Hibiscus aka China rose aka Gudhal is a perennial plant with beautiful flowers. The addition of colorful and blooming hibiscus in your garden adds rainbow-like beauty to your garden. Its flowers are recognizable by their large colorful blossoms, creating stunning displays all-year. Flowers may be white, red, pink, yellow, blue, purple, peach, orange in colour. The hybrid varieties often come in dual coloured flowers too. It's hard to not smile when you see a hibiscus flower in full bloom!
There is something outright magical about being surrounded by so much colour. With the right care and nourishment, you can easily grow these huge, showy roses of sharon at your home too.
POTTING HIBISCUS IN CONTAINERS Vs PLANTING OUTDOORS
You just bought your hibiscus plants, and now the first decision you will make is whether to keep them potted or to plant them in the ground. Well, the answer to this dilemma is quite simple.
hibiscus can be grown in pots or directly in the ground, the only thing you need to ensure is that they get bright sunlight. Hibiscus are tropical plants and like lots of sunlight.
WATER, SUNLIGHT, SOIL CARE NEEDS OF HIBISCUS
Mastering the basics of hibiscus care isn’t exceptionally difficult, and their vibrant blooms are well worth a little extra effort. So, what does it need?
Sunlight: Hibiscus plants need full bright sunlight so prefer to keep them where there is lots of sunshine in order to help flowers develop naturally.
Watering: This plant needs regular watering. The plant should be watered thoroughly. In the case where it is planted in pots, it should be watered till water comes out from the bottom hole of the container.
Soil: Hibiscus prefers slightly acidic soil, and you can make conditions a bit more ideal by mixing in some loam (40 percent each of sand and silt, and 20 percent of clay.).
When potting in containers, a rich soil mix (compost, cocopeat and sand) is preferable to ensure the right amount of drainage and water retention.
Best Season: Even though their blooming time differs season-to-season and in different parts of India, Hibiscusplants can be grown in any season and anytime.
EASIEST WAY OF PROPAGATION AT HOME
Hibiscus cuttings are normally the preferred way of propagating hibiscus because a cutting will grow to be an exact copy of the parent plant.Cuttings are also the best and the easiest way to grow hibiscus.
Start by taking the cutting when propagating hibiscus with hibiscus cuttings. Hardwood should be used for the cutting as it roots quickly.
Cuttings of hibiscus should be 4 to 6 inches (10 to 15 cm) long.
Except for the top one, remove all of the leaves. The bottom of the cutting should then be dipped in rooting hormone powder or liquid (such as honey,aloe vera gel).
The next step for propagating hibiscus from cuttings is to place the hibiscus cutting in cocopeat
Place the cutting in indirect sunlight and ensure it is moist for around 1 month
When you see signs of new growth, move the container with the cutting to full sun
Repot to a larger container of your choice in the next growing season
(Video by TheonePagel via Youtube)
COMMON ISSUES WITH GUDHAL & CARE
Lesser Blooming: One of the most common issues that hibiscus planters face is the flowers not blooming. The reason behind this might be the lack of adequate sunlight, as these plants need full sunlight to bloom naturally. So, Place your plants where they can provide direct sunlight for at least 6 to 7 hours every day.
Another reason for this could be low levels of nutrients. All flowering plants need a lot of fertilizer- to fertilize your plant regularly. Vermicompost is the best fertilizer you can give your hibiscus flower. During its growing season (e.g. February onward in North India), you should fertilize the plant every 15 days.
Flowers Dropping: Another issue is the flowers dropping off, the cause might be moisture stress which can be from either overwatering or under-watering. The simple solution is to check the soil carefully before watering your plants. Hibiscus requires moist but well-drained soil.
Mealy Bugs: Hibiscus is prone to attack by mealy bugs. To avoid, mix a small amount of Neem cake fertilizer in the soil mix. Also, spray your plant thoroughly with neem oil solution every 15 days (Mix neem oil in water and add 2 drops of liquid soap). All parts of the plant- leaves, branches should be thoroughly sprayed.
Here are a few bonus tips that will help you keep your hibiscus plant happy and healthy:
Grow Hibiscus in 8-10 inch pots. Terracotta pots are preferred over plastic pots as they keep the soil cool and moist for a longer duration
Be on the lookout for pests. Aphids, spider mites, and whiteflies like to munch on hibiscus, but a simple preventive insecticidal soap solution made from liquid soap and water should help get them out.
In the spring, prune your hibiscus. Pruning will assist in future blooms. Also, once a branch has borne a flower, pinch its top (soft prune) as that helps in ensuring new blooms.
Reduce the amount of watering if the leaves are turning yellow. This is more common in winter, so if you notice those early indicators, limit the frequency of watering.
And that’s basically the gist of it. Keeping your hibiscus healthy and happy is easy when you provide what it needs – adequate water, warm temperatures, and plenty of light!