Growing Hibiscus / China rose (Gudhal) in Pots
Hibiscus flowers are one of the most spectacular bloom a garden can have. The flowers are large, bright colored and glossy. Dark green glossy leaves compliment blooms. Potted Hibiscus can become very old say forty years or more. Growing Hibiscus in pots is not too difficult if you follow a few simple rules.
Hibiscus can be propagated through cuttings and seeds. Take a sprig of 4-6 “ length from softwood ( immature branch) leaving only a pair of leaves on the top. Wet the bottom end of the cutting with liquid fertilizer. Plant the cutting in a pot filled with well drained soil. Cover the container / pot having cutting with plastic bag and put in a partial shaded place. Direct sunlight can dry out the cuttings. Wait for around 8 weeks to cuttings get rooted. You can also start cuttings in the water.
Propagate hibiscus from seeds by making small nick in seeds using utility knives. Soak the seeds in water overnight and then plant into the prepared pot.Know best months to start different flower plants in India.
Deeper pot / container is not advised in case of Hibiscus as plant will direct its most of energy in root production resulting in less blooms on the plant. However if you want to use large container then go for wider one rather than deeper.
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Hibiscus wants loamy but not too heavy soil. Regular quality potting soil with added [leaf] compost is an ideal base. Mix 3 parts of coarse peat, composted bark, composted cow manure for good result. The soil should be coarse rather than fine. Watch out for soil that is mainly fine peat, it tends to compact in the pots, resulting in badly aerated roots.
Sun / Temperature
Hibiscus is sun loving plant. They need at least 6 hours of daily sun light. If you are in hot warm area then placing Hibiscus in partial shade will be good.
Hibiscus are thirsty plants and needs loads of water to thrive and produce blossoms. Plant may need to be watered daily and twice a day in extremely dry conditions. As Hibiscus is tropical plant so they don’t like to be dry out. Also they don’t like to be soaking wet. Keep the soil moist, watering your plant slowly and deeply. If Hibiscus is not getting enough water, it will drop leaves or top leaves will start turning yellow. If it has yellowing leaves in the middle or towards the bottom of the plant, chances are it’s drowning from too much water. In winter refrain from watering with cold water.
Use a low phosphorous based fertilizer as too much phosphorous makes for many fine leaves but few flowers. Or use diluted liquid fertilizer on biweekly basis. You can also add small amount of dish detergent to break water tension, It will allow water to better penetrate the dried out soil.
The Best time for pruning hibiscus is August – October. Pruning is carried out not to get a more harmonious plant but also to stimulate new growth in form of buds or new shoots. To create a good looking plant, try to establish 3-4 main branches. These should be sturdy and upright. Cut back 1/3 of the main branches and completely remove weak growth or sideways growing branches. You may prune root at time of replanting. Never prune off more than 1/3 of the root mass.
Prunned the Hibiscus hard in starting of September. Check the snap. After one month of rain, it grew back.
The most common pest on hibiscus to benefit from a dry indoor environment is Spider Mites. The most effective way to get rid of them is showering the plant with lukewarm water, strong blast, at least once a week. Don’t forget to clean the lower side of the leaves. Mealybugs , Aphids are other pest infecting Hibiscus. Use insecticide if condition gets worse.
Read Also : Growing and Caring tips for Mogra.
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