If the Chinese rose was once considered boring, then those days are long gone. From a boring plant for the halls of clinics and schools, hibiscus has become the main attraction of the tub. Hibiscus plants in pots show their ability to bloom profusely and for a long time best of all in the garden in summer. But even purely indoor plants are delightfully good. They need careful care and watering without fail, but, with the exception of moisture-loving and fear of cold, they have no whims. Fast growing and colorful, they bring joyful splendor to any décor.
Indoor hibiscus, or Chinese rose – colorful flowering and easy care
Description of the plant
The status of flowering indoor plants in modern hibiscus is undeniable, but hibiscus greens are underestimated. Glossy and fresh, it looks, albeit rustic, but elegant.
Hibiscus, or Chinese roses (Hibiscus rosa-sinensis) from family Malvovye (Malvaceae), depending on the formation, can be shrubs or transform into trees and strict standard forms. Their height is determined by pruning, and can either be limited to a modest 50 cm, or exceed 2 meters.
Hibiscus leaves are oval or ovoid with pointed tips and beautiful jagged edges. They are simple, but very bright due to the beautiful gloss of the surface and the rich medium green, cold color.
Indoor hibiscus blooms from February to October. Almost all year round, especially if the conditions of their detention are close to ideal, and in winter they have enough light. Terry, semi-double and simple gramophone flowers are often decorated with luxurious ruffles and fringes along the edge and always surprise with the purity and brightness of shades.
Bicolor hibiscus or dazzling whites, pinks, reds, yellows, oranges, purples, purples – the colors of hibiscus flowers are strikingly different. The diameter of funnel-shaped flowers with a darker spot in the pharynx and beautiful accrete long stamens can exceed 10 cm.The flowers last only a couple of days.
Hybrids (including groups that retain flowers longer) and abundantly flowering varieties (Long Life Series, Longiflora, Multiflora). Choosing hibiscus is based on the color of the flowers.
Growing conditions for indoor hibiscus
Heat-loving hibiscus loves stability and fresh air. He is able to decorate any interior, but it will not work to place a bush away from the window.
Lighting and placement
Light-loving, but not sun-loving hibiscus will prefer the most bright diffused lighting, without direct rays. If the size allows, it is better to expose them on the east and west windowsills. Large hibiscus are placed as close to the windows as possible so that air circulates freely around the bushes. For the winter, it is worth taking all available measures to increase the lighting to the usual level with a rearrangement to the southern windowsills or supplementary lighting.
True, hibiscus do not like changing places. You need to rearrange the plant very carefully, increasing the humidity of the air. During budding and flowering, even twists and turns can result in dropping buds.
Temperature control and ventilation
Hibiscus do not like heat, but they are not afraid of the temperature rise with sufficient air humidity. They grow best at 18-25 degrees.
Even during the long winter months, it is better not to let these figures fall below 15 degrees to preserve the foliage (the absolute minimum is 10 degrees). The optimum temperature for hibiscus wintering is 16-18 degrees, warm conditions must be compensated for by increasing air humidity.
Sudden changes in temperature usually cause dropping of some leaves and buds. It is better to protect hibiscus from drafts, but without fresh air they will not develop normally. In the summer, they can be taken out into the garden, protecting them from the direct sun and choosing protected warm places.
Home care for hibiscus
Hibiscus instantly reacts to carelessness by dropping buds and flowers, and big problems in care can result in a complete loss of foliage. This plant requires attention, but caring for it is standard rather than difficult.
Watering and air humidity
The moisture content of hibiscus should not be underestimated. They do not tolerate misses with watering and painfully endure even a slight drying out of the soil, signaling by wilting of leaves and dropping of buds. During the period of active growth, hibiscus is watered often and abundantly, allowing only the top of the substrate to dry out. You should not bring the situation to excessive dampness and let the water stagnate in the pallets. As soon as the hibiscus begins a dormant period, watering is reduced, making them scarce, but not allowing the soil to dry out completely.
For hibiscus it is better to provide at least an average air humidity (ideal – 60%). The hotter it is, the higher these numbers should be. Hibiscus cannot stand being near air conditioners and radiators. Spraying is acceptable and desirable, but not at the budding and flowering stage. The best option is to install humidifiers – from professional to pallets with wet pebbles.
Hibiscuses love soulfulness. Dust from the leaves must be removed regularly – by hand, with a damp sponge on small plants or by washing large ones with warm water.
Top dressing and composition of fertilizers
As soon as the rapid growth of hibiscus begins, for them you need to start active frequent feeding – every week with a halved dose or every 2 weeks – full, until the end of flowering. If flowering continues even in winter, feeding is reduced by 3-4 times, but does not stop.
For hibiscus, the presence of iron and magnesium in fertilizers is very important; you should always check the composition of trace elements. Fertilizers for flowering crops are suitable for them. An excess of nitrogen leads to rapid growth to the detriment of flowering, but you should not completely exclude it from top dressing (its lack causes yellowing of the leaves and exposure of the bottom of the bushes). You can alternate liquid and foliar feeding.
Pruning and shaping hibiscus
Hibiscus needs regular pruning to flower. Sanitary cleaning can be carried out at any time, removing damaged and dry leaves and branches, as well as unproductive, weak shoots, “tops”. But the main pruning is best done in the spring, with the first signs of growth – shortening all shoots to 2 – 3 buds or letting the plant grow, limiting itself to pinching. For strict forms, the haircut is carried out along the desired contour.
Transplant, containers and substrate
Hibiscuses are passed over, carefully handling the roots. Transfer is carried out when the old containers become too cramped (once every 1-2 years). The best time to transplant hibiscus is February.
These plants need stable deep containers and a high drainage layer. Hibiscuses require large enough containers, but you should not increase them by more than 4 cm. In cramped conditions, hibiscus do not grow and bloom well, but even with an excess of soil, flowering cannot be achieved. For normal development, a “golden mean” is needed.
Any loose substrate with a pH of about 6.0 can be used. It is better to add loosening additives and charcoal to ready-made soil mixtures.
In years without a transplant, the top 4-6 cm of soil is replaced for a plant with a fresh and nutritious substrate.
After transplanting, hibiscus needs soft watering and lighting with high humidity.
Read also our article Houseplants with the most graceful flowers.
Diseases, pests and growing problems
Except for rot when waterlogged, hibiscus is resistant to disease. But pests – aphids, scale insects, whiteflies, spider mites – are found on them quite often. Simple control methods are ineffective; it is better to immediately apply insecticides on hibiscus.
Hibiscus always react violently to big mistakes in leaving, shedding leaves, they may not notice small mistakes, but only under other ideal conditions. Most often, problems are associated with falling buds and part of the foliage. They may never open up when there is a lack of moisture, fertilizers or in the cold. Any temperature jumps, moving and turning, poor lighting, insufficient feeding, too much drying of the soil cause massive subsidence. Hibiscuses are prone to chlorosis from soft water or iron deficiency.
Reproduction of the Chinese rose
The main method of obtaining offspring in hibiscus is cuttings. The tops of young shoots are rooted under a hood in light soil or water, avoiding waterlogging and drying out.
Cross-pollination is required to obtain seeds. Purchased seeds are used fresh. Hibiscus is sown in the same way as most garden annuals – shallow, under glass, in light soil. For germination, you need a stable humidity and a temperature of 25-28 degrees Celsius.
Read also our article 10 of the best flowering indoor plants.