Tropical Hibiscus trees have beautiful, huge flowers. Many hybrids of Hibiscus (rosa-sinensis) have been developed, making blooms available in almost any colour imaginable. Hibiscus are tropical plants and grow well in frost free areas of Australia.
Growing Hibiscus & Hibiscus Care
Hibiscus are sun lovers, they need to be grown in full sun. They are very drought hardy once established, but may require some additional watering during dry weather periods. Hibiscus plants detest having wet feet, and you will need to ensure the soil is well draining. If your soil does not drain freely, add some sand to your soil, or add some perlite or vermiculite. This may not be as easy if you want to grow your Hibiscus plant in the ground. A solution would be to plant the Hibiscus on a mound to enable easy water draining.
Mulching is important for most plants in Australia, to keep moisture in the soil, and keep plant roots cool in hot weather. Be careful however to keep mulch away from the stem to avoid rot. Check the soil and adjust if necessary to be of neutral Ph.
All Hibiscus can be pruned to shape. Pruning Hibiscus plants is a good idea, to encourage blooms and grow stronger, better flowering plants. Usually, pruning is done just before the new season's growth, here in Australia usually in August or September. Prune your Hibiscus plant back about 1/3 all over. Prune again lightly in February. Remember to prune after some new growth (on the branch), or a healthy node, so you don't get 'dead' branches, or branch ends. Make sure you don't prune while there is still a possibility of frost!
Hibiscus are tropical plants and grow well in the tropics and subtropics of Australia. Fertilise your Hibiscus with 'Hibiscus Food', the fertiliser made by Brunnings, which is recommended by the Hibiscus Society of Queensland. Fertilise around 1 month before you prune your plants, so they are fully ready to take off in spring! Fertilising your Hibiscus will encourage healthy vibrant blooms, and it will also keep them well fed.
Like many other tropical plants, Hibiscus are gross feeders, and they require a complete, balanced plant food to enhance blooms, intensify the colour of Hibiscus and promote overall healthy growth. If you would rather use a different hibiscus fertiliser, look for one with an analysis close to: N 15% P 2.2% K 16.6%. Other elements crucial to healthy hibiscus growth:+ Sulphur, Magnesium, Boron, Iron, Zinc & Molybdenum
•Hibiscus is a primary ingredient in many herbal teas
•Hibiscus cannabinus is used in making paper.
•Hibiscus sabdariffa (Roselle) is used as a vegetable, herbal tea and jam.
•Roselle (H. sabdariffa) petals are used to make tea called 'Karkade'
•Hibiscus is used as an offering to Goddess Kali (Goddess of Time and Change) and Lord Ganesha (Lord of Obstacles in Hindu)
•Medical uses in Chinese herbology
•Medical uses in Ayurveda medicine
•Hibiscus flowers can be used as shoe polish
•Fibers are used for grass skirts
•Hair care: growth stimulant, anti-daindruff, conditioner
•Dried Hibiscus is a delicacy in Mexico
•Flowers can be worn behind the ear by women for beauty
•Hibiscus is the national symbol of South Korea and Malaysia
Hibiscus is usually propagated from seed, or from cuttings. If you have a wonderful hybrid, with the most amazing blooms that you wish to propagate, you will need to take cuttings. Seeds are never guaranteed to turn into the same colour flower as the mother plant, as it can have charactaristics of past generations.