How to Care for a Potted Hibiscus

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Hibiscus plants are very hardy and will last for years if they are properly taken care of. By placing the hibiscus in pots, you have the option of moving them around to create tropical settings whenever you wish. You can also bring them indoors in the winter and enjoy the beautiful bloom all year long. They will need more care then if planted outdoors though, because eventually they will need to be replanted or pruned.

Things You'll Need

  • Flower pot
  • Hibiscus plant
  • PH balanced potting soil
  • Compost
  • Fertilizer
  • Mix a small amount of compost in the potting soil and plant the hibiscus in a pot. The pot should have sufficient draining capability and a water catch pan under it. Place the pot in an area that gets partial sun on the first day and move it to get more sun each day for a week or two. Then leave in it full sun. If the temperature gets too high, give the plant some shade during the hottest hours of the day.

  • Water the plant every day. Hibiscus like constant water, but not to be soaked. Water in the morning so the water dries up during the day. If the plant is getting too much or too little water it will start to drop its leaves. Too much water can lead to fungal disease and packing of the soil.

  • Use fertilizer for potted hibiscus. The mixture should be in the range of 10-4-12. A small amount of liquid fertilizer can be applied along with water every day or granular fertilizer can be used after watering. Granular fertilizers can burn the roots if too much is used or not enough water is applied. Mulch placed over the fertilizer can keep it from breaking down too quickly.

  • Protect the plant from stress. If you have your potted hibiscus outdoors, bring it in or move to a protected area if you have a very heavy rain or high winds. Partially shade it if the sun is beating on it and it is over 85 degrees. Indoors, keep it in an area that gets sun most of the day and move it if it gets too hot for a few hours midday.

  • Kill insect infestation by mixing 2 tbsp. of Dawn dish soap in a gallon of water and spraying on the plant. Use the spray twice a week until insects are gone. If there is a severe infestation you can use a chemical insecticide and follow directions for use. Most chemical insecticides will not harm the plant.

  • When the plant starts to get root bound or stops producing buds, replant it in the next size up pot. If you want to keep the plant the same size you can prune both the roots and the plant and place it back in the pot. Take about 1/3 or the roots and 1/3 of the plant off. Keep it watered well, but not soaked while it heals from the pruning.

  • Photo Credit rosy83
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