How to Care for Hibiscus

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Planting hibiscus in your garden can turn your home into a tropical paradise. The best part is these hibiscus flowers will come back year after year and grace you with their beauty. In our guide, you’ll find some hibiscus care and growing tips.

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How to Plant your Hibiscus

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If you start from seeds, they should be sown indoors about 12 weeks before the last frost in spring. You should soak the seeds in warm water for one hour before you sow them. Hibiscus can be planted outside, but just make sure to do so after any chance of frost. You’ll want to plant them about 2-3 feet apart and avoid any place they can be exposed to strong winds. For the best results, you should plant your flowers in well-drained soil and add organic matter. Hibiscus also prefer acidic soil.

These beautiful annual flowers can grow in partial shade but for the best growth, you should have them in full sun. If you live someplace super hot try to give them some afternoon shade. If you plant hibiscus with other flowers make sure to place them at the back or the sides of your flower bed.


The Dirt on the Dirt

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Hibiscus need a lot of nutrients and there are a few ways you can fertilize them. You want to make sure you don’t add too much fertilizer because it can kill your hibiscus. A good option would be to apply a layer of compost around the base in the springtime. You can also apply your fertilizer with 10-4-12, 9-3-13 or 10-10-10 around the base. You should also apply a layer of mulch to protect your plant from the cold weather in winter.

They should also be planted in well-drained and moist soil to avoid them drying out. If they happen to dry out you will notice its foliage dropping off which resemble dead sticks. Most of the time if you notice this they will still re-bud and this is just their defense mechanism to protect their roots. Make sure to not overwater or underwater these plants. If you have them in a pot make sure to add plenty of drainage holes.  



The hibiscus actually doesn’t need to be pruned but you can feel free to shape them by cutting back old growth in the winter or late fall. They do come back year after year so it can help to prune them in early summer to help branching and more flower stalks.

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The hibiscus may be a little harder to care for than some other plants but its beauty makes it all worth it.

Learn more about edible flowers including hibiscus on our latest post.



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