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I love growing flowers and am so excited that spring is almost here! Even though we lost an hour of sleep last night, it is so worth it for these longer days and more plants growing again! Today I want to talk to you about hibiscus plant care.
The beautiful hibiscus flowering plant does not have one set origin. This tropical plant came from several areas. China or India, Mauritius, Fiji, Madagascar, and Hawaii all have native hibiscus. Notice these places are near the equator, where environmental conditions are ideal for hibiscus to grow in.
Hibiscus rosa-sinensis is the name of one of the original hibiscus plants. It has the red coloring that is so popular with hibiscus here in Southern California and elsewhere. Today’s ornamental hibiscus are all hybrids of the orignal eight hibiscus. This means that there are many different types of beautiful hibiscus to choose from!
- There are more than 200 species of hibiscus.
- Hibiscus plants can grow up to 15 feet.
- People living in Polynesia make grass skirts from hibiscus tree bark.
- Thailand and China are the largest producers of hibiscus.
- Hibiscus tea is a very popular drink.
- Hibiscus grow as perennials or annuals, based on type.
- Hummingbirds, bees, and butterflies love pollinating hibiscus.
- Hibiscus tea is know to lower cholesterol levels and decrease blood pressure.
- Hawaiian and Tahitian women wear a hibiscus flower behind their right ear if they are single and want to marry.
- Hibiscus cannabinus is a type of hibiscus that is used to make paper.
As stated above, there are many different types of hibiscus. For time’s sake, I am only going to go over a few of the more popular types of hibiscus plants below.
Pink Lipstick – This is one of my favorites because of the rich, pink color of the flowers. The large and colorful flowers are hard to miss!
Tropical Hibiscus -These hibiscus are native to the Hawaiian islands. They are part of the Malvaceae family. These hibiscus have leaves that seem to glow and brightly colored flowers. These come in a variety of colors.
China Rose – China Rose are native to china and used as a shoe polish. The flowers are oval shapes and grow 4 feet wide. The entire plant can grow 15 to 25 feet tall. The flowers are the popular red color, but come in other shades as well.
Rose of Sharon – This hibiscus is also called Hibiscus syriacus. These are popular in South Korea and can grow up to 15 feet. The petals are long and come in white, violet, and purple.
Love tropical plants? Check out my other post, Plumeria Care.
Giant Rose Mallow – This beautiful rose colored flower also come in white with a red center. The flowers bloom in the middle of summer through fall. These plants thrive in full sun with wet soil.
Hawaiian Hibiscus – This Hawaiian native is one of seven originally from the islands. The petals are large and colorful. This plant grows quickly and the blooms last longer than other kinds of hibiscus.
Hibiscus Sabdariffa – Roselle hibiscus is another name for this popular type of hibiscus. This hibiscus is a popular garden plant and comes in yellow and white.
Rock Hibiscus – Rock hibiscus come from the United States and Mexico. These shrubs can live on rocks and up to 2,000 feet above sea level. The flowers come in pink, white, and purple.
Hibiscus grow well in containers, which I love since my balcony garden is also a container only garden. I have two hibiscus, each in their own containers, and they seem happy to grow in their small spaces. I like that I can move these containers around as the sun moves throughout the year, since these plants need plenty of sun.
Since hibiscus originally grew near the Ecuador, they enjoy humid climates the most. Hot, dry climates like Southern California also are a popular area to grow hibiscus in. Check your gardening zone if you’re not sure how well hibiscus plants will grow in your area.
Hibiscus plants don’t need a ton of room in containers to grow well. Mine are in small pots where there is about twice as much room for them to grow, but that’s it. Make sure the soil has good drainage.
Hibiscus need warm weather to bloom, anywhere from 60 – 90 degrees Fahrenheit. Keep your plants indoors if temps reach 32 or below.
Hibiscus plant care also includes when and how much water to give your plants.
Hibiscus need plenty of water during the warm months, especially in containers where the soil will dry out more. Water less when the temperature is cooler. Too much water during the cold can hurt the plant.
These plants need to be fertilized when the weather is warm and the hibiscus are flowering. A high potassium fertilizer will work well. If you are not sure, ask the gardeners at your local store what is best. Many local places have special fertilizer since different areas have different soil and weather conditions.
Spider mites, white flies, and aphids are some of the unfortunate pests of the hibiscus plant. Mine are always getting attacked by aphids. An insecticide spray works well. Spray the plants in the morning or evening, so the sun doesn’t cause the leaves to burn from the insecticide.
Hibiscus Plant Care
Do you have hibiscus or are thinking of growing some? I have two plants but would love to add more to my collection! Let me know your thoughts below on hibiscus plant care!