Look at you! Planting your bright and tropical Hibiscus roots! Actually, this Hibiscus is native to North America (commonly known as Rose Mallow) so your new plant friend will feel right at home - with a little help from you, of course! So let’s dig in. (Ha! See what we did there?) Start by soaking your Hibiscus root in room temperature water for about 2-4 hours to re-hydrate it before planting. Hibiscus plants will do well in containers or planted into the ground. Dig a whole about twice the size of the root, (or choose a pot about 3 times the size of the root), then fill it back in a bit so that you place the roots on soft soil, fanning them out gently at a depth just below the surface of the ground or rim of the pot. Fill in the hole around your Hibiscus with the remaining soil, tucking in the roots gently, so that the top of your plant (the crown) is level to the surface. The eyes should be covered by ½” - 2” of soil. Now give your roots a few solid pats to compress the soil around it, a long drink of water, and stick your Plantgem marker on the spot so you’ll remember where your Hibiscus lives now.
Your hibiscus needs tons and tons of sun, sun, sun. The more the better! However, they are native to swamps, so you’ll want to make sure the soil stays evenly moist for this little friend- they will stop flowering and start to wilt if too dry. Mulching the roots will help with this - keeping soil moist is tricky for plants that need to be in the sun all the time! Be sure to stick your finger in the soil regularly to check the moisture level. It will help you establish your watering routine. If planting in a pot, use quality potting soil, rich with compost. If planting outdoors, consider supplementing your soil with compost or quality top soil - your hibiscus will thank you (with flowers, of course).
Hibiscus plants are one of those bittersweet beauties whose blooms last for just one day. But don’t fret - in the right conditions, they will bloom profusely, and all summer long. These flowers aren’t for bouquets - but boy are they a sight to behold on the bush. Plant where they can be admired as much as possible! Your Hibiscus will go into dormancy in the winter. This means that its foliage will fall in autumn. Cut back spent stems and wilted leaves throughout the growing season to keep it tidy and blooming. Let it do its own thing during fall and winter; wait until early next spring to cut down old growth from this season. Hibiscus don't like getting pruned when they are entering their dormancy.
Hibiscus, like most plants, can be prone to bad bugs. (They are just so delicious! Have you made tea with one yet?) We highly recommend Arber’s natural insecticide or a 3-in-1 insecticide, anti-fungal, fertilizer spray. Apply when leaves are dry, in the evening, as to not burn the leaves. Avoid the flowers themselves, as bees often hide in them. Again, your Hibiscus will stop flowering and start to wilt if it doesn’t get enough sunshine and water- it needs plenty of both!