Hibiscus is one of those must have plants in your garden. This is especially true if you’re looking to improve the curb appeal of your home. When you know how to grow and care for it, you’ll reap the benefits of enjoying the beautiful flowers and a tropical look. Thankfully, hibiscus plant care is easy.
Furthermore, it’s even better when you’re armed with proven and actionable tips that you can always use.
In this article I’m going to reveal some actionable tricks, and a secret plant formulation that can decrease vegetative growth time by up to 50% and increase the amount of flowers by up to 20%.
What’s more interesting is that the formulation can help you to revive a dying hibiscus tree.
Does this sounds good?
5 Actionable Hibiscus Plant Care Tips
1. Prune your hibiscus whenever necessary
Pruning is essential in ensuring that your hibiscus shrub looks its best. Be sure to use the right tool for the job. In his case, I'd recommend Felco manual hand pruner which does an awesome job.
You can think of pruning as a work out in the gym. In the end, you'll good and healthy.
Pruning has the same effect on hibiscus.
Sometimes you’ll hear gardeners call it rejuvenation.
It’s just the same thing.
There are two types of hibiscus rejuvenation; one is partial where just a few stems are thinned out to improve aeration. It also involves removing dead wood.
The other one is complete rejuvenation.
After several years without pruning, shrubs can begin to look misshapen or crowded, and have lots of older, unproductive wood (meaning that it doesn’t flower or have a lot of leaves).
At this point, partial thinning just won’t do the job; it calls for more extreme measures – complete rejuvenation.
Basically, it involves cutting a shrub right down to the ground. That’s right – just whack the whole thing down to ground level or just a little higher.
Just make sure that your timing is right.
For instance, you should never rejuvenate hibiscus plants that are stressed or in poor health. A good approach would be, to feed them and bring them in health first before you prune.
In general, the best time to cut a shrub entirely to the ground is in early spring before new growth starts.
After heavy pruning, the plant is likely to be stressed, make sure you do the following;
- Keep it well watered
- Fertilize if you have poor soil
- Keep a close watch for pests or signs of disease
Once you do this, your hibiscus plants will back stronger and healthier and give you a few more years of enjoyment.
2. Water your hibiscus plant
Make sure to keep your plant hydrated.
However, too much or too little water could cause problems ranging from root rot to wilting. Therefore, it is important to apply water according to your plant’s needs.
The best way to tell this is by using plant moisture sensor, which makes detecting water needs accurate and reliable.
Container grown hibiscus needs frequent watering as the potting mix tends to dry much faster.
In their native ranges, tropical hibiscus plants receive lots of moisture from humidity and rain.
In dryer climates, irrigation needs to replace natural sources of moisture; the hotter and dryer the weather, the more often you’ll need to water the tropical hibiscus grown in the ground.
3. Keep the weeds around the shrub under control
Weeds can pose a big threat to your hibiscus plant.
For starters, they could harbor and introduce pests to your plant. But even worse, they compete for nutrients making them bigger and stronger while your hibiscus starve and weaken.
This especially true just after transplanting and could cause the leaves of your hibiscus shrub to turn yellow due to deficiencies.
After the tree has established, you can worry a little less but it’s still a good idea to eliminate the weeds.
You can either use a weed fabric or occasionally pull them up. I don’t advocate using harsh chemicals such as Round up. If you must spray something – check out these glyphosate alternatives as voted by the gardening community.
4. Pest and disease control
For your hibiscus plant to be attacked by a disease, certain critical conditions must be met. These conditions are;
- Host must be susceptible to attack – Thankfully, hibiscus is a relatively hardy plant.
- The disease causing organisms must be present.
- The environment must favor the disease causing organisms.
Having this information in mind is invaluable when it comes to disease control.
The surest way of controlling pest and diseases is to start on the right foot. For example buying plant materials from a registered nursery, ensuring that your soil is properly sterilized, or if you’re using potting mix – make sure it’s clean.
You can also use the following tricks;
Avoid over-watering your hibiscus tree (environment)
This will help you avoid root rot diseases caused by pythiaceous fungi which are more serious when plants are over-watered.
Roots die when kept too wet due to oxygen starvation. Once the pathogen gains entrance through dead roots it can spread throughout the root system. Be sure to check this keenly.
Check the temperature (environment)
Contrary to the common belief that hibiscus need a lot of sun, they actually don’t. Being tropical plants, they do best in plenty sunlight but even 2 hours of sunlight per day will suffice.
However, it’s always important to control the temperature fluctuations by cooling the plant when hot and vice versa.
To demonstrate this, hibiscus grown in Florida, are subject to three bacterial leaf spot diseases which occur during different times of the year.
During the winter months, Pseudomonas syringae pv. hibisci occurs with Pseudomonas cichorii common during the fall and spring.
In general, only Xanthomonas campestris pv. malvacearum is active during the summer months.
Therefore it’s important to monitor the temperature fluctuations.
Exclusion (disease causing organism)
Make sure that you know where your seedlings or cuttings come from.
With the threat of hibiscus chlorotic ringspot virus (HCRSV), some regions are quarantined by local authorities to avoid the spread.
Plants suffering from this virus exhibit mottling, leaves curling up, and distortion symptoms in leaves.
The best way to prevent this is to buy seedlings from a local, certified nursery.
Proper Nutrition (host)
One of the easiest ways to make your hibiscus plants more hardy, and resistant to pests and diseases, is by providing good nutrition.
This brings us to the next hibiscus plant care tip – fertilizer application.
5. Apply appropriate fertilizer
As I’ve mentioned before, a hibiscus plant is one of the few hardy plants that can grow in the harshest of conditions.
In fact, an experiment was recently conducted where the hibiscus plant was treated with standard fertilization, low fertilization (LF), LF with soluble compost, and bio-waste.
The experiment wanted to establish whether depriving nutrient conditions had any bio-stimulant effect on hibiscus.
Plants treated with bio-waste-derived products performed better than untreated low-fertilized plants by 145%.
In other parameters, bio-waste treated reached values comparable to those showed by standard-fertilized plants or even higher, as in the case of Potassium (K), Silicon (Si), and Molybdenum (Mo) leaf content, and N use efficiency.
What this experiment mean is that, hibiscus plants grown in limiting nutrient availability performed as good.
One caution though.
Don’t let this experiment make you starve your plants. Hibiscus leaves turning yellow with brown spots, and falling thereafter is always a sure sign that something is not right.
In most cases, this indicates a deficiency in Nitrogen. Applying a nitrogen-based fertilizer can easily solve this.
However, does this mean you can’t make it better?
Of course you can, and this is where I present the secret plant formulation I promised earlier. This formulation can help you achieve explosive plant growth.
Introducing, Humboldts secret plant food formulation, a professional quality fertilizer that your hibiscus shrub will love.
This formulation is undoubtedly the best fertilizer for hibiscus plants. Especially if you want to revive your hibiscus and allow it grow with vigor.
As you’ve seen, it’s possible to have a beautiful garden when you know how to take care of its occupants.
I hope this 5 hibiscus plant care tips can help you achieve this and enjoy that much needed tropical flair.
Have I left out anything?
Please let me know in the comments.