A Guide to Growing Hibiscus

The key to growing hibiscus outdoors is to select the type that is most suited to your climate and your yard.  The tropical type of hibiscus plant likes very warm weather. So, if you intend on growing this plant outside you should live in a warm climate where ideally it will not fall under 40 degrees in winter. Growing hibiscus from the many new hybrids that are propagated each year will give you a much larger assortment of plants to choose from than existed even a few years ago.

When it comes to growing hibiscus, one of the most important things to consider is the size of the plant. Three different sizes of tropical hibiscus plants have been identified as being acceptable by the hibiscus associations. These are low--meaning it is under three feet tall, medium--which grows in the range of three to six feet, and tall, where the plant grows to be between six and ten feet high.

Tropical hibiscus plants can also be designated by the different forms in which the leaves grow. The categories are upright, open or bushy, which are pretty much self-explanatory. As far as growing hibiscus flowers is concerned, there are now four different sizes available. These are extra large--8 inches and over, large--6 to 8 inches, medium--4 to 6 inches and miniature--under 4 inches across.

In addition to the dimensions of the flower, there are now many flower types. Single, double and semi-double are only the beginning of what you can consider in flower designs. Growing hibiscus now means choosing between windmill, cartwheel, cartwheel overlap, fringed, crested,, recurved, and cup and saucer types. Petals can be frilled, ruffled, fluted, or veined.

The space where you will be growing hibiscus will determine the size of the plant, while the flowers are a matter of personal preference. Many people are so transfixed by flowers that are the size of dinner plates--8 to 12 inches across, that they can’t fathom wanting to grow smaller hibiscus plants. Wherever you place your tropical hibiscus, make sure it will get plenty of sun, no cold, windy drafts, and that you have worked the soil to have all the nutrients it needs while being very well-drained.

Particularly make sure your tropical hibiscus is not planted in a place where it will get extended gusts of wind. Growing hibiscus that are healthy also means you need to provide adequate water at all times for the roots. Usually, this will mean regularly watering the plant every few days.

Making sure your hibiscus is well-fertilized and prune it once a year to get rid of any dead branches and to promote new growth. These are the final two requirements for growing hibiscus. Hibiscus plants are not easy to kill except by frost, so don’t worry too much about caring for your plant. The blooms on a hibiscus plant only last for 24 hours but there will always be new ones and usually many at the same time. Enjoy the beautiful, large flowers!