The Q&A Archives: looking for information on hibiscus trees

Question: how to plant take care of

Answer: There are two different plants sometimes called hibiscus trees. One is Hibiscus syriacus or Rose of Sharon. This is a winter hardy shrub that should do well in your area. It requires full sun all day long and a well drained soil and is a low maintenance plant once estbalished. It is deciduous. Any desired pruning can be done in very early spring. It leafs out late in the spring and then blooms during the summer months.

Dig a hole that is generously wide and the same depth as the container. Plant the shrub no deeper than it is growing in the container. Cut or untwine any encircling roots. Firm the soil over the roots and water deeply to settle any air pockets. Mulch over the root area with several inches of organic mulch.

The most important thing to do is water. Water as needed to keep the soil damp like a wrung out sponge (not sopping wet, not dried out) this summer. After that, it should not need extra water unless there is drought.

The tropical hibiscus or H. rosa-sinensis is sold as a patio container plant. Do not allow it to be colder than 55 degrees. Keep it in a bright location and feed and water generously during the summer months when it is actively growing. Use a water soluble fertilizer or slow release fertilizer with an analysis of 10-10-10 or similar plus minors per the label directions. It will do well in full sun all day long, it loves heat. In the fall, bring it indoors as a houseplant if you wish to keep it for the next year.

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