Known as the favorite flower of the Hindu deity Ganesh, Hibiscus is certainly one of the most commonly seen plants in a garden. The botanical name of the plant is Hibiscus Syriacus. The large flowers with five colorful petals and a long stamen emerging from their center attract attention quite easily. Hibiscus is a sturdy plant and can live for around 40 years or more without much care. Growing Hibiscus in the home garden – be it your balcony, terrace, or even in the kitchen window is not difficult if you follow some basic guidelines offered below.
DIFFERENT TYPES OF HIBISCUS
There are hundreds of varieties of this plant out of which Chinese hibiscus, Hawaiian hibiscus, Checkered hibiscus, Hibiscus Moscheutos, Abelmosk, etc. some of the popular ones.
CHOOSING THE RIGHT CONTAINER
It is best to choose a shallow and broad-mouthed container if you want your hibiscus plant to have an all-round growth. If you will choose a deeper container, most of the plant’s energy will be directed towards growing longer and deeper roots. This will affect the growth of the shoot.
USING THE RIGHT SOIL
Any normal soil is good for this strong plant. However, using loamy soil that is not too heavy or fine and is coarse is better as it provides better aeration. Any garden soil that is enriched with organic manure or compost is fine for hibiscus. A mixture of coarse peat composted cow dung and composted bark or leaves is ideal.
You can grow hibiscus in your home garden either from seeds or from cuttings of the stem. Buy seeds from a good source to avoid diseased plants. When growing from the seeds, make sure to soak the seeds in water the night before sowing them. While using cuttings, take a sprig of about 4-6 inches with a pair of leaves at the tip. Apply a liquid fertilizer to the cut end and plant it in the soil. Cover it with a plastic bag and put in partial shade to avoid drying of the stem. The cutting will form roots in about 8 weeks.
Hibiscus needs plenty of sunlight. 6-8 hours of daily exposure to the sun rays is a good thing for the plant. If the region has too hot a climatic condition, it is best to put the plant in partial shade, particularly during its earlier stages of growth.
WATERING THE PLANT
By nature, Hibiscus is a plant that needs plenty of water for its growth and blossoming. During summer when the climate is hot and winters when the climate is dry, you may need to water it once or even twice a day.
FERTILIZING HIBISCUS PLANT
A diluted liquid fertilizer twice a week is a good way to provide the plant with nutrients. Adding some dish detergent to decrease water tension so that it can penetrate better into the dry soil.
Growing hibiscus in the home garden is easy if you provide the right atmosphere for its growth. Being a tough plant it will grow wonderfully making your garden look lively and colorful.