The Q&A Archives: Hibiscus

Question: I need information on soil acidity and fertilizers for hibiscus. I had them container grown and will be planting them at our winter home in Harlingen. Also any pest or diseases to be aware of?

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.

Hibiscus grows in average soils in the neutral range (pH of 6.5 to 7.5), and can be victims of whiteflies, aphids and scale insects.

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