This legend is widely known in East Asia. She tells how the miraculous properties of the hibiscus flower were revealed to man.
Exhausted by the long journey through the jungle, the traveler who had lost his way sat down to rest. He was hungry and thirsty. Situated among the trees and bushes, he began to build a fire. Pouring water into the pot, he dreamed that the gods would send him food. Suddenly, from somewhere above, several red flowers fell into the pot, saturating the water with a ruby red color.
The traveler ventured to try the tea, which was surprisingly aromatic and tasty. Each sip gave him a burst of energy. A new sip brought back the feeling of cheerfulness. Leaving the jungle, the traveler took these wonderful flowers with him. He distributed them to the people of those villages that met on the way, telling about the amazing properties of the drink. A lot of time has passed since then, until the news of hibiscus tea spread all over the world.
Hibiscus. Farmer Burea-Uinsurance.com Gary Williams
Hibiscus (Hibiscus) Is an extensive genus of plants of the Malvaceae family (Malvaceae). According to various sources, it includes from 150 to 200-220 species, some sources indicate up to 300. Hibiscus are found wild and cultivated. Mostly shrubs and trees. There are also perennial and annual grasses. Distributed in the Old and New World, in the subtropics and tropics. They are bred by gardeners in a harsh continental climate.
The leaves are more or less incised, petiolate. The flowers in most hibiscus species are large, graceful, with brightly colored corollas. The fruit is in the form of a capsule, splitting into 5 valves, contains many seeds, covered with fluff or fibers, or smooth.
Southeast Asia is considered the homeland of hibiscus, but they grow freely in Africa and America. In America, they form whole thickets, lushly covered with flowers, in wet floodplain meadows. For their great love of moisture there they are called “marsh mallow”. In Hawaii, hibiscus is considered a national plant, called the “flower of beautiful women.” In Brazil, there is a diversified hibiscus called “princess earrings”. It has split petals and a long peduncle on which it sways gracefully, really resembling an exquisite earring.
Hibiscus in places where they grow are not only for decorative purposes. Young leaves and shoots are eaten as vegetables. Seeds, leaves, fruits, roots are used in medicine. Necklaces are made from seeds. From the flowers, black hair dye and purple hair dye are obtained for the food industry. Dried fruit pieces Hibiscus sabdariffa (Hibiscus sabdariffa) – an indispensable component of fruit teas. It goes on sale under the names “Hibiscus tea”, “Malvovy tea”, “Sudanese rose”, “Hibiscus”.
We have the best known cultivated as a houseplant Hibiscus chinese rose (Hibiscus rosa-sinensis), or Chinese rose from Southeast Asia. How a spicy vegetable plant is grown in the southern regions Edible hibiscus (Hibiscus esculentus), or okra. In temperate regions, okra can be grown in greenhouses and greenhouses.
Okra, or Okra, or Gombo, or Ladies’ fingers (Abelmoschus esculentus, formerly classified as Hibiscus esculentus)
Popular types of hibiscus
Hybrid hibiscus (Hibiscus hybridus)
Hybrid hibiscus are herbaceous perennials with very large, bright, showy flowers. They are propagated in spring (with the onset of stable warm weather, when the buds on the root collars begin to swell) by dividing the bushes, green cuttings and grafting. These ornamental plants are good for large flower arrays, mixed borders, parterres, boulevards, edges, banks of reservoirs, they are planted in meadows in the park and among rare bushes in the southern regions of Russia.
Chinese Hibiscus (Hibiscus rosa-sinensis)
Chinese hibiscus, or Chinese rose, grows in East Asia and the Pacific Islands. Introduced to Europe at the end of the 500th century. About 3 varieties are known. A very decorative evergreen shrub, the height of which (at home) reaches 12 m. Under cultural conditions, it is a very famous greenhouse, indoor plant. Leaves are dark green, glossy above, oval- or ovate-elongated, serrated along the edge. Chinese hibiscus blooms from early spring to late autumn. The flowers are large (16-XNUMX cm in diameter), simple, semi-double, of various colors – from fiery and orange-red to pink and yellow, depending on the variety.
- Anita Buis – flowers are simple, yellow-orange.
- Florida – flowers are large (up to 14 cm in diameter), orange-red.
- Hamburg – flowers are large, double, carmine red.
- Rosa – semi-double and double flowers, salmon pink.
Hibiscus dissected (Hibiscus schizopetalus)
Dissected hibiscus can be found under the synonym Chinese hibiscus, variety – dissected (Hibiscus rosa-sinensis var.schizopetalus). Homeland – Central Africa. A shrub with thin shoots and shiny green leaves. Red-orange flowers 5 cm in diameter with bent petals, deep and uneven fringe. Greenhouse and indoor plant.
Syrian hibiscus (Hibiscus syriacus)
Syrian hibiscus comes from China, India. Its original exotic flower is the symbol of the island of Haiti. Locals and numerous tourists adorn themselves with it. In some provinces of India, red and pink flowers are woven into wedding wreaths.
Features of growing hibiscus
Flowering: Hibiscus blooms from spring to autumn.
Growth: The plant grows fast.
World: bright diffused, in the spring-summer period without direct sunlight. In the autumn-winter period – good lighting, direct rays are allowed.
Temperature: moderate, in the spring-summer period +18 .. + 22 ° С. Autumn-winter period – +14 .. + 16 ° С, at temperatures below + 10 ° С it can shed leaves.
Watering: during the growing season and flowering – abundant, as the top layer of the substrate dries up. In the autumn-winter period, watering is moderate, two to three days after the top layer of the earth has dried. When the plant is kept (in winter) at temperatures below + 14 ° C, the soil is kept moderately moist.
When watering, do not allow drying out and excessive waterlogging of the substrate.
Air humidity: does not play a significant role, but it is advisable to spray the plants, especially during flowering. This procedure is also a prophylaxis against spider mites.
Additional fertilizing: in the spring-summer period, regular (once a month) fertilizing with nitrogen-containing mineral fertilizers (stimulate long flowering). In winter, only phosphorus-potassium fertilizer is applied in a half dose 1 time per month, or (with an almost dry content in cool conditions) it is not fertilized.
The rest period: November-February. Optimum temperature +14 .. + 16 ° С, good lighting, moderate watering. It can hibernate in a pruned state – in the fall, watering the plants is gradually reduced to a minimum and leaves are allowed to fall, and then the stems are cut, leaving hemp 7-8 centimeters. In this state, the hibiscus overwinters in a cool place (+10 .. + 12 ° C) – so that the roots do not dry out, the hibiscus soil is slightly moistened from time to time
Transfer: young – every spring. Adults cross every three to four years.
Reproduction: cuttings, less often seeds.
Home care for hibiscus
Hibiscus prefers diffused light, without direct sunlight.
The optimal placement of hibiscus in the summer is windows with a west or east orientation. On windows with a south orientation in the spring-summer period, place the plant far from the window or create diffused light with a translucent cloth or paper (gauze, tulle, tracing paper). Subject to the rules of care, it can grow well and even bloom on north-facing windows.
On warm summer days, hibiscus can be taken out into the open air (balcony, garden), but it should be protected from sunlight, rain and drafts. If you do not have the opportunity to place the plant outdoors in the summer, then you should regularly ventilate the room.
In winter, good lighting is provided for hibiscus, no shading is required. Additional lighting can be created by using fluorescent lamps, placing them above the plant at a distance of 50-60 cm, for at least 8 hours a day. In the autumn-winter period, it is also necessary to ventilate the room, but drafts should be avoided.
With a lack of lighting, the plant may bloom poorly or not at all.
During the growing season and flowering period, hibiscus is watered abundantly, as the top layer of the substrate dries up. In the autumn-winter period, watered moderately, two to three days after the top layer of the substrate dries.
When watering, do not allow drying out and excessive waterlogging of the substrate. Water from the pallet, pour out half an hour after watering. Pour with soft and well-settled water.
Air humidity does not play a significant role, but it is advisable to spray the plants. This procedure is also a preventive measure against spider mites. During flowering, especially on clear warm days, hibiscus is sprayed with warm soft settled water. In the autumn-winter period, you can spray the plants with warm water from time to time.
In the spring-summer period, regular (once a month) feeding of hibiscus with nitrogen-containing mineral fertilizers is useful (this stimulates long flowering). Can be fed with special complex fertilizers for flowering indoor plants, every 1 weeks. You can use “Rainbow”, “Ideal”, etc. It is very useful after watering with clean water to feed once a month with a fermented solution of bird droppings (3 part solution for 1 parts of water) or liquid mullein (1 part of infusion for 20 parts of water). By mid-August, the amount of nitrogen in the dressing is reduced. In winter, only phosphorus-potassium fertilizer is applied in a half dose once a month, or (with an almost dry content in cool conditions) it is not fertilized. Top dressing is applied after watering.
In late April – early May, adult plants are transferred to large pots (once every three to four years). If the soil is not sour and there are no pests in it, you can simply replace the top 1 cm layer of soil with fresh nutrient. As soon as the flower reaches its maximum size in your conditions, do not repot it, but carefully remove it from the pot and replace some of the soil. The soil for hibiscus is used close to neutral (pH about 5), light, nutritious. It can be prepared from 6 parts of turf, 4 parts of leaf, one part of humus earth and sand. Pieces of charcoal are added to the mixture. Do not use unripe manure and dry mullein. A mixture of turf, humus and sand (3: 2: 1) may also work. You can add some peat and bone meal. Good drainage is needed, as the plant does not tolerate stagnant water very well.
Hibiscuses are cultivated as large or small bushy or standard plants, the various crown shapes of which can be obtained by timely correct pruning.
To increase the decorative effect of the crown and stimulate the development of a large number of young shoots that form flowers (flower buds in hibiscus are laid on the shoots of the current year), after transplanting (for young) or replacing the topsoil (for adults), the plant must be cut to the bud at about a distance 15 cm from the base. When new shoots begin to form, remove the weak ones and leave the healthiest ones.
To delay the flowering of hibiscus until fall or winter, the plants must be replanted and pruned in May. Until then, they should be dormant with very moderate watering. In July, they are pruned again. As a result, flower buds form only in early autumn. The resulting cuttings of twigs can be used for propagation.
Hibiscus is able to grow back from the root. This property is convenient for those gardeners who have a shortage of light and space in the apartment, and because of which there is nowhere to put an extra pot with a flower in winter. In autumn, watering the plants is gradually minimized and the leaves are allowed to fall, and then the stems are cut, leaving hemp 7-8 centimeters. In this state, the hibiscus overwinters in a cool place (10..12 ° C) – so that the roots do not dry out, the hibiscus soil is slightly moistened from time to time, and after three to four months the plant will give fresh shoots. From this time on, it must be exposed to the light and watered, not forgetting to pinch young shoots, as they grow very quickly.
Reproduction of hibiscus
Hibiscus is propagated by seeds, cuttings.
Hibiscus seeds are sown from mid-January to mid-March. Before planting, they are soaked for 12 hours in epine. Sowed into a mixture of peat and sand. The dish is covered with glass, the temperature is maintained at 25..27 ° C. Using a mini greenhouse or underfloor heating promotes better seed germination. Spray and ventilate periodically. When the seedlings form two or three leaves, they are dived into pots of the appropriate size. Seedlings bloom and bear fruit at 3-4 years of age.
It is easy to propagate hibiscus by cuttings. They are cut in June-August from the tops of a young growth with 2-3 internodes. The sections are treated with growth stimulants. Cuttings root well after 25-30 days in indoor greenhouses with soil heated to 22..25 ° C (a mixture of peat and sand or clean sand) or in pots covered with a glass jar, or in water. After the roots appear, they are planted in 7-10 cm pots with a soil mixture of humus (2 parts), leafy and turfy soil and sand (1 part each), watered with warm water. It is good to add horn shavings and bone meal to the mixture.
For the correct formation of the hibiscus bush, pinch the smaller shoots. Young plants grow very quickly, so they may need to transplant into a larger pot within a few months after rooting. In the future, they need to be transplanted annually into fresh fertile soil. The transplant is carried out in early spring before flowering. Before this, it is useful to prune the plant, this stimulates abundant branching and flowering. The branches are cut two thirds or half of their length. With good lighting and abundant watering, flowering plants can be obtained in 1 year.
Possible difficulties in growing hibiscus
Buds appear on the plant, but do not open and soon fall off – the plant lacks nutrients; watering is not plentiful, the soil dries out very much; low air temperature.
The lower leaves of the hibiscus fall off, the new ones grow yellowish – chlorosis of the leaves has arisen due to the increased content of chlorine and calcium in the irrigation water, while there is a lack of nitrogen and iron (it is imperative to defend the water for irrigation and add iron chelate to it according to the instructions); root disease from hypothermia with abundant watering and low temperatures; too dry indoor air combined with high temperatures and insufficient spraying.
The absence of flowers in hibiscus in the presence of lush numerous foliage – the plant is overfed with fertilizers with a high nitrogen content; content in an insufficiently bright place; insufficient watering during the active growing season;
winter maintenance at a fairly high temperature.
Lack of light combined with excess nutrition can cause dirty pink spots on the leaves.
The roots of a plant can dry out from cold soil.
With a lack of moisture, the leaves wilt and become lethargic.
When kept in a warm room in winter, with temperatures above 15 ° C, leaves may dry on the plant if the air is too dry.
Damaged by: aphids, thrips, whitefly, spider mites.