa-Sinensis Medicinal Uses
There are several medicinal uses of the Hibiscus Rosa-Sinensis.
- Several clinical experiments have proved that the Hibiscus Rosa-Sinensis possess anti-fertility properties and thus, can easily be used as a natural contraceptive, and also as a natural abortion method.
- The Hibiscus Rosa-Sinensis effectively regulates the blood flow in an individual. It also helps to lower blood pressure, eventually leading to the prevention of any heart-related diseases.
- The plant also has a high concentration of antioxidants, helping us make our immune systems stronger.
- Many studies have also proved that the Hibiscus juice has various anticancer and anti-tumour capabilities.
- One of the best benefits of the Hibiscus Rosa-Sinensis is that it helps to improve liver health and can also help in the cure of diabetes.
Hibiscus Plant At Home
Looks great indoors
The Hibiscus plant is a popular addition in many households. It is mostly known for its colourful blooms, easily adding a pop of colour to any environmental setting.
The plant also has several medicinal capabilities to offer, and thus, is the perfect addition to your garden. Here are some of the medicinal properties of the Hibiscus plant.
- Hibiscus Tea or Sour Tea, and can help to lower body temperature and battle nerve and heart diseases.
- A well-ground pulp, made out of the Hibiscus tree leaves, can help to heal wounds when applied to the skin.
- Although it hasn’t been proven yet, several pieces of research suggest that the Hibiscus plant can help to cure cancer, and can lower blood pressure and cholesterol.
- A recent study has also successfully proved that the Hibiscus plant extract can help to deal with obesity issues, helping people in the quest to lose weight.
However, before you decide on using the Hibiscus plant to deal with certain issues, make sure that your body is comfortable with that. Do not proceed if the intake makes you even a little sick.
How to Grow Hibiscus Plant
Although the hibiscus plant is considered more of an outdoor, garden-kind plant, it can very well be grown indoors, and in containers. And believe it or not, planting the Hibiscus inside the house and in a container is much easier than planting it outdoors.
Here’s how you can proceed with growing the hibiscus plant.
- Select a planter that is neither too large nor too small for your Hibiscus plant. Make sure that the pot has enough drainage holes at the bottom.
- Choose a variety of Hibiscus to plant. Also, do appropriate research about the variety of plants that you choose.
- Take some well-draining potting soil and fill it in around one-third of the planter. See to it that the soil mixture is moist.
- Gently place the root ball in and layer the plant with some more of the potting soil. Add more potting soil, leaving around the top two inches of the planter empty.
- Water the plant using some warm water, preferably lukewarm. Make sure that you do not end up over-watering the plant.
- Move the plant to a spot with lots of bright direct sunlight. The best bet is to place it on a windowsill, without letting the plant touch the window panes.
It is important to remember that different varieties of the Hibiscus plant have different care requirements. So, do your research well before planting a Hibiscus at home.
The Hibiscus plant can generally grow up to a height of 3 to 8 inches. The plant can also easily grow as wide as 3 inches. However, there are many different species or varieties of the Hibiscus plant that can easily outgrow this standard height of a Hibiscus plant.
The Hibiscus tree is rather colourful. It has many varieties, each unique on its own. All these varieties bloom flowers of different kinds and colours. Some of the prominent colours of the Hibiscus flowers are stated below.
- Blue Hibiscus
- Orange Hibiscus
- Peach Hibiscus
- Pink Hibiscus
- Purple Hibiscus
- Red Hibiscus
- White Hibiscus
- Yellow Hibiscus
Can Hibiscus Tolerate Full Sun?
Loves the bright sunlight
The Hibiscus plant prefers lots and lots of bright direct sunlight to grow in. It can very well tolerate the full sun. You should ensure more than 8 hours of direct sunlight every day for the plant, making sure that it blooms Hibiscus flowers.
The plant can tolerate and grow in partial shade as well. But being in a partially shaded region lowers the blooming capacity of the plant, leading it to rarely blooming flowers. So, if you are Hibiscus in the garden make sure that the spot gets the full sun, without any hindrances. While indoors, you can easily move the plant to make sure that it is receiving enough sunlight.
The Right Way to Watering a Hibiscus
Watering the Hibiscus is a thing of utmost care and importance. While caring for a Hibiscus, always keep in mind that it is to be watered only with warm water. Using cold water on the Hibiscus plant is a big no, as it can shock the plant. However, extra warm water can also be harmful to the plant. Thus, you should stick to using lukewarm water to water Hibiscus.
An indoor Hibiscus will need watering every day, while a Garden Hibiscus can do well with being watered once every two days. However, make sure that you do not make the soil too soggy, as it can lead to root rot.
Best Soil for Growing Hibiscus in Ground
Prefers well-draining soil
As it has been mentioned earlier, the Hibiscus plant prefers some moist and well-draining soil to effectively grow. Thus, sandy loam or just loam soil is the best option to grow a Hibiscus in. However, planting a Hibiscus in clay should be avoided at all costs.
The Hibiscus plant prefers neutral or slightly acidic soil to grow in, a pH level around 6 or 7.
The Right Temperature to grow Hibiscus
Does well in room temperatures
The normal room temperature indoors is perfect for breeding a Hibiscus plant. The plant can also tolerate low temperatures around -2 or -1 degrees Celsius for a short time, but cannot function quite as well in that temperature.
To ensure sufficient health and growth of your Hibiscus plant, make sure you maintain a temperature of above 10 degrees Celsius all year round. If the temperature soars high above 32 degrees Celsius, the Hibiscus plant might suffer a heatstroke. This can lead to the dropping and withering of the leaves and flowers. So, make sure that you take the necessary precautions that the weather is too hot or too cold.
What Is the Best Fertilizer for Hibiscus?
Caters to the nutrient needs
Hibiscus plants, when planted outdoors, can do very well even without being fertilized. But when planted inside, and in a container, the plant will need fertilization at intervals, to meet its nutrient requirements.
Always use a properly formulated fertilizer on the hibiscus plant. You can also use any Hibiscus-specialized fertilizers that are now easily available in the market. Just make sure that the fertilizer you use has a little bit of extra magnesium and iron. Also, take care that you do not overuse it on the plant.
In the blooming season, Hibiscus plants indoors need fertilizing once every week. The Hibiscus plants in the garden are content with being fertilized once every fortnight. Never fertilize the plants during the winters.
Propagating Hibiscus Plant
There are many ways to propagate a Hibiscus tree or a Hibiscus plant. Some of the most common ways to propagate a Hibiscus Plant is through air layering, grafting and stem cuttings. Among these, stem cutting is the most popular way to propagate the Hibiscus plant, even more than growing a plant from a Hibiscus seed.
How to Grow Hibiscus Plant from Cutting
Propagate easily through cuttings
As mentioned above, stem cutting is the most used and popular way to propagate a Hibiscus tree. Here’s how you can go about it.
- In the growing season, that is spring and summer, cut a stem from the parent plant, of around 3 to 4 inches in length.
- Gently remove the flower buds, flowers and leaves present in the stem, if any.
- Use a cotton swab to apply some rooting hormone on the cut-end of the stem and gently place it in some planter with moist soil.
- Take a transparent plastic bag or dome and cover the planted stem. This helps to keep the humidity high, a requirement for the growth of the plant.
- Move the planted stem to a spot with moderate sunlight, preferably a temperature range of 24 to 27 degrees Celsius. Avoid direct sunlight.
How to Take Care of Hibiscus Plant in Summer
The Hibiscus planted is best planted in the summer season. Spring and summer is the growing season for the plant, and thus, it will grow at a quicker pace when planted during the summers.
During summers, the heat of the sun makes the plants dry out quickly. So they require more watering. The indoor plants require watering every day during the summers. Even the fertilizing should be done every once in a month or so during the summers, and the rest period should be increased during the winters.
The summers are also the perfect time to prune or propagate the Hibiscus plant.
Wintering a Hibiscus
Ideal for winters
The term wintering a plant is used to refer to adopting winter-appropriate measures to care for a plant. The winters are a tough time for most plants. They require the utmost care during this time to keep thriving well.
The Hibiscus plant requires wintering when the temperature in your area drops below 0 degrees Celsius. When it happens, move your plant to a cozier spot, preferably to a spot with a temperature of at least 10 degrees Celsius. Make sure that the new spot meets the sunlight needs of the plant.
During the winters, the plant does not require watering as often as it did in the summers. You can just resort to watering the plant only as and when the top layer of the soil dries out.
If you notice the leaves of the Hibiscus turning yellow, do not freak out. It is completely normal given the cold temperature. And if the plant sheds all its leaves and enters dormancy, let it remain so undisturbed. It will be back to normal when the winter season ends.
How to Treat Insects on Hibiscus
Keep the plant clean
A Hibiscus plant attracts many unwanted pests and insects. Insects such as aphids, mealybugs, red spider mites, and whiteflies love a weakened Hibiscus plant to have as home. Remember, these pests attack the plant only when it is unhealthy. Thus, the best way to treat insects on Hibiscus is to ensure that your plant remains healthy, preventing the insects from attacking it in the first place.
To ensure the plant’s good health, and thus escape the insects, make sure that your Hibiscus plant is well-take care of. See to it that the plant meets its light and watering requirements.
Another easy way to keep the pests away is to ensure good hygiene of the plant. Clean the plant every once in a week or so. Keep the leaves dust-free. You can also use insecticidal soaps while cleaning the plant to keep pests away.
Getting Rid of Spider Mites from the Hibiscus
Several pests and insects infest the Hibiscus plant when the plant gets over-stressed. The different pests can be removed by prevention of stress on the plant and by regular cleaning. But spider mites are not visible to the naked eye and hence, require more than regular cleaning to get rid of.
Here are some natural ways that you can use to kill spider mites on Hibiscus.
- Several studies have proved that essential oils like chamomile, rosemary and spearmint are an effective choice to kill spider mites and even their eggs. You just need to spray a little of these by diluting them in water. Neem oil also works.
- Extracts from several hot peppers like bell peppers, cayenne peppers, jalapeno, lemon drop peppers, etc., can also effectively repel spider mites from plants.
- Diluted dish soap and rubbing alcohol can also be sprayed onto the plant to successfully get rid of spider mites.
Here we have answered some questions to help you know more about Hibiscus care.
Do Hibiscus need lots of sun?
Hibiscus needs a lot of bright direct sunlight to thrive. It is advisable to place the plant at a spot where it gets at least 6 to 8 hours of sunlight every day. The plant can grow in moderate light as well, but won’t bloom in such conditions.
Is hibiscus indoor or outdoor plant?
The Hibiscus is both an indoor and outdoor plant. However, it is always beneficial to grow the plant in a container, even if you decide to plant it outdoors. This helps you to effectively relocate the plant as per its requirements.
How do you take care of a hibiscus plant?
To take care of a Hibiscus plant, make sure you water it every other day, every day if it is placed indoors. It is also important to ensure that the soil you have planted in has a neutral pH and is well-draining. Also, make sure that the plant gets lots of bright direct sunlight.
How long do hibiscus plants live?
The different varieties of the different hibiscus plants have different life spans. Some of them can love as long as 50 years while others can just last a decade.
What are the special characteristics of the hibiscus flower?
The Hibiscus plant is mostly known for its beautiful and colourful flowers. However, the plant also has other important qualities like healing wounds, dealing with obesity issues, lowering blood pressure levels, etc.
What are the ideal growing conditions for hibiscus?
The ideal growing condition for a Hibiscus is a spot with lots and lots of bright direct sunlight, at least for 6 to 8 hours a day. It is also important to make sure that you use warm water to water the plant and do it every other day.
How to control ants in hibiscus and other flower plants?
To control ants in Hibiscus and other flower plants, make sure you keep the plant healthy. Also, clean the plant every once in a week or so. You can also use insecticidal soap to ensure that you get rid of all pests from the plant.
Which are the best fertilizers for hibiscus blooming?
The best fertilizers for hibiscus blooming are the ones with a little extra magnesium and iron.
How to grow hibiscus flowers in my home?
To grow Hibiscus flowers in your home, start with choosing the variety of Hibiscus that you wish to have at home. Next, do the appropriate research and make sure that you live up to the care requirements of that particular variety of the Hibiscus.
What is the scientific name of the Hibiscus?
The scientific name of Hibiscus is Hibiscus itself.