Botanical Name: Hibiscus rosa-sinensis
Origin: The beautiful Hibiscus originates from China.
Height: Hibiscus rosa-sinensis hybrids that are not pruned back can grow to heights reaching up to 1.8 m (6 ft).
Soil: Hibiscus house plants require potting mixes that drain fast. One option is to add a small quantity of perlite to an all-purpose mix.
Light: Hibiscus rosa-sinensis needs plenty of bright light and should be provided with some direct sunlight, too. If insufficient light is offered, Hibiscus plants tend to become leggy and produce few flowers.
Humidity: This house plant requires moderate levels of humidity. Levels below 50 per cent need to be raised with the help of wet pebble trays and misting.
Temperatures: During its growing season, the Hibiscus likes to be kept fairly warm at temperatures ranging between 18 and 29 degrees C (65 to 85 degrees F). In winter, temperatures should be dropped to around 16 degrees C (60 degrees F).
Water: To prevent issues caused by soggy soil, Hibiscus plants need to be planted in pots with drainage holes, and while watering should be thorough and regular, the top 2.5 cm (1 in) of the potting medium should be allowed to dry out from one watering to the next.
Fertiliser: Dilute a liquid low-phosphorous (7-2-7, for instance) fertiliser by half and feed to the plant on a fortnightly basis during its growing and blooming periods.
Propagation: Spring/ early summer is the ideal time to take Hibiscus stem tip cuttings of approximately 8 cm (3 in) in length. Patience is required, as growing new plants from these cuttings may take several weeks.
Description and Care Tips
Hibiscus rosa-sinensis is an evergreen shrub with ovate, glossy dark green leaves that densely cover the plant's upright branches. From spring onwards, this house plant will produce a succession of blooms - each lasting for around 2 to 3 days - right through into autumn.
These trumpet-shaped, ruffled blooms may be double, semi-double or single - depending on variety - and can grow as large as 15 to 20 cm (6 to 8 in) across. Colours may vary from white or pink to yellow, peach or orange; red or purple.
Bearing a few simple points in mind, Hibiscus plants are comparatively easy to care for. One of the most important things is to provide plenty of light. Hibiscus rosa-sinensis should be kept in a position where it will receive several hours worth of direct sunlight every day. It should also be noted that once placed into a spot, it should preferably not be moved again, as sudden light changes may result in the plant dropping its buds.
These plants also need warmth, which is usually fairly easy to achieve in a home, especially if the plant sits in a sunny window. During the winter, however, this house plant needs a cool rest - with temperatures being lowered to around 16 degrees C (60 degrees F) and watering reduced enough to allow the soil to almost completely dry out between watering sessions.
To prevent this gorgeous shrub from becoming too large to keep indoors, it needs to be pruned back - if necessary, by as much as half its size - early in spring. Pinching out growing tips will not only encourage branching - and subsequently a much fuller, bushier appearance - but will also encourage more abundant blooming.
With a little loving care, Hibiscus rosa-sinensis will provide a magnificent display of stunning, large flowers in glorious vibrant colours for many years to come.