Information About Hibiscus

Information About Hibiscus

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Cranberry Hibiscus Info – Growing Cranberry Hibiscus Plants

By Amy Grant

Gardeners usually plant hibiscus for their showy blooms but another type of hibiscus, cranberry hibiscus, is used primarily for its gorgeous deep purple foliage. Interested in learning more about this attractive hibiscus plant? Click here for additional information.

How To Plant Hibiscus Seeds – Tips For Sowing Hibiscus Seeds

By Mary H. Dyer, Credentialed Garden Writer

While it does take longer to grow hibiscus from seed, it can be a rewarding, productive activity, and an inexpensive way to fill your garden with these amazing plants. Learn how to plant hibiscus seeds in the following article.

Texas Star Hibiscus Info: Tips For Growing A Texas Star Hibiscus

By Liz Baessler

The Texas Star hibiscus is a moisture loving variety of hibiscus that produces large striking, star-shaped flowers in both white and bright crimson. Learn more about Texas Star hibiscus care and how to grow Texas Star hibiscus plants in this article.

Hibiscus Varieties – How Many Kinds Of Hibiscus Are There

By Mary Ellen Ellis

Hibiscus varieties are immensely popular in gardening and range from annuals to perennials, hardy to tropical, and large shrubs to smaller plants. When you understand what all the options are, you can pick the perfect types of hibiscus for your garden. Learn more here.

Pruning Perennial Hibiscus – A Guide To Hardy Hibiscus Pruning

By Mary H. Dyer, Credentialed Garden Writer

When it comes to pruning perennial hibiscus, there?s no need for stress. Although this easy-care plant requires very little pruning, regular maintenance will keep it healthy and promote better, bigger flowers. Learn how and when to prune perennial hibiscus here.

Hibiscus Leaf Drop: Why Are Hibiscus Leaves Falling Off

By Darcy Larum, Landscape Designer

It can be very frustrating when you have done everything by the book for your plant, only to be rewarded with abnormal yellowing and dropping of leaves. Though any plant may experience this problem for various reasons, this article will discuss hibiscus leaf drop.

Outdoor Hibiscus Care: Tips On Growing Hibiscus In Gardens

By Mary H. Dyer, Credentialed Garden Writer

Hibiscus is a gorgeous plant that sports huge flowers. Though tropical types are typically grown indoors, hardy hibiscus plants make exceptional specimens in the garden. Want to learn how to grow hibiscus outdoors in the garden? Click here.

Hibiscus Container Care: Growing Tropical Hibiscus In Containers

By Mary H. Dyer, Credentialed Garden Writer

Tropical hibiscus is a flowering shrub that displays big, showy blooms. Growing tropical hibiscus in containers is a good option; hibiscus performs best when its roots are slightly crowded. Read here to learn more.

Moving Hibiscus Plants: Tips For Transplanting Hibiscus

By Jackie Carroll

Your landscape is an ever-evolving work of art. As your garden changes, you might find that you have to move large plants, such as hibiscus. Read this article to find out how to transplant a hibiscus shrub to a new place in the garden.

Hibiscus Propagation: How To Propagate Hibiscus

By Heather Rhoades

Propagating hibiscus, whether tropical hibiscus or hardy hibiscus, can be done the same way, though hardy hibiscus is easier. Find information on how to propagate hibiscus in this article.

Tips For Tropical Hibiscus Fertilizing

By Heather Rhoades

Tropical hibiscus fertilizing is important to keeping them healthy and blooming beautifully. What kind of hibiscus fertilizer should you use and when? Learn more about fertilizing hibiscus in this article.

Wintering Hibiscus Indoors: Winter Care For Hibiscus

By Heather Rhoades

While hibiscus will do fine outdoors in the summer in most areas, they need to be protected in the winter. Wintering hibiscus is easy to do. Read here to get steps for hibiscus winter care.

How To Care For Hibiscus Plants

By Heather Rhoades

Growing hibiscus is an easy way to add a tropical flair to your garden. When you know how to care for hibiscus plants, you will be rewarded with many years of lovely flowers. Get tips on hibiscus care here.

Exotic beauty: Hardy hibiscus for a flash of colour before summer is gone

PLANT a small reminder of your summer holiday with hibiscus syriacus as it will thrive in UK gardens

The different hues of the hibiscus syriacus family are perfect for adding a splash of colour [GETTY]

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If a thing is worth waiting for it had better be good – and that is certainly the case with hardy hibiscus. If you’ve ever been on holiday to the Mediterranean or the Caribbean, you will know those vast hybrids of Hibiscus rosa-sinensis with their wide-faced fowers – usually of rose pink or red – centred with a prominent stigma.

In the Caribbean they flower all year round and, not surprisingly, in the British Isles they are not reliably hardy and have to be grown in a heated greenhouse to get them through the winter. But their close relations – the hybrids of Hibiscus syriacus – are made of sterner stuff and can be grown in most British gardens with very little bother.

Their one drawback is that they come into leaf very late in the season – around June in some cases. Their stems are a silvery grey and you would not be the first gardener who had dug one up thinking that it had shuffled off its mortal coil.

But stay your hand – and your spade – for the very lateness of the hibiscus is its strong point – especially when it comes to the flowers. In shades of blue, pink and white, they begin to open in late July and will continue to decorate the bushes until early autumn – a valuable attribute in gardens where the summer colour seems to come all at once in June and early July.

The older varieties are still reliable: ‘Woodbridge’ is a rich rose pink with darker shaded markings, ‘Bluebird’ is a good lavender blue with dark purple blotches and the ‘Red Heart’ is white with a red “eye”.

They all demand a spot in really well-drained soil and full sun but, given that, they are remarkably easy to grow and will flower year after year with very little attention. This is one shrub I know that needs virtually nothing in the way of pruning since it has a tidy habit of growth – making a rounded shrub five feet across and as much high – but only after several years.

You will need to remove only those stems that get broken or damaged – and any that get in your way. Plant it in the right place where it has room to make its 5ft rounded dome shape and you will hardly need to prune it at all.

So if your garden seems a tad over the hill and faded by now, nip out and bring a touch of the tropics to your plot. This year, and every year, you’ll feel as though you are still on holiday!

Fun Flower Facts: Hibiscus

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Hibiscus is a genus of flowering plants in the mallow family, Malvaceae, that produces large, showy trumpet-shaped flowers in colours, such as white, pink, orange, purple, red and yellow. The plant is native to warm-temperate, subtropical and tropical regions in the world with over 200 different varieties in the genus. Member species are often noted for their showy flowers and are commonly known simply as hibiscus, or less widely known as rose mallow. The genus includes both annual and perennial herbaceous plants, as well as woody shrubs and small trees. The generic name is derived from the Greek word hibískos, which was the name Pedanius Dioscorides (ca. 40–90) gave to Althaea officinalis.

Hibiscus is a popular ornamental plant, as the brightly-coloured flowers tend to attract butterflies, bees and hummingbirds to the garden. They can be planted individually or grown as a hedge or border plant in the garden. Plant Hibiscus in full sun.

Fun flower facts about the Hibiscus:

• The flower is edible and has a tangy citrusy taste.

• Dried hibiscus is considered a delicacy in Mexico.

• The roselle (Hibiscus sabdariffa) is used as a vegetable.

• Certain species of hibiscus are also beginning to be used more widely as a natural source of food coloring (E163), and replacement of Red #3 / E127.

• Approximately 15-30 percent of the hibiscus plant is made up of plant acids, including citric acid, malic acid, tartaric acid and allo-hydroxycitric acid lactone — i.e. hibiscus acid, which is unique to hibiscus. Other chemical constituents are many however, some of the most important include alkaloids, anthocyanins, and quercetin.

• Many countries from around the world use hibiscus to make teas and other tasty beverages. Hibiscus tea contains vitamin C and other minerals. Hibiscus tea also contains bioflavonoids, which are believed to help prevent an increase in LDL cholesterol, which can increase the buildup of plaque in the arteries.

• It is a popular natural diuretic.

• Study shows consuming hibiscus tea lowers blood pressure.

• In Egypt and Sudan, hibiscus is used to help maintain a normal body temperature, support heart health, and encourage fluid balance.

• North Africans have used hibiscus internally for supporting upper respiratory health including the throat and also use it topically to support skin health.

• In Europe, hibiscus has been employed to support upper respiratory health, alleviate occasional constipation, and promote proper circulation. It is commonly used in combination with lemon balm and St John’s Wort for restlessness and occasional difficulty falling asleep.

• The flower can be used to make a natural dye or food colouring.

• Hibiscus is the national flower for South Korea, Malaysia and Haiti.

• The red flower of Hibiscus is the flower of the Hindu goddess Kali.

• The flower has been used in traditional medicine in China and in the Indian traditional system of medicine, Ayurveda. White hibiscus and red hibiscus (Hibiscus rosa-sinensis), is considered to have medicinal properties. The roots are used to make various concoctions believed to cure ailments such as cough, hair loss or hair greying.

• An extract from the flowers of Hibiscus rosa- sinensis has been shown to function as an anti-solar agent by absorbing ultraviolet radiation.

• Tahitian and Hawaiian women can wear a single red hibiscus flower behind her right ear to let people know she is available for marriage. If the flower is worn behind the left ear, the woman is married or in a relationship.

• In Polynesia, the bark fibers can be used to make grass skirts.

• One species of Hibiscus, known as kenaf (Hibiscus cannabinus), is extensively used in paper-making.

• The leaves and the flowers can be into a paste and used as a natural shampoo.

A word of cauton: Hibiscus is not recommended for use during pregnancy. Additionally, they are not recommended while breastfeeding due to the lack of reliable information.

Safety notes: This website is not medical advice, and please check with your doctor before using plants if you are pregnant, using medications or have other health conditions.

Do you grow Hibiscus in your garden? What is your experience with this plant? Please share in the comments below!

Do you sell Hibiscus seeds or have plants for sale? You can place your advertisement here. Contact us now!

Buy organic hibiscus flowers or hibiscus seeds online:

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The Secrets to Growing Hibiscus Indoors

Chinese hibiscus (Hibiscus rosa-sinensis)

I get more questions about growing hibiscus as a houseplant than almost any other plant. Why? Because it often behaves very badly indoors. You’ll find it’s a capricious plant under average home conditions… but still it can be grown successfully indoors.

Would you like to learn how? Well, let’s start at the beginning, that is, by choosing the right plant!

Choosing the Right Hibiscus

The genus Hibiscus in the Malvaceae (mallow family) includes more than 200 species, including annuals, perennials, shrubs and trees. Most of these do not make good houseplants. In this article, therefore, I’ll cover only one species, the Chinese hibiscus (Hibiscus rosa-sinensis), by far the most popular species offered for indoor use.

This plant is of tropical origin and therefore grows best under tropical conditions. That means, in temperate climates, outdoors in the summer and indoors in the winter.

The perennial hibiscus (Hibiscus moscheutos, at left) and the Rose of Sharon (Hibiscus syriacus, at right) are two hibiscus species that should be left outdoors all year.

Among the hibiscus you should notbring indoors are the perennial hibiscus (H. moscheutos and related species) and the rose of Sharon (H. syriacus). These are outdoor plants, best left in your garden all year. I find it important to point out the difference, as many beginning gardeners presume a hibiscus is a hibiscus and bring the wrong plant indoors.


Cultivars of Chinese hibiscus (Hibiscus rosa-sinensis)

What you want as a houseplant is the Chinese hibiscus (H. rosa-sinensis), so named because the first cultivars to reach Europe were sent from China. It has never been found in the wild, but botanists believe it’s not native to China, but somewhere rather further south in Asia, perhaps Malaysia or the Pacific islands.

In actual fact, the true H. rosa-sinensis is rarely cultivated. Most varieties offered these days are the result of over 1,000 years of crosses often involving other hibiscus species.

In the tropics, the Chinese hibiscus can form a small tree.

The Chinese hibiscus is a shrub or small tree with woody stems from 3 to 16 feet (1 to 5 m) tall. Its evergreen leaves are shiny dark green (some cultivars have variegated foliage) and elliptic with a toothed margin and a pointed tip.

Chinese hibiscus flower: note the staminal column in the center.

The flowers bear 5 petals, sometimes with a frilly edge, and resemble a funnel in appearance. Or you might like to think of them as looking like a satellite dish. They include a central column composed of a 5-lobed stigma and many yellow stamens.

The original petal color was red, but there is now a wide range of colors: pink, yellow, orange, white, and even, in fancy hibiscus, shades of violet and blue. Often there is a red central eye. Some varieties have double flowers.

Flowers can measure from 4 to 6 inches (10-15 cm) in diameter, even up to 8 inches (20 cm) for fancy varieties.

Sadly, the flowers last for only one day (sometimes 2 or even 3 days for some modern cultivars), but the plant produces others over a long flowering season, almost all year under optimal conditions.

Common Hibiscus or Fancy Hibiscus?

The Chinese hibiscus commonly sold in garden centers has relatively small (about 4 inches/10 cm in diameter), solid-colored flowers often with a red eye. They are usually single, though sometimes double. I simply call this type a “common hibiscus”. It tends to produce several flowers at once and to bloom over a long period. It is often sold without a cultivar name. Quite honestly, common varieties are probably the best choices for the average houseplant lover, if only because they bloom so much more than fancy hibiscus.

Fancy hibiscus come in an amazing array of colours and forms!

Fancy hibiscus are more striking plants, often with dinner-plate-sized, multicolored flowers. Once you’ve seen these “collector’s items”, it’s hard to resist trying one. But you might be disappointed with the results. They don’t flower as abundantly or as regularly as common varieties, often only during the summer and even then, only sporadically.

Fancy varieties are hard to find locally, unless you happen to live in the tropics where there may be specialized local nurseries. Most of us have to order fancy varieties by mail.

They also tend to be hard to root from cuttings. Sometimes the only way of propagating one is by grafting it onto a more vigorous common rootstock. And yes, they are also far more expensive than common hibiscus.

When Growth Retardants Wear Off

The typical common hibiscus sold in garden centers has been treated with a growth retardant (i.e. growth hormones). This chemical stimulates a reduction in stem length without affecting flowering. (In fact, it tends to increase bloom!) The plant then remains compact and densely leafy for 6 months to a year or more, and by that time you take for granted that this low, dense habit is your hibiscus’s natural look. You’ll then get quite a shock when all of a sudden your little hibiscus starts sending up much longer branches with well-spaced leaf nodes, leading to a much sparser appearance and turning your plant from a dense mound to a space-consuming shrub.

You’ll need to prune your hibiscus if you want to keep it compact.

But of course, this is simply a return to a normal hibiscus growth pattern. Since growth retardants (Cycoel, Bonzi, etc.) are not easily available to consumers, you’re only way of controlling the growth of your hibiscus once the growth retardant has worn off is by pruning (more on that later).

General Culture

In this section, I’m limiting my comments on to how to grow a Chinese hibiscus in a temperate climate, one where it will be spending the winters indoors. This is quite different from how you would handle a hibiscus if you were growing it in the ground year long, most likely in hardiness zones 9 to 12. I’ll leave explanations on its outdoor culture to others.

The Chinese hibiscus is not an easy-to-grow houseplant. It takes some experience to grow it well and I certainly wouldn’t recommend it to a beginner. Learn how to grow foliage plants like dracenas and philodendrons and simpler flowering plants like peace lilies and African violets before you embark on trying to grow a hibiscus!

Do note that it’s best to treat the Chinese hibiscus as either an indoor plant that spends the summer outdoors or a summer plant that spends the winter indoors. Hibiscus grown indoors all year long tend to become rather wimpy.

Hibiscus inevitably need to grow near a sunny window.

Hibiscus need a lot of sunshine to do well. During the winter, place it in the sunniest place you have, probably near a south-facing window. When the sun begins to intensify in the spring, you may find in necessary to move it back from the window, at least during the hottest hours of the day. But in any season, it will always need bright light to bloom well.

If light is lacking, you can grow a hibiscus under intense artificial lighting: a 4-tube fluorescent light, for example. Use a timer to provide 16 hours of light per day. However, it remains difficult to give such a large plant adequate light: often a plant grown under artificial lighting is green and floriferous at the top, but loses most of its lower leaves.

In late spring or early summer, when the night temperatures remain above 50˚C (10˚C), begin to acclimatize the plant to outdoor conditions by placing it in the shade for a few days, then partial shade for a few more before exposing it to full sun.

While your hibiscus is actively growing, water it abundantly as soon as the soil is dry to the touch. Depending on growing conditions, the size of the pot and the size of the plant, that can be as often as every 4 days or as infrequently as every 2 weeks.

Don’t let the leaves wilt from lack of water! Yes, the plant will likely recover, but each time it wilts, it loses more leaves and more flower buds. If your plant is constantly wilting, it’s probably seriously root bound: repot it into a larger pot.

If you put your plant into semi-dormancy (more on that later), keep it much drier, watering it just enough so it doesn’t dry up entirely.


Normal indoor temperatures suit this plant fine. Although it can tolerate temperatures as low as 30 or even 28˚F (-1 or -2˚C) for very short periods, it won’t like them. To keep yours growing all year long, you’ll need temperatures above 50˚C (10˚C). Many people find it easier to grow a bit on the cool side (about 60˚F/15˚C) over the winter, as this reduces watering needs and helps keep insect pests at bay, but that isn’t an absolute requirement.

As mentioned, don’t move it outdoors in summer until night temperatures remain above 50˚C (10˚C).

Curiously, despite its tropical origins, your hibiscus may drop its flower buds when temperatures soar to above 90˚F/32˚C). During a heatwave, it may therefore be worthwhile to move it at least temporarily to a shadier, cooler location.

Avoid exposing your hibiscus to dry air: it’s the major cause of the bud drop so many indoor gardeners complain of and it also contributes to leaf yellowing and insect infestations. Yet the air in most homes is desperately dry during the heating season. That’s why it’s is better to use a humidifier or humidity tray to satisfy this plant’s needs over the winter months.


This plant is a heavy feeder. It enjoys regular fertilization, but unless you’re growing it under artificial light, it’s still best to encourage it to slow down a bit during the winter by not fertilizing it between October and the end of February. During the growing season, use the fertilizer of your choice, reducing the rate to a quarter of the recommended dosage.

A hibiscus blooms best when it’s a bit underpotted. In most cases, repotting into a slightly larger pot will only be necessary every 2 to 3 years. Any houseplant potting soil will be fine. The best time for repotting is late winter (late February or March).

Hibiscus can be sold as standards, that is, pruned into a treelike shape. You can turn any hibiscus into a standard by careful pruning.

A lot of gardeners hesitate to prune their hibiscus since it blooms at the branch tips. It’s thus very obvious that pruning will always eliminate some of the flowers to come. In fact, it will take several months for the new branches stimulated by pruning to start producing flowers. On the other hand, you don’t prune it, it becomes overgrown and ungainly. It’s one of those “damned if you do, damned if you don’t” situations.

My recommended approach depends on your growing conditions.

If you have ideal growing conditions – high light, high humidity, moderate to warm temperatures, etc. – and therefore a situation where your hibiscus ought to be able to flower all year, make a habit to cutting back the longest branch or two to about two thirds of its length every 3 months. This will stimulate the growth of new branches that will bloom in a more distant future, yet will still leave the plant with older bud-bearing branches that will bloom over the coming weeks. As a result of this selective and gradual pruning, you’ll get bloom throughout the year on a plant whose height is still being kept under control.

Prune back harshly in late winter for bloom all summer.

On the other hand, if your hibiscus is simply holding on over the winter due to a lack of light and not doing much in the way of growth or blooming (the usual situation in most homes), wait until late February, then cut all the branches back by two-thirds. This will give you a more compact and symmetrical plant that will start bloom just in time for the summer.

Bringing Your Hibiscus Back Indoors

Massive leaf yellowing due to bringing a hibiscus back indoors too late in the season.

The worse mistake beginners make with their hibiscus is bringing it back indoors too late. When you leave it outdoors until late in the season, say until the end of September or into October, it will acclimatize to the cooling nights and higher humidity. Imagine its shock when you suddenly bring in indoors to the heat and dry air of your home! The plant usually reacts by rejecting most of its leaves, which turn yellow and drop off. It also creates a perfect situation for insect pests: they really proliferate on stressed-out plants.

Instead, bring your plant back indoors early, in late August or early September, when conditions indoors and out are approximately identical. Thus, there is no stress, very little leaf yellowing, and fewer insect infestations.

Give your hibiscus a thorough cleaning before you bring it back indoors. You don’t want any insects to come with it! For more information on this, I refer you to Time to Bring Your Houseplants Back Indoors.


Most people have no choice other than to grow their hibiscus at room temperatures, but if you have access to a barely-heated room, one that stays about 40˚F (5˚C) all winter, even if it has no lighting, you can force your plant into a sort of semi-dormancy that will at least keep it alive over the winter.

Your plant will not like this treatment and will lose almost all its leaves, but with this kind of cold treatment plus minimal watering (only water it enough to keep it from dying out completely), you can at least keep it alive until spring. Then it will recuperate when you move it to back to brighter conditions and start to water it again.


You can multiply your hibiscus through stem cuttings, air layering or grafting, but usually only stem cuttings are used by home gardeners. Forget about growing it from any seed it produces: it won’t come true to type.

Many people complain about having trouble getting hibiscus cuttings to root… usually because they try to root them in water (an old-fashioned technique that really ought to be banned).

If you really want to succeed with hibiscus stem cuttings, here’s what to do:

Root hibiscus under high humidity.

  1. In spring or early summer, cut terminal sections of stem about 3 to 4 inches (7 to 10 cm) in length.
  2. Remove any flowers or flower buds as well as any leaves on the bottom half of the cutting.
  3. Apply a rooting hormone to the cut end with a cotton swab.
  4. Insert the cutting into a pot or tray of moist growing mix.
  5. Cover it with a dome or transparent plastic bag to keep the humidity high.
  6. Place it in a warm spot, about 75 to 80˚F (24-27ºC), under medium lighting. Don’t expose the cuttings to full sun as this point or they’ll overheat.
  7. When new leaves appear (and that can take from 3 weeks to 2 months), that means the cutting is rooted and you can begin to acclimate it to normal indoor conditions.

There, that wasn’t that difficult, was it?

Insects and Diseases

Aphids are attacking this hibiscus. Photo: Éric Trépanier

A stressed-out hibiscus is a magnet for unwanted insects. Mealybugs, whiteflies, aphids and red spider mites like nothing better than a weakened hibiscus plant! Therefore step number one in keeping your hibiscus healthy is to ensure that it receives adequate lighting and high atmospheric humidity. Also, cooler temperatures in winter (down to 60˚F/15˚C) tend to discourage pests as well.

Even when you’ve done everything right, pests can still appear, so keep your eyes open. If you see any pests, spray the plant thoroughly with insecticidal soap (not dishwashing detergent) and repeat every 4 to 5 days until you see no more pests.

As for diseases, they’re pretty rare indoors, although hibiscus grown outdoors in the tropics are subject to a few of them

For Further Information

If you are very interested in hibiscus, here are two associations you might want to join: the International Hibiscus Society (the photos on its web site are amazing!) and the American Hibiscus Society.

Watch the video: 10 lines on Hibiscus Flower in english. short essay on hibiscus flower. Selfwritingworld


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