Caring for the Hybrid Hibiscus
If you are looking for a plant that will flower in masses then look no further, the hibiscus plant is so amazing this tropical beauty has proven that it can light up your garden areas with its beauty and charm. There are many species of hibiscus which has a range of flower colors.
On many occasions, I have taken trips to some of the local plant nurseries and one plant which I am always sure to find is the hibiscus but what amazes me at times is to see the many flower style with dazzling and radiant color bloom these plants produce.
I live in a tropical region and the hibiscus plant can be found growing not only on commercial properties but in many home gardens, the natives just love these plants and take full advantage of them by growing them in abundance.
So for a sense of the tropic or to get a taste of the tropics installing these beauties in your garden or landscape designs will work wonders. However, in this post, we will be looking at the growth and the care of the hybrid hibiscus.
Definition of Hybrid
Don’t let this word scare you, just joking but the definition of hybrid is simply crossbreeding to different types of plant which are the parent plant if I can use that word to produce an offspring which is better in character or of a higher quality although it has the traits of the parent plants combined.
So it is with the hybrid hibiscus which is just cross breathing to have a different type of flowering plant while caring the seem traits combined. With that said let’s take a look at the growth and the care of the hybrid hibiscus.
When installing hybrid hibiscus look for any area that gets full sun because these are tropical plants that love these conditions. Place your hybrid hibiscus three feet apart to grow comfortably as they mature.
The soil should be slightly acidic with the ability to hold moisture but drains well, incorporating peat moss with your garden soil will help with this.
When watering your hybrid hibiscus ensure that the soil is moist because hibiscus loves moisture but don’t drown your hibiscus in water because overwatering can lead to root rot, yellowing, and browning of the leaves along with leaf drop.
To promote flower bloom and to keep your hybrid hibiscus healthy a fertilizer that is high in potassium will work wonders. Before applying fertilizers read and follow the manufacturer’s label because the label is the law.
Garden insect pest of the hybrid hibiscus
The hybrid hibiscus which is a tropical beauty is not short of garden insect pest. You will discover these uninvited guests seeking to make a meal out of your hibiscus.
Aphids are tiny pared shape insects that cause damage by sucking the plant’s fluids turning the leaves yellow followed by leaf drop. Aphids are among the easiest of garden insect pests to eliminate. A strong spray of water from a garden hose will knock them off your hibiscus plant eliminating them however this strong spray of water can also break the leaves.
The use of insecticidal soap will give good results or a homemade remedy that has proven to be effective is soap liquid and water. Add a tablespoon of soap liquid to a gallon of water shake well and apply to a 32 oz spray bottle. When applying this mixture get both the top and the underside of the leaves. Adjust the head or the spray nozzle so that this solution can come out fine and misty getting full coverage.
Coarse droppings will be ineffective. This solution should be applied on a few of the lower leaves to see if it doesn’t have an adverse effect on your hibiscus plant, wait for at least a day or 24 hours. If there is no adverse effect then go ahead and spray the entire plant. Wait for seven days and if there are still signs of aphids then repeat the application and follow as was directed.
There are many species of scale insects. These garden pests cause plant injury by injecting their piercing-sucking mouthparts into the plant’s leaves and extracting the plant’s fluids or sap which can lead to yellowing and browning of the foliage.
Scales are tiny insects with bodies that resemble and armor, these garden insects pest remains in a fixed position or motionless but pay that no mine because the damage is being done. This feeding can also lead to sooty mold. Applying neem oil or insecticidal soap will bring these garden insect pests under control.
Mealybugs are very common among garden insects pest and feed on a host of garden plants. Mealybugs can be easily identified by a white waxy mealy covering that looks somewhat like cotton. These bugs can cause the same damage as aphids, mites, and scales. The use of insecticidal soap will bring them under control.
Thrips can cause server damage, I have had many challenging experiences with them. The adult thrips are tiny and slender, with colors of black, brown, or yellow. Their babies resemble the parents and are yellow to light green.
The damage of thrips includes white patches on the plant’s leaves along with streaks and slivery speckling this damage is caused because the fluid is being extracted from the plant by these garden insect pests. A serious infestation may also cause leaf drop, twisting of the leaves, or the leaves being deformed. The use of insecticidal soap will offer some help.
Whiteflies are tiny white-winged insects that feed by sucking the plant’s fluids which can lead to yellowing of the leaves followed by the leaf drop. To identify whiteflies gently shake or tap your hibiscus if a bunch of white insects dislodges from the tree and then quickly re-attaches they are whiteflies. The use of insecticidal soaps will bring these garden insect pests under control.
Diseases of hybrid hibiscus
These diseases can put a damper on things but don’t worry, fight back to ensure that your hybrid hibiscus bounces back.
- Leaf Spot
Blights in hibiscus appear as discolored leaves and stems which wilts and drops of plant, leaf dieback, the buds may not open and there may be bud rot and spotted flowers. To prevent or control this disease water from the soil level avoiding overhead irrigation keep the leaves dry as much as possible, pruning when this fungus is less active during the dryer season, ensuring proper air circulation by thinning your hibiscus and removing diseased parts.
Leaf spot which is influenced by fungus shows up as irregular spots on the plant’s leaves which are discolored, in the more extreme case your hybrid hibiscus will experience leaf drop. To bring this disease under control clean up fallen leaves and other debris keeping the surrounding area clean.
Root rot is encouraged by saturated soils that are waterlogged with poor drainage, signs include mushrooms that grow from the soil at the plant’s base, leaves that turn from green to yellow and then brown followed by premature leaf drop along with stem dieback.
To prevent rots ensure that your hybrid hibiscus is planted in well-drained soil and do not overwater, allow the soil to dry a bit before giving your hibiscus another drink.
Ideas on where to install the hybrid hibiscus
Here are a few ideas on where to install the hybrid hibiscus.
1. The hybrid hibiscus can be installed and use as a hedge.
2. Use them as a backdrop in a garden plant bed.
3. Plant them alongside a fenced area.
4. What about alongside a wall?
5. Install them as a stand-alone or specimen plant.
6. Plant them along your pool area.
7. Place them in containers and place the containers around your pool area or what about your patio or porch.
8. Place them in containers and place the containers on either side of your front door entrance.
9. Install them along a garden walk pathway.
10. Plant them along a driveway.
Growing hybrid hibiscus in containers.
When installing your hybrid hibiscus in a container ensure that the container is large enough so that your hibiscus can sit comfortably and ensure that your container has drain holes to allow excess water to drain.
The use of good garden soil that is well-drained but will hold the right amount of water is ideal. The soil should be somewhat moist because these plants love moisture but don’t overwater which can lead to root rot and other issues. Fertilizer as stated earlier and also keep an eye out for garden insect pests and disease as mentioned. Your container should be placed in an area that gets full sun to keep your hybrid hibiscus growing healthy and happy.
Pruning your hybrid hibiscus
There so many benefits to pruning your hybrid hibiscus, for a fuller plant with a mass of beautiful flower production pruning is a must. Pruning will also keep your plants growing at the desired height along with the removal of diseased and insect-infested plant parts.
The ideal time to prune your hybrid hibiscus is during the spring when the plant is actively growing, When pruning or cutting back your hybrid hibiscus remove about a third of the plant, the number of nodes that should be left on the branches for new growth should be 2-3. Branches that are crossing, growing towards the middle, dead, leggy, and overgrown should also be removed. Remember to keep the soil moist and fertilize with a fertilizer that is high in potassium.
The final word
The hybrid hibiscus is an amazing tropical plant that can give you that wonderful flower bloom which is so inviting, Investing in these garden beauties will truly give you the taste of the tropics so go for it and make these plants a part of your garden and landscape designs.