The Best Ways to Grow, Care and Utilize Hibiscus Plants

The Best Ways to Grow, Care and Utilize Hibiscus Plants

Hibiscus- Hibiscus Rosa Sinensis

Hibiscus is a flowering plant that is native to tropical and sub-tropical regions from all over the world. It is easy to grow them in containers under suitable conditions by providing water, sunlight and nutrients to the plants. Add mulch to keep the soil moist. The plant usually grows to a height of 12 feet tall in frost-free areas. They just need little care to bloom flowers in the growing season.

Flowers have a wide range of applications for its fragrance in bouquets and in beauty products like powders, lotions and moisturizing creams to keep skin from dryness. It is also used in medicines to treat several health problems.

Hibiscus varieties  

There are more than 200 Hibiscus species commonly grown as ornamental flowering plants worldwide. These varieties may vary depending upon growing conditions, color and blooming time. The table below illustrates the hibiscus varieties in different colors…

S.No Variety Specification
1 Confederate rose mallow White, Pink flowers, light green foliage
2 Rose of Sharon Purple flowers with yellow center
3 Hibiscus moscheutos Glossy dark green foliage, Pink, Red color flowers
4 Hibiscus rosa sinesis Orange, red, pink, yellow  color flowers, dark green foliage
5 Hibiscus brackenridgei Golden yellow with red centric, 5 petals
6 Hibiscus chasing rainbows Brown with red centric, large, full sun
7 Miracle hibiscus orange Dwarf-12 inches, dark green foliage, 5 petals
8 Hibiscus peach red Showy tricolor flowers, 5-6 inch flower blooms
9 Hibiscus hula Best for borders, yellow with red color flowers
10 Hibiscus arnottianus Small shrub, white flowers, 5 petals
11 Hibiscus surattensis Climbing herb, deep green foliage, small yellow
12 Hibiscus fragillis Hot pink flowers, 5 petals, summer growing crop
13 Hibiscus clayi Ornamental plant, pink flowers, full sun to partial shade
14 Malvaviscus arboreus hibiscus Evergreen shrub, pink flowers, mallow family
15 Malvaviscus penduliflorus Dark red color flowers, light green foliage
16 Hibiscus cisplantinus Perennial shrub, deep green foliage, pink to red color flowers
17 Hibiscus Charles angels white 12 inches tall, white with red center, glossy dark green foliage
18 Hawaiian hibiscus Deep green foliage, Yellow or salmon pink with medium violet red centric

How to Grow Hibiscus plants in Pots?

The Best Ways to Grow, Care and Utilize Hibiscus Plants

Growing hibiscus in a pot is easy and takes less time for flowering. Women often love to grow different varieties in their home. Container grown hibiscus live happily for years and promotes high yielding when you give what they want. The factors that are required to grow hibiscus plants in a pot or container are listed below…

  • Choose a seed variety to grow them in your home.
  • Prepare soil and sow the seeds in pots.
  • Water seeds regularly and place it in sunlight to sprout quickly.
  • When the plant matures, it starts flowering and fruiting.
  • Now you can add organic fertilizers at the base of the plants.
  • Use scissors or knife to harvest hibiscus flowers and store them in cool conditions.

    Hibiscus Plant Information

    Scientific Name                      :       Hibiscus rosa sinesis

    Origin                                       :       Tropical and sub-tropical region

    Soil                                          :        Neutral to acidic soil

    Sunlight                                  :        Full sun to partial shade

    Plant Height                           :        12-15 feet

    Flowers                                   :        White, red, pink, orange, yellow

    Temperature                         :         65-75F

    Fertilizers                               :       Potassium-rich

    Harvesting Time                   :       Months to years

Seed Variety 

Select the desired variety you wish to grow in pots. You can purchase them from nursery store or online. Container growing variety may usually grow up to 3-6 feet tall and vary for other varieties.

Pot & Soil   

Hibiscus plant roots grow wide than deep. So choose a big pot of size 12 inches both wide and depth. The pot has enough holes at the bottom for air circulation and proper drainage. They grow best in the moist well-drained soil. You can also use potting mix, peat moss, compost or manure to provide nutrients to the soil. Place the soil in a pot or container before planting.

Water & Sunlight

Water the plant regularly (in sufficient amounts) to keep the soil moist. Sunlight is an essential factor for all plants to thrive. Place the pot in sunlight for 8 hours a day that is responsible for photosynthesis and flower blooming in plants. Optimum temperature to grow hibiscus plants is 65-75 F.

The seeds may germinate within 2-3 days from sowing in the soil. When the plant matures it may reach to a height of 6 feet tall and start fertilizing the plants.


Hibiscus flowers are self-pollinated. They attract insects and birds to transfer pollen grains from male gamete to the female gamete. It is done naturally to produce more flowers vigorously. Make sure you don’t apply insecticides at the time of pollination.

Nutrient Deficiency

S. No Element Deficiency Symptom
1 Nitrogen Yellowish green leaves,  curled, wrinkled
2 Phosphorus Light  green color leaves and dried petals
3 Potassium Dark green and erected leaves
4 Magnesium Yellow leaves, interveinal chlorosis
5 Molybdenum Leaf fading

Pests & Diseases

Pests Diseases
Mealybugs Bacterial Blight
Sawflies Powdery mildew
Aphids Leaf dropping
Thrips Bud Rot
Spider mites Damping off


All flowering plants require fertilizers to bloom flowers with continuous harvests. If you wish to fertilize flowering plants such as hibiscus, prefer commercial sprays or homemade organic methods to repel insects and provides nutrients to the plants. Use a synthetic fertilizer that helps to grow healthy roots, colorful blooms and supply nutrients to the rose plants. You can also use N-P-K (10-10-20) fertilizers, compost or manure for once in every 3 months to promote faster growth.


You can start harvesting when flower buds reach to a particular size. Harvesting time depends upon the hibiscus plant variety. Few plant varieties may take months to years for the flowers to bloom. After harvesting place them in a wooden box and shift it to the cool place to long last flowers that spread beautiful fragrances during summer growing season.

Can you Grow Hibiscus from Cuttings?

The Best Ways to Grow, Care and Utilize Hibiscus Plants

Propagating Hibiscus in water

Propagating hibiscus is same for both tropical and hard varieties. For this method, you just need a hibiscus stem and a jar of water.  Here is the step by step procedure that completely explains the propagation of hibiscus plants…..

  • Take hibiscus stem of 6-10 inches height that produces more beautiful flowers.
  • Insert the stem into a glass of water.
  • Place the setup in a window location to provide sunlight for 4-6 hours a day.
  • Change the water for every 2-3 days and look for the roots to sprout at the bottom.
  • Once the root develops you can transplant it to outdoors.
  • Though it needs little care to grow, produces fragrant flowers at the time of harvest.
    Propagation Hibiscus in Soil- 
    Tip Cutting

To propagate hibiscus from tip cuttings requires moist well-drain soil with temperatures ranging from 70-80F. You must separate the tip cutting from the parent hibiscus plant during the warmer climates. Now the cuttings are inserted into a well-drain soil containing 3 parts of peat moss and 1 part of the garden soil.  Mix both of them and use it to propagate hibiscus from tip cuttings.

Place the tip cuttings of size 6-8 inches in a pot containing fertile soil. Water the tip cutting sufficiently and make sure you do not over water the plant. The roots emerge from the bottom of the tip cutting and take months time to mature completely. If you wish to transplant outdoors simply wait for the plant to reach 2-3 feet tall.

Air Layering

Propagation of hibiscus from air layering will provide a larger plant within a short time. Best time to implement air layering method is the hot or warm climatic conditions. This method is completely different from propagating other methods. To start this method, select a healthy branch or stem where you wish to perform an air-layering process.

Now make 2 cuts for the branch about 1 inch apart and remove completely down to the white wood. A rooting hormone medium with sphagnum moss is applied to the cut and wrap it with aluminum foil or plastic. The foil or plastic maintain the moisture levels so as to boost the growth by establishing healthy roots. Cut the newly established stem from the parent plant with cutters and place it in the soil for better growth.

How do you take care of a hibiscus plant?

Here are some useful tips you should while growing hibiscus tree in your home…..

  • Do not overwater the hibiscus plant as it may result in root rot disease.
  • Make sure you provide sunlight for a minimum of 6-8hrs a day to thrive.
  • Feed the plants with mulch or organic fertilizers on a regular basis.
  • Remove dead leaves, stems and canes to promote fast and healthy growth.
  • Water the plant once in a week to keep the soil moist but not completely wet.
  • Keep pets (dogs and cats) away as they can spoil beautiful flower buds from blooming.
  • When you transplant hibiscus plants to outdoors add organic matter such as compost or manure in sufficient amounts to the soil.

    Is hibiscus plant annual or perennial?

    Hibiscus is a flowering plant in the family of mallow. The flowers are usually large and grow well in tropical climatic conditions. The genus of these flowering species is considered as both annual and perennial herbaceous plants which can grow throughout the year and bloom beautiful flowers.

    Will hibiscus plant survive in winter?

    Hibiscus plant may lose leaves and flower buds when you move it to extreme climatic conditions i.e. too hot or too cold. For the plant to survive in the winter season, let the leaf drops in the spring season and when the temperature is warm you can shift to outdoors again. When you hibiscus outdoors in winter season the temperature should not fall below 50 degrees.

    What goes well with hibiscus plants?

    Good companion plants for hibiscus includes Louisiana, Siberian iris, rudbeckia, clethra Virginia and buttonbush. These companions improve the plant growth, flowering time, sweet aroma with high yield. It also protects hibiscus plants from pests, diseases and other viral infections.

    How often do you water hibiscus?

    Water regularly in required amounts when you place hibiscus in a pot indoors. Water the plant only when the soil is completely dry. Also, make sure there is a sufficient time gap between 2 successive waterings.  When the plant matures and reaches to a certain height you can water the hibiscus plant about 1-2 inches per week.

    Can hibiscus tolerate full sun?

    All hibiscus plant varieties do best in full sun. Though they grow well in partial shade, you may see diminished growth and poor flowering. Provide hibiscus plants with a minimum of 6 hours light per day. During hot summer seasons, you need to provide the hibiscus from the leaf turning yellow or brown.

    Do hibiscus plants grow back?

    Hibiscus is a hardy flowering plant that grows in the USDA regions of 4-9 zones. When the hibiscus plants die completely, it is possible to grow them from cut back stems. For this, you just need to cut back the stem within a couple of inches from the ground in spring or fall season. New roots will come out from the bottom of the cuttings under suitable conditions.

    Is a hibiscus plant poisonous?  

    Not all the hibiscus varieties are poisonous; some hibiscus varieties like a rose of Sharon, a hardy plant that grows in the USDA regions of 5-8 is highly toxic to dogs, cats and horses. When the parts of the hibiscus plants are consumed, it may result in diarrhea, vomitings and allergies. The flowers are considered safe for humans to eat.

    Why are hibiscus plant leaves turning yellow?

    Hibiscuses are full sun plants. If your hibiscuses are not getting enough sunlight, then plant leaves may turn yellow or white splotches. Other factors like nutrient deficiency and pests like aphids, spider mites can cause discoloration and leaf damage.

    For more information refer:  Why are my plants turning yellow?

Commercial Uses

  • One particular species of hibiscus is used in making papers.
  • It has numerous medicinal uses for pregnant women in China.
  • Dried hibiscus is edible and used in desserts for garnishing purposes.
  • Hibiscus tea is made from its flowers serves both hot and cold all over the world.
  • Most of the gardeners plant them in a garden for its special property that acts as air-purifier.

    Hibiscus Benefits

    Hibiscus Tea

    Tea is ruby red in color and has a sour taste similar to cranberry, which is made from its flowers. It is widely available in the market and can be consumed hot or cold depending on your choice. The tea or red wine is low in calories and caffeine-free. It only takes few minutes to prepare and keeps the human body healthy and fit.

    Weight loss

    If you consume the food that is rich carbohydrates (starch and sugars) likely to gain weight. A study also shows that hibiscus flower extracts lower the absorption of starch and glucose that helps to reduce weight. The hibiscus tea compounds are found in many weight loss products is beneficial for losing weight.

    Improves digestion

    The antioxidants in hibiscus help to cure free radical damage and thereby improving your energy levels naturally. It also improves digestion, constipation and gastrointestinal system.

    Hair fall

    Hibiscus oil is especially beneficial for hair. Apply the essential oil to your hair to grow strong from the roots and stops breaking easily. Vitamin C and anti-inflammatory components in hibiscus help to darken hair color, stops the growth of acne and improves metabolism.

The Best Ways to Grow, Care and Utilize Hibiscus Plants

It’s fun to grow and enjoy beautiful hibiscus flowers from seeds/cuttings in your garden space that spreads beautiful fragrance, purifies air and keeps surrounding hygiene. If you have wonderful ideas about growing hibiscus, please share your experience with us in the comment section.

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