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Grown for their large and showy blooms, hibiscus plants add a ton of color to a garden. Whether you are growing the hardy rose of Sharon types or the tropical varieties, either will give plenty of blooms throughout the season. The tropical types in particular can easily bloom most of the year, and come in dozens colors to choose from.
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From 3 to 20 feet
Up to 8 feet
With so many colors to choose from, you are bound to find a hibiscus that will work with your garden palette. The only color these versatile plants don't come in is true blue. In tropical varieties, the large flowers typically last for just one day. Luckily, these plants can put on blooms almost the whole season, as long as they have plenty of sunshine. Many types even have bi-color blooms or other fun special effects.
Hibiscus Care Must-Knows
Hibiscus are easy-to-grow plants that require very little maintenance, and they like well-drained soils. During hot summers, be sure to water hibiscus daily to prevent them from dropping any flower buds due to heat stress. All types of hibiscus like full sun and will develop the most amount of flowers possible when in full sun. Full sun will also help these plants have strong branches, as tropical types of hibiscus especially tend to have poor branching. The branches may need some supplemental pruning to help shape the plants and prevent them from being too sparse. Do this in the spring, right before the heat of the summer encourages a new flush of growth.
Tropical types of hibiscus make wonderful container plants. Make sure to plant tropical hibiscus in a general-purpose potting mix and to use a slow release fertilizer, as they are heavy feeders. You can also water the plants with a general-purpose fertilizer every other week, or even just once a month, to help promote blooms. Is your hibiscus not blooming? See why.
If you have these tropical plants in a container outside for the season and plan to bring them back inside for the winter, make sure to give them as much sun as you can. Cooler temperatures and lower light inside slow these plants down, so don't plan on blooms all winter long. If they do try to bloom, you may find it beneficial to pinch the buds off so that the plants focus their energy on surviving and not blooming.
Lately, there has been a fair amount of research going on in the world of tropical hibiscus. Whether in the novelty domain, where people are breeding specifically for interesting colors and patterns, or in the wholesale plant trade to make overall improvements, there have been many developments. A new series called the Hollywood Series features great new color options on dwarf plants perfect for containers. These varieties also feature blooms that stay open for several days longer than original hibiscus breeds.