Hibiscus Plant: A Guide to Growing and Caring for Hibiscus

The Hibiscus plant is a particular type of flower mainly cultivated as ornamentals. Hibiscus plants bear unique leaves and flower structures that differentiate them from other plants and flowers. Characteristically, hibiscus possesses lobed or toothed leaf structures. The flowers open out like trumpets, often with five or more petals, and the colors of the flower vary from purple, yellow, blue, red, pink, peach, or white. 

Hibiscus belongs to a large and broad genus of flowers with hundreds of other different species. They are mainly found in tropical, temperate, and subtropical regions. As a genus of flowering plants, members of the hibiscus family possess distinctive features which distinguish it from other geniuses of flowering plants.

You can easily spot the hibiscus, irrespective of the type – rose of sharon, hardy hibiscus, or subtropical hibiscus. They are always known for their glittering and shower flowers. Hibiscus flowers spread out into lobes and open out like a trumpet.

How To Grow Your Hibiscus Plant

Growling Hibiscus Plants

You can grow your Hibiscus plants using stem cutting from a parent plant. This gives you an exact copy of the parent plant you derived the stem from. It is preferable to go for a soft stem when propagating a Hibiscus plant. They are quick to grow and can easily root under the soil. Hibiscus flowers can equally be potted and cared for. Follow the steps below to propagate your Hibiscus flowers.

  • Let your stem be 4 to 6 inches long. Don’t use a blunt and unsharp cutting tool to harvest the stem from the parent plant. 
  • A stem with a greenish cast and pruned off all the top sets of leaves is preferable. Trim the bottom of the stem just under the lead node and insert it into a rooting hormone.
  • There should be perlite in your potting soil before inserting the stem cutting. Moisten the soil and plant your cutting.
  • Use a plastic bag to cover the cutting. This is to ensure heat retention while the cutting generates roots. But ensure that the plastic bag does not touch the leaves.
  • Don’t expose the cutting to direct sunlight. Place them in a place that is partially shaded and repot in a larger container when they have grown. 

How To Pot And Repot Your Hibiscus Plant

In the early stages, handle your hibiscus plants with extreme care. You may have to re-pot them yearly or every two years as they grow and keep expanding in size. Repotting helps nurture the plant by checking depleted soil nutrients. 

When potting your hibiscus plants, deep pots can neutralize your efforts. Deep pots deviate the plant’s energy from flower production to the generation of roots. Your hibiscus plant will focus more on developing roots than generating flowers. The best pot for your hibiscus plant is one that is wide enough but not too deep to inhibit the flowing process. The pot should be shallow.

  • Ensure that the pot is well drained with many draining holes. This prevents unnecessary water retention that may be harmful to the plant.
  • An unglazed clay pot is also recommended as it helps prevent water retention, allowing it to flow through the plant easily.

How To Care For Your Hibiscus In Winter

You can enjoy your hibiscus plants if you care and attend to the various demands of seasonal changes throughout the year. Hibiscus plants are not difficult to grow, but maintaining a set of care routines depending on seasonal and temperature changes is necessary. 

Hibiscus changes its role and relevance in seasons and climates due to its delicate nature. Just like other plants, it quickly responds to alterations and seasonal changes. Hibiscus is used as hedges and shrubs for screens and edges in warmer temperatures. In colder climates, you can find hibiscus flowers as deck species for a patio, grown in big and large containers.

Whether grown in cold or warm climates, you must observe some care and maintenance measures to preserve your hibiscus plant and have it grow and bloom to the fullest. Monitoring and maintaining a proper breeding condition encourages healthy growth and allows your hibiscus to grow.

Exposure To Sunlight

All plants need a good dose of sunlight to generate energy for necessary metabolic processes. Plants produce food and survive through the energy from sunlight. The Hibiscus plant is no different. An area deeply shaded from sun rays is not suitable for your hibiscus. Plant your hibiscus where it will have access to sunlight. This encourages healthy growth and hastens maturity. Hibiscus plants are happiest under fall

However, excessive sun rays can harm your hibiscus, damaging the flowers and thwarting growth. Shades are recommended in hotter and extremely hot periods. When your hibiscus produces flowers, don’t allow the plant to be exposed to excessive sunlight. It may wilt and shed off the flowers. If it is yet to grow flowers, you can move it to areas that have more sunlight. Remember to replant your hibiscus every one to two years. In all, ensure that the plant receives an optimal dose of sunlight

Soil Type

Another element to check out in your holistic care and maintenance schedule is the type of soil you plant your hibiscus. It can affect the growth and flowering process. Your typical hibiscus soil should be well-drained. A well-drained soil prevents root rot while preserving essential nutrients.

Water Requirement 

Generally, hibiscus is a very thirsty plant. It can only thrive when it is being fed with enough water. However, water should be applied with a proper assessment of other contingent factors and elements that bears on the growth and development of the plant. Such factors include; wind, heat, humidity, soil type, and growth stage. You may have to apply water daily in scorching temperatures. Apply the water twice daily to douse the effects of a hot summer. Reverse the watering schedule in winter periods. For your hibiscus to grow and blossom, one to two inches of water is required twice a week.

Temperature Changes And Humidity

An optimal measure of temperature for your hibiscus plant is between 55°F to 70°F. A night of heavy cold where temperature decreases to 50°F can prove fatal for your hibiscus. It is not advisable to plant hibiscus in cold regions in your garden, but you can grow them in pots as an alternative. However, remember to relocate it and move it indoors when the forecast is not favorable. 

Keep Off Pests 

Just like other plants, your hibiscus needs maximum protection from pests to glow. Whiteflies, aphids, and spider mites are common hibiscus pests. They will munch and damage your hibiscus if you don’t check them. You can use pesticides on your to control attacks by pests. A recommended insecticidal solution is one made of castle and water. Spray it on the plant. Companioning your hibiscus with pest repelling plants can also be a good alternative to pest control. 


Pruning may not carry much weight as a basic care and maintenance measure but is definitely essential to streamlining and maintaining healthy growth. This applies more to cool-hardy varieties of hibiscus. Pruning is a necessary prelude to blooms. One-third of the branches should be removed, especially those that look frail, weak, or stick outward. Removes wilting and pale-colored leaves. Wilting leaves and weak can take a toll on the plant, affecting growth and flowering if they are not taken off. 

Applying Fertilizers

Applying fertilizers allows your hibiscus plant to bloom. Generally, your hibiscus will flower from spring till fall. You can apply the fertilizer weekly. Apply it to the base of the plant. Don’t apply any type of fertilizer to your hibiscus.

There are organic, homemade, and NPK fertilizers for your hibiscus. An organic variety with basic elements such as iron, magnesium, and potassium is highly recommendable. Chemical fertilizers should not go near your hibiscus plant.

Ensure that phosphorus is low. A 9-3-13 and a 10-4-12 analysis is preferable. Don’t over-fertilize the plant.  Too much fertilizer exposes the plant to excessive amounts of phosphorus which can damage and kill the plant.

Uses Of Hibiscus Plants

Hibiscus plants are invaluable. They serve various purposes and are relevant for ornamental, herbal cuisines, productive, constructive, and other purposes.

Ornamental Purposes

Hibiscus plants are basically known for decorative, landscaping, and ornamental functions. You can add a decorative touch to your environment with a properly arranged set of hibiscus flowers. You can use hibiscus to shape the lawn or garden, making it more aesthetically appealing. 

Some distinct characteristics make hibiscus a perfect pick for indoor and outdoor ornamentals. Hibiscus are perennials. As perennials, they yield and sprout flowers, making them last longer along your pavements, balcony gardens, and other indoor and outdoor spaces.

Also, hibiscus is a versatile and hardy plant. They can withstand hostile clImatic conditions while adding listed and grace to your space. Hibiscus’s showy and flashy flowers make it glitter and attractive as a perfect alternative for gentrification purposes. Hibiscus comes in an assortment of colors. You have much latitude choose a perfect and ideal choice that fits and suits the background of your landscape 


Hibiscus can be used to make papers. A particular species of hibiscus known as Kenaf is most grown and used for papermaking. Kenaf is cultivated in various parts of the world for its fiber which is primarily used for making paper, rope twine, and coarse cloth. Kenaf is more energy efficient in producing pulp for paper than wood pulp due to its lignin content.

Industrial Uses

Hibiscus species like Kenaf are critical industrial raw materials with several uses. The oil from Kenaf seeds is a good source for biofuel production. It is also a significant component of industrial lubricants and cosmetics production


Hibiscus is a nutritious and juicy source of beverage across cultures. The beverage is tagged with various names across different parts of the world. Treating the petals in hot water to leach the colors and adding your lime juice and flavor gives a perfect beverage option both for its nutritional value and taste. Calyces from Hibiscus sabdariffa are the most widely used type of Hibiscus for beverages. It is known around the globe with various names due to its widely savored beverage content. 


Some species of hibiscus are good sources of food. Lepidopteran, Chionodes hibiscella, turnip moth, the nutmeg moth, and Hypercompe Hambleton are good examples. Another well-known is the Visayas, a top ingredient for cuisines and can also be used as vegetables.

Medicinal Alternative 

Hibiscus is a critical component of folk medicine across cultures. Hibiscus rosa-sinensis is a renowned medical alternative in India. Hibiscus beverages have been claimed to lower and reduce blood pressure.


How Do You Care For A Potted Hibiscus?

When potting your hibiscus flowers, ensure that you water them regularly, especially during summer. Observe when the soil is dry, and apply water as required. Three to four times weekly watering is necessary.  At the end of the summer, you can reduce the watering schedule to once a day. Ensure the pot is drained to prevent root rot.

What Kind Of Soil Is Best For Hibiscus?

A wet and moist soil rich in organic matter is the best for your hibiscus plant. Don’t plant your hibiscus on sandy or clayey soil. If you must, then ensure a good supply of compost to aid growth.

How Do You Know An Overwatered Hibiscus?

The leaves of an overwatered hibiscus will change color. It can be brown or yellow. This happens to all hibiscus regardless of the species. Keep the supply of water at optimal levels.

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