The Q&A Archives: Hibiscus

Question: I am interested in using Hibiscus trees to decorate inside a beauty salon. What special lighting and or setting do I need? Is this a good space for them to thrive?

Answer: Hibiscus like the conditions that appeal to people thus these tropical plants are well suited to be grown indoors. Growing hibiscus in pots is not too difficult if you follow a few simple rules.

Hibiscus are tropical plants that need light and, perhaps more importantly, warmth to thrive. They prefer moderate heat and to continue blooming must have a few hours of direct sunshine every day. Place your plant in a bright South or West facing window. An Eastern window might also work. In winter watch out for cold drafts that can give hibiscus frostbite. In the winter you also need additional light. I use simple fluorescent bulbs, often referred to as low energy light, which screw into regular sockets. For best effect, place the light as close to the plant as possible.

Hibiscus like water but do not let it stand with 'wet feet'. The soil needs to dry up between waterings to protect from root rot. Make certain no excess water remains in the planter half an hour after watering.

For prolific flowering, hibiscus must have regular feedings every week during the growth period, March-October. Water soluble formulas can be used with every watering. I usually water 9 times with fertilizer and then flush with clean water the tenth time. This will prevent salt buildup in the pot.

Best wishes with your new plants!

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