When properly cared for, hibiscus plants can produce beautiful flowers year after year. Gardeners can use the following guidelines to help their hibiscus plants thrive.
How to Care for Hibiscus Plants in Containers
There are many advantages to growing hibiscus plants in containers. Hibiscus plants can tolerate a relatively low range of temperatures; ideally, they should be kept between 16 and 32 degrees Celsius. Gardeners who live in regions that can drop below 0 degrees Celsius in the winter usually grow their hibiscus plants in containers so they can bring them inside the home during cold spells, as freezing temperatures can kill hibiscus.
How to Choose Containers for Hibiscus Plants
In contrast to some other plants, potted hibiscus plants actually thrive best when they don't have much space in the pot. Gardeners should choose pots that keep the plants slightly root bound. They also need to make sure that the container has enough drainage. One way to improve soil drainage is to add a layer of pebbles to the bottom of the container, below the soil, which allows water to drain away rather than staying in the soil.
How to Water Hibiscus Plants
Watering requirements for hibiscus plants vary throughout the year. These plants grow rapidly during the early summer, in preparation for their blooming season. As soon as the weather starts to warm up, gardeners should start giving small amounts of water each day. During the winter, however, they should only water their hibiscus plants when the soil feels dry, as too much water during this phase of the plant's cycle can kill it.
How to Feed Hibiscus Plants
Hibiscus plants need plenty of nutrients during their growing phase, which occurs primarily during the early summer, as the plant prepares to bloom. Gardeners should use a fertiliser that provides plenty of potassium during the summer months. Liquid fertiliser should be added once a week, whereas slow-release fertilizer only needs to be added once a month as it releases potassium much more gradually. Hibiscus plants don't need fertiliser during the winter because they are dormant during this season.
How to Prune Hibiscus Plants
Hibiscus plants can be safely pruned during the spring or summer, but gardeners should never cut back their plants during the late autumn or winter. The best time to prune is in the spring, as soon as new growth starts to sprout. Pruning during summer can reduce the number of flowers that the plant produces. When pruning hibiscus plants, gardeners should reduce dead parts and areas of weak growth, leaving two or three nodes on each branch to encourage new growth. They should also remove overlapping branches or branches that are growing toward the middle of the plant to make it look neater.
Hibiscus plants require a lot of care and attention, but their beautiful blooms are worth all the work. With careful watering, fertilisation and pruning, gardeners can enjoy the gorgeous flowers of the hibiscus plant every summer.