The hibiscus in my office was given to me about a year ago as a cutting. After a year, when one of the branches got too long, I decided to prune it – and it was after I had cut off the branch that I discovered the first flower bud that my plant had ever had. I had waited for so long to see the first bud, and now I had inadvertently cut it off.
I wasn’t sure if I could save the branch – or more importantly the flower bud – but I popped it into a vase of water and waited – and watched it everyday. A couple of leaves yellowed and fell off, but the bud continued to live and grow; it began to swell, and in about two weeks the bud had slowly grown and opened into a beautiful, double scarlet and ruby flower!
Now I am looking forward to trying my luck at rooting this branch once the flower is finished.
I’ll let you know how that goes.
The Hibiscus is grouped into two categories: tropical and hardy. The varieties are almost endless; there are hundreds of species of hibiscus each with thousands of colors and color combinations.
The hardy or perennial hibiscus can be grown outdoors in some northern States and parts of Canada.
Hibiscus prefers warm temperatures from 15-35 degrees Celsius and it requires plenty of water. Drainage is very important; they do not like to have their roots wet. For houseplants a light potting soil is recommended. I have my plant in a south-facing window where it gets full sun for several hours a day, and I have been feeding it a liquid plant food (8-14-9) every time I water.
Treat Your Hibiscus to a Shower
If during the summer you had your plant outdoors and have brought it in for the winter, it is time to treat it to a shower. Assuming your plant is a manageable size, stand it in the shower and let a cool gentle spray wash the leaves. This will help eliminate any insects that are in the foliage. It is also healthy for the plant to have a regular shower; I always think of it as a gentle ‘rain’. You can cover the soil in the pot if you like, but I usually wait until it is time for the plants watering and just let the shower soak the plant.
Let the plant stand for about 30 minutes after its shower before moving it – the excess water will have drained away by this time.
- The hibiscus originates in Asia and the Pacific Islands, and is the state flower of Hawaii.
- In Mexican and Caribbean markets hibiscus pods or dried flowers are known as Jamaica “ha-myee-kah”.
- Hibiscus is often used in jams and jellies and is high in Vitamin C.