How to Plant And Care For Hibiscus

Hibiscus plants, sometimes called Chinese hibiscus, are tropical shrubs with beautiful trumpet shaped flowers that can grow as high as 15 feet (4.5 meters) tall. Hibiscus flowers come in a variety of colors and attract hummingbirds and butterflies. With just a little tender loving care, they can grow for years. It is not uncommon to see hibiscus plants that are 40 years old. Hibiscus plants may require more care than other plants, but they are well worth it. So read on and you'll learn how to care for your hibiscus plants.

  • Plant your hibiscus plants in any season except winter. Place them 3 to 6 feet (91.5 to 183 centimeters) apart, to give them room to spread out. Dig a hole and place the hibiscus roots in the hole. Water the plant thoroughly. Hibiscus can also grow indoors in flower pots.
  • Water the plant when the soil feels dry. Don't over water the hibiscus plant, as you may flood the roots. The hibiscus roots should be moist, not wet.
  • Fertilize the hibiscus every two to three weeks with a low-nitrogen fertilizer. Steady feeding will keep your hibiscus healthy.
  • Prune the hibiscus plant to maintain its shape. Cut the branch back just above its "eye" or side shoot to encourage multiple growths. Pinching off the tips of branches will also encourage multiple growths.
  • Protect your hibiscus from cold weather. Hibiscus plants are very sensitive to the cold. If they're inside, keep them in a warm place. If they're outdoor plants, and the temperature drops below 40 degrees Fahrenheit (5 degrees Celsius), make sure to cover them well to insulate them from the cold. Leaving them uncovered may cause a delay in the spring blossoming.
  • Protect your hibiscus from insects and bugs, using insecticide when necessary.