The Q&A Archives: Hibiscus

Question: I moved to a new place about 2 years ago and on the patio already growing was a large healthy hibiscus with lots of blooms. The following fall I pruned back the hibiscus and it never bloomed after that. Even though the plant was not blooming it had to be pruned again because of painting the it is another Spring and there are still no blooms. It grows wonderfully and has lots of vines and big leaves, but what can I do to get it blooming again?

Answer: There are three species of Hibiscus, but judging from your region, you're probably growing the Chinese Hibiscus (Hibiscus rosa-sinensis). This is the tropical looking evergreen with large glossy leaves and large red, white or pink flowers. All Hibiscus require full sun, good drainage, regular, deep watering and frequent feeding. If you prune the plant in early spring, you'll encourage new flowering stems. If you pinch out the tips of the new growth in the late spring and early summer, flower production will increase. When you water, apply liberally to wet the entire root system. Feed plants every two weeks with a diluted liquid fertilizer (from spring through the end of summer), pinch out the the tips of the new stems and your plant should produce blooms.

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