How to Grow and Care for Hibiscus Plant (Hibiscus rosa-sinensis) Indoors


Hibiscus Plant, Hibiscus rosa-sinensis

Botanical name: Hibiscus rosa-sinensis
Family: Malvaceae
Common names: Hibiscus, Rose of Sharon, Rose of China

Description

Hibiscus Plant commonly called Rose of China or Rose of Sharon is an ideal flowering plant on account of its large, ruffled, trumpet-shaped blooms which come in many vibrant colors.

Rose of Sharon is an evergreen shrub growing to a height of about 8 ft with 3 in. saw-edged glossy leaves.

Flower

With proper care there will be a succession of Hibiscus' papery flowers for a few months which come in red, white, yellow , pink, orange, purple and peach. They may be single, double or semi-double.

Origin

Hibiscus is widely cultivated in tropical and sub-tropical regions but it is not known in the wild, so its native distribution is uncertain though it is thought to be some part of tropical Asia.

Varieties

Hibiscus rosa-sinensis has numerous varieties. The variety cooperi has variegated foliage. The varieties are in white, red, yellow, pink, orange, purple, peach and others.

Hibiscus Plant, Hibiscus rosa-sinensis

Photo Credit: Shopee

Hibiscus rosa-sinensis Care Indoors

Hibiscus Plant thrives in bright light with some direct sunlight, average warmth and humidity and moderately moist, fertile, well-drained soil coupled with fortnightly feeding during the growing season.

Hibiscus rosa-sinensis requires annual repotting and regular pruning to control growth and encourage bushy growth. Keep reading for more on the growing conditions and how to achieve them.

Light Requirements

Hibiscus Plant grows best in bright light with some direct sunlight. It will not bloom if the light is not enough.

You can instal a grow light where the natural lighting is not sufficient. For uniform growth, regular rotate the pot to ensure that the plant receives light on all sides.

Watering

Water Hibiscus Plant thoroughly while allowing the top 2-3 in. of soil to dry out between waterings to keep the soil moderately moist at all times.

Reduce watering during the cold season as growth is minimal at this time. Read more on how to water houseplants.

Ensure the pot has a drainage hole to prevent the soil from getting soggy as it can lead to root-rot disease and eventual loss of the plant.


Temperature

Hibiscus Plant thrives in average warmth between 16-290C during the growing season. Keep it cool at about 150C during the dormancy period.

Protect the Rose of Sharon from cold and hot draughts to avoid sudden changes in the temperature as it can lead to leaf drop. Read more on understanding temperature for houseplants.

Humidity

Hibiscus Plant has no need for high humidity, average room humidity is ideal for this plant. However, where the air is too dry, set the pot on a wet pebble tray or use a cool mist humidifier to raise humidity inorder for it to thrive.

Fertilizer (Feeding)

Feed Hibiscus Plant with a phosphorous-rich, water-soluble fertilizer every 2-3 weeks during the growing season to promote flowering. Withhold feeding during the cold season as growth is minimal and it can lead to fertilizer burn.

Repotting

Repot Hibiscus Plant once a year during the growing season. To keep the plant small, cut off a third of the roots during reppotting.

Use a pot 1 size larger than the current one and one that has a drainage hole to prevent the soil from becoming soggy as it can lead to root-rot disease.

For the large plants, annually replace the top 3-4 in. of soil with fresh soil to provide the necessary nutrients for growth.

Soil

The best soil for Hibiscus Plant should be rich in organic matter and free-draining to prevent it from getting soggy while providing the required nutrients. Most multi-purpose potting mixes are ideal for the plant.

Pruning

Pruning Hibiscus Plant is easy. Remove dead flowers and leaves to maintain the plant neat and tidy.

Pinch off the growing tips to encourage compact growth and prevent the plant from getting too huge.

After flowering, cut back the stems to rejuvenate growth and to keep the plant compact.

Propagation

Hibiscus rosa-sinensis can be propagated at the beginning of the growing season from stem-tip cuttings.

How to propagate Hibiscus Plant from stem-tip cuttings

Take a 4-5 stem-tip cuttings from a healthy Hibiscus plant. Ensure each cutting has at least 2-3 leaf nodes as new growth will arise from the leaf nodes.

Strip off the lower leaves from the lower end of the cutting and dip it in a rooting hormone.

Carefully, insert the lower end of the cutting in moist, free-draining soil and place the set up in a warm, well-lit spot.

Maintain the soil moist through out until the new Rose of Sharon plants are well established after which routine care can begin.

Hibiscus Plant, Hibiscus rosa-sinensis

Photo Credit: IndiaMart

Hibiscus rosa-sinensis Problems Indoors

Hibiscus Plant problems indoors are caused by improper care. These problems include leaf drop, yellowing and curling leaves, flowerbud drop, lack of blooms, pests and diseases among others. Keep reading for more on these problems and how to fix them.

Loss (dropping) of leaves

Loss (dropping) of leaves in Rose of Sharon is due to two possible causes. One possible cause is incorrect watering; either underwatering or overwatering.

Maintain the soil moderately moist but not soggy and never allow the soil ball to dry out completely.

The second possible cause of leaf loss in Hibiscus Plant is sudden drop in temperature. Protect the plant from cold draughts to maintain an average room temperature.

Dropping flower buds

Hibiscus Plant dropping flower buds is due to three possible causes. One possible cause of dropping flower buds is underwatering.

Maintain the soil consistently moist and never allow the soil ball to dry out completely.

The second possible cause of flower bud drop in Rose of China is underfeeding. Feed it every 2-3 weeks during the growing season with a phosphorous-rich, water-soluble fertilizer to promote flowering.

The third possible cause of dropping flower buds in Hibiscus Plant is sudden change in temperature. Protect the plant from cold draughts to maintain an average room temperature.

Curling leaves

Hibiscus Plant leaves curling is due to the air being too dry. Set the pot on a wet pebble tray to raise humidity.

Yellowing and dropping leaves

Hibiscus Plant yellowing and dropping leaves is due to too little light. Move the plant to a brighter spot as it grows best in bright light with some direct sunlight.

No blooms

Hibiscus Plant not blooming (flowering) is due to too little light. Move the Rose of Sharon to a brighter spot where it will receive bright light with some direct sunlight or instal a grow light where natural light is not adequate.

Pests

Common pests in Hibiscus Plant are aphids and spider mites. Isolate the affected plant to prevent spread to the other houseplants and treat it appropriately for the pests.

Is Hibiscus Plant toxic?

Hibiscus Plant (Hibiscus rosa-sinensis) is non-toxic to humans and pets according to ASPCA.

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