My hibiscus shows no growth. - Knowledgebase Question

irvine, ca
Question by umababu
June 2, 2005
I live in 9B zone in mostly clay soil and would like to grow hibiscus,gardenia, carnations and other tropical plants. What kind of amendments/fertilizer should I use? My hibiscus in soil is stunted and shows no signs of growth. How can I revive it?

Answer from NGA
June 2, 2005


Instead of thinking what will grow well in clay soil (not too many things!) you ought instead to consider amending your soil so ANYTHING will grow there! I lived in Connecticut for many years and had very heavy clay soil. I amended it by adding compost, compost and more compost! Every spring I dug whatever I used for mulch over the winter, into the soil. When the children were little and we had a sand box, we put new sand in every spring so we wouldn't expose the kids to any nasty "critters". Guess where we put the "used" sand? Yup! In the garden...dug it right in!

Gradually, your garden will become a wonderful, workable, plant-friendly medium. It would also help to get a soil test done. That way you can add any necessary nitrogen, phosphorus, potash or lime.

If you don't have a compost bin or pile...start one right away. Your garden will thank you for years to come!!

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