Hibiscus Plant Care
One of the most beautiful flowers that belongs to the Malvaceae family is the tropical hibiscus. Similar flowers in relation to the hibiscus are the "hardy hibiscus", the "Confederate Rose", and the "Hollyhock". The flower is commonly found in the Pacific islands, as well as Asia. For this reason, it is only suitable that the hibiscus be the national flower for Malaysia. However, the hibiscus is commonly associated with Hawaii, much to the fact that the flower for Hawaii is a species of the hibiscus flower.
The hibiscus flower can be found in many colors and sizes, which will determine the specific type of flower. According to research information there are more than a thousand color options, but no blue or black in the true sense. The sizes will vary from 2 inch blooms to 12 inch blooms. Typically the flowers are found on bushes that will grow by a couple of feet in a year. There are some hibiscus bushes that will reach up to 15 feet.
To grow this tropical beauty you will need to make several changes to your greenhouse or where you intend on growing them. The climate must be tropical that you will keep them in. You should be careful about areas that do frost, so that you can bring the flower in to the warmth at night if need be. You can keep the flowers in pots for easy moving. Pots allow for the same type of growing conditions as planting the hibiscus in the ground, but you have more options. If you are going to grow hibiscus you should consult a professional gardener to help you learn the methods of potting plants. They will offer you the appropriate tips for where you live as opposed to figuring it out on your own. We have some common tips that have been offered from professional gardeners to help you get started:
The fertilizer should be light and changed often. Hibiscus flowers are hearty eaters. This means they will gain nutrients from the potting soil you use. By offering fertilizer you can assure the plant gets enough copper and iron to feed. A dry fertilizer is useful, but you typically want a low phosphate count. Phosphate can actually hurt the plant with long exposure. Fertilizer with nitrogen should be used in a minimal fashion as well. Nitrogen may help the leaves, but it can hinder the actual bloom. The best fertilizer is one with water, especially for the potted hibiscus.
Keep the insects away. You need to check the hibiscus frequently for any type of insects. An insecticide will help with this issue; however, you should water the plant before using the insecticide. This will lower the shock rate of the flower. The best time to apply insecticide is during the early morning hours, or any time of the day when the temperature is below 80 degrees. You need to be sure that you apply to both the tops and the bottoms of the leaves.
Prune to enhance growth. As with all types of plants, pruning back can help encourage the growth of the leaves and blooms. It helps to manage the actual size of the plant, and to get rid of any dead leaves or petals. The tropical hibiscus, like the ones found in Hawaii, can be pruned at almost any time. For the best results, it is recommended that you prune during a time when the new growth will not be harmed from any cold temperatures. To help shape the plant, many gardeners cut the longest portion of the branches, and then return in about 4 weeks to prune the next third. Make sure that you are using sharp and clean shears, as well as angling down away from the node of the flower.
David is an expert on tropical plant care. If you are interested in Plumeria care see his site Hawaii-Top-Ten.com for Plumeria cuttings
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