The Q&A Archives: Hibiscus Plant

Question: I have a pre packaged one. In it is a stalk and it looks like some moss. No directions on how or what to plant.
Thanks, Darlene

Answer: There are two types of hibiscus - perennial and tropical. Judging by the packaging, you probably purchased the tropical kind, it won't be hardy in your winter climate. You can plant it in a container, enjoy it outdoors during the spring and summer months, then take it indoors during the autumn and winter. Planting is a snap. Remove the moss (or sawdust) from the rootmass, fill a container with moistened potting soil, make a hole in the center, and place the roots in the soil. Be sure that the stem is above the soil level and the soil only comes to the crown of the plant (where the roots meet the stem). Water well then place in a protected area until new leaves develop.

Lots of people grow hibiscus as houseplants during the winter, putting them outdoors for the summer months. Ideally, plants should be allowed to gradually adjust to indoor conditions after growing outdoors all summer. They're more likely to retain their leaves, and less likely to attract pests. When the daytime temperatures reach a minimum of 60F this spring, gradually acclimate it back to the outdoors by exposing it to a little more sun each day over the course of a week. Reverse the process in fall when you bring it inside.

Hibiscus like average household temperatures and very
bright light. They also want moist, but not soggy soil. Mist the leaves regularly to add some moisture to the air. If the plant gets too leggy, you can pinch back some of the stems. Fertilize during the spring/summer months (March through August as a rule of thumb). Hope this helps!

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