How to Care for your Hibiscus
With today’s Hibiscus breeding, aiming for larger & varied colour combinations the growing vigor of some new Cultivars have been compromised & some are released so quickly to Hibiscus fanciers throughout the world that the modern bred Cultivars haven’t been given the opportunity to prove their hardiness.
And for this reason, We have decided to graft SOME of them onto proven hardy root stock to ensure their greater resistance to disease & guarantee a more robust plant for you. These plants will in turn then produce the Highest quality & quantity blooms on a more vigorous plant.
Every effort is taken to remove buds from the understock of grafted plants. Occasionally some slip through & begin to appear in the future. If you notice any vigorously growing shoots from the base of the plant of which has totally different leaves & blooms from what was originally purchased please remove them with a sharp knife cutting as close to the main trunk as possible, this will usually take care of the problem. If this is not done, the understock will quickly over take the growth of the desired plant, which you initially selected.
Choose a Hibiscus to suit the position.
If a tall plant is required, or a low one, choose from in the desired height range, too often we see a huge Hibiscus adjacent to a gate or in front of a window, or a low one in a hedge for privacy or wind break.It is possible to obtain a Hibiscus plant tailor made to your requirements. Ask us for further information.Growth characteristics of Hibiscus vary greatly. They range from low recumbent bushes suitable for container culture to trees in excess of 6 meters (20 Feet) ideal for windbreaks & privacy.Flowers can be single to double & come in an array of outstanding colour combinations
In order to obtain the best results from your Hibiscus, the selection of the planting site is important.
Ensure you choose an open sunny position preferably, sheltered from the prevailing winds.
Full sun is suggested, although Hibiscus will tolerate part shade, excessive shade will reduce flower production.
In the Southern States (Vic. Tas.) Hibiscus planted against Northerly facing walls of brick or masonry will perform beautifully especially if protected while young (up to 2 years) from frosts. Frost protection, is simply, covering the plants on the night of likely frost with a hessian bag, paper or equivalent (Not Plastic). Hibiscus have a non invasive root system & are not known to damage pipes or foundations, they will grow quite happily with other shrubs provided the other plants do not compete for nutrients at the same feeder root level, Hibiscus feeder roots are between 30mm & 200mm deep IN THE MOISTURE zone.
Hibiscus look spectacular as a feature or in a special bed on their own, with a minimum of 1 meter spacing, they also give a touch of class around pool gardens, snuggled between palms & rain forest plants.
Remember, some Hibiscus are suitable for cultivation in patio tubs & are known to thrive for many years, containerized.
Soils with a high percentage of sand or clay can be structurally improved with the incorporation of organic matter worked into the top layer of soil.
Once planted, Hibiscus thrive with generous amounts of mulching which will, retain surface soil moisture, release valuable plant nutrients, protect surface feeder roots from temperature extremes & encourage macro & micro organisms within the soil.
If good drainage appears doubtful, the planting beds may be raised 14cm to 20cm.
Hibiscus cannot tolerate, “WET FEET” a term used whereby after rain or irrigation it takes in excess of 24 hours for puddles of lying water to disappear.
Plenty of organic matter should be incorporated & garden lime added annually to adjust pH.
The addition of pelletized chicken manure, blood & bone & a complete blended fertilizer would be advantages.
Once added lightly turn into soil to the about 100mm with a garden fork or spade & allow to fallow for two to three weeks prior to planting if possible.
PLANTING AND FEEDING
Dig the planting hole two times the width & depth of the container the Hibiscus has been grown in, back fill the extracted soil so as the top of the container soil is exactly level with the existing garden bed soil.
Please note if you have purchased a grafted plant ensure the graft area is not covered by soil.
Prior to back filling place a 1m garden stake on the prevailing wind side, position close to the root ball as possible but do not damage the roots.
Lightly tease out roots especially if finger penetration into the root ball is difficult.
Back fill soil, excess soil may be hilled around the hole edge to retain moisture.
Firm in soil to stabilize plant & tie up to the inserted garden stake.Water in well, to just prior to run off point, repeat watering as required. Mulch planted area to a depth of 6 cm to 12 cm deep, up to, but not directly against the Hibiscus main trunk. DO NOT FEED your Hibiscus immediately after planting. We have incorporated a special blend of fertilisers & trace elements which will be released slowly & will be available to the Hibiscus.When the plant has settled in about 1 month after planting, encourage more growth with light applications of a complete fertiliser may be made each month during the growing season. Water in well after each fertiliser application. Hibiscus prefer a blend of N PK of 12:5:15 which is great for Vegetables, Citrus & Roses too.
Pruning is practiced for a number of reasons but the two main ones being to shape the plant & produce more vigorous growth & in turn more flowers.
The ideal time to prune Hibiscus is just prior to the new seasons growth in Spring, usually about September sometimes later in cool regions but never prior to the last frosts expected in frost prone areas.
Hibiscus are pruned according to their growth usually about one third as a rule of thumb, e.g. If your Hibiscus is 3 meters high bring it back to 2 meters.
In tropical regions pruning maybe practiced all year round but avoid the wet seasons
Every few years the Hibiscus may become woody & it is advisable to rejuvenate the plant by cutting back severely to the main trunk to three main branches this will revitalize the old plant & give it a new lease of life