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How to Plant a Hibiscus (H. rosasinensis).

S ESWARA REDDY Hibiscus are one of the most dramatic shrubs ou can !row to "ro#ide ele!ance to a !arden . $heir e%otic blooms and !loss lea#es add a dramatic accent to tem"erate !ardens. $here are man different #arieties of hibiscus includin! "erennial& annual& e#er!reen and deciduous #arieties.

Ste"' Select a "lantin! site for tro"ical hibiscus in full sun that is "rotected from the wind. Heat and li!ht "romote bloomin!. A southern-facin! wall is ideal. Ste"( Di! a "lantin! hole twice as lar!e as the root ball to hel" roots become established )uic*l . Ste"+

Amend the "lantin! hole with or!anic com"ost and "erlite or crushed la#a roc* to "romote e%cellent draina!e. ,f our soil is hea# & consider "lantin! hibiscus in raised beds or containers. Ste".entl remo#e the hibiscus from the nurser container& slidin! the "lant from the can if "ossible. /therwise& cut the can awa from the root ball. Hibiscus ha#e delicate roots and the "lant will suffer if the are dama!ed. Ste"0 Plant hibiscus so that the to" inch of the root ball is abo#e!round. $his ensures that the crown of the "lant will not rot. 1ill in the "lantin! hole with or!anic com"ost until the desired "lantin! hei!ht is reached. Ste"2 ,mmediatel after "lantin!& water to settle the soil. ,f the "lant sin*s& !entl remo#e it from the hole& add more soil& and re"lant. Ste"3 4ulch under "lants to "re#ent moisture loss and weed !rowth.

How to 5are for a Hibiscus

Ste"' Water hibiscus when the soil is dr to the touch. $he roots must remain constantl moist& but not wet. Well-drained soil is *e . Ste"(

1ertili6e hibiscus e#er + wee*s with a low nitro!en fertili6er (7'7-'7) a""lied durin! the s"rin! and summer. Phos"horous and "otassium& the last two numbers on the fertili6er label& encoura!e flower "roduction and root !rowth. Ste"+ $i" "rune hibiscus to *ee" the "lants bush and full of blooms. Pinch off the ti"s of branches to encoura!e multi"le !rowth ti"s further down the stem. Ste"A""l a la er of or!anic mulch under "lants to "re#ent moisture loss and weed !rowth. Ste"0 A""l a hi!h nitro!en fertili6er at '8( stren!th when leaf color fades. Yellow lea#es indicate a hun!r "lant or under-waterin!. $he folia!e should be a dee" !loss !reen. An a""lication of a balanced slow release fertili6er in the s"rin! will encoura!e new !rowth. 1oliar feedin! is acce"table. Ste"2 Remo#e faded flowers to *ee" "lants loo*in! tid . .roomin! also discoura!es insect "ests b eliminatin! their hidin! "laces. Ste"3 Protect hibiscus from cold weather. 4o#e "lants !rown in containers to a "rotected area. Plants !rown in the !round should be co#ered if tem"eratures are e%"ected to dro" below free6in!. Ste"9 A""l an anti-trans"irant to "rotect "lants from e%cessi#e heat or cold. 5loud 5o#er is a "roduct which "re#ents moisture loss throu!h the folia!e due to trans"iration.

Ste": Watch closel for insect "ests. White fl & a"hid& scale and meal bu! are notorious for dinin! on hibiscus. ;se an insecticidal soa" to treat unwanted "ests.

$i"s < Warnin!s

Select hibiscus "lants when the are in bloom to !et e%actl the color ou want. .row hibiscus in containers and brin! indoors durin! the winter if ou li#e in a climate that dro"s below free6in!. Plant hibiscus where it can recei#e the benefit of reflected heat& such as a!ainst a white wall. Hibiscus are #er show when "lanted in an entr wa or as a landsca"e accent. $ro"ical hibiscus re)uire e%cellent draina!e. ,t=s nati#e soil is #olcanic. $he !iant white fl is a recent "est in Hibiscus !ardens. Han! ellow stic* tra"s near "lants and encoura!e beneficial insects to dine b "lantin! fennel& dill and coreo"sis near b . Hibiscus re)uires ni!ht-time tem"eratures of 27 de!rees or abo#e to flourish. When the tem"erature dro"s below +7 de!rees& co#er "lants or brin! indoors.