The hibiscus is favorite of many a flower garden. Many people believe these beautiful flowering shrubs are difficult to care for. Nothing could be further from the truth. The hardy hibiscus can flourish in many different areas as long as they have the right soil conditions, are watered correctly and have proper fertilization. This article will discuss how to care for hibiscus.
The hardy hibiscus can survive in a range of locations. It can prosper from Florida all the way to the northern tip of Illinois. It ranges from zone 4 to 9. It thrives between 60 and 90 degrees Fahrenheit. When the temperature drops the hibiscus will die back to the ground but will return once the soil temperature warms. However, the tropical variety of hibiscus will only survive in Hawaii and South Florida. It needs to be potted and brought indoors to survive the winter. Use a pot slightly larger than the root ball.
Location is of great importance to the hibiscus. The plant likes slightly acidic, well draining soils. And light, lots of light. The plants prefer full sun exposure. In partial sun conditions the plants will not bloom to their potential and may need to be staked. So find a sunny spot for the hibiscus.
In the summer months the hibiscus needs lot of water. Keep the soil moist to the touch. Mulch can be used to keep moisture in the ground around the base of the plant. In the summer the hardy hibiscus requires no water as it dies back to the ground. The tropical hibiscus should be watered sparingly in the winter. Only water when the soil feels dry to the touch. Give the plants a little food while they are growing. Fertilize the hibiscus using a long release fertilizer in the spring and again in the summer.
There are a few pests to look out for. The hibiscus sawfly is a little black fly that should be dealt with immediately with a specialized insecticide. They seem to like the hardy hibiscus whereas the aphids, thrips, and whiteflies like the tropical varieties. Use an insecticidal soap on these bad boys.
As you can see, how to care for hibiscus is not a difficult assignment. With the proper location, soil and light, water and fertilizer, as well as, watching out for the insects you will grow the most beautiful hibiscus plants year after year.