When you first get into gardening, you will quickly come to notice that there are many, many different kinds of plants out there that you can hone your focus in on. Some people prefer to focus on plants that will produce fruit, such as trees and bushes. Other people might want to focus more on plants that will add vibrant splashes of color to their lawns.
No matter what type of plant you are most interested in, you will quickly find that there are going to be endless flowers that you can choose from. For example, if you are looking for a splash of color to add to the lawn, there are several categories of flowers you can look into. There are perennials, annuals, and biennial flowers, each of which will bloom every so often assuming that you know how to care for them.
If you are really looking for something that is in the crux of vibrant colors and adding some tropical feelings to your garden, then you should look no further than the hibiscus plant. Hibiscus is a flower that will often come in a number of flashy colors and has a notable appearance that can make any garden turn heads if you know how to plant it properly. With that being said, knowing how to plant a hibiscus and keep it blooming for as long as possible are two different things.
Being able to plant a hibiscus plant involves knowing how much sun, shade, and water it needs as well as making sure that you plant it at the right time of the year. With enough research, this is something that just about anyone can do. Keeping a plant blooming for as long as its life will allow is another story. There is a bit more fine-tuning involved to make this work, but in the end, it will be worth it when you can continue to watch your hibiscus plant bloom.
Providing the Ideal Situation
The thing that you will want to pay attention to the most when you are trying to get as many blossoms out of your hibiscus is where you plant it in your yard. The more ideal of a place you can choose for your hibiscus plant, the more nutrients that it will be able to get from both the sun and the ground. This will provide it with the resources it needs to produce more blooms, so that you can keep them coming as the weeks pass.
You are first going to want to make sure that the soil will be acceptable for the hibiscus. Hibiscus plants will usually want a rich soil, preferably one that has been enriched with compost and earthworms so that the plant can immediately get a head start on the nutrients. A study even found that hibiscus plants will offer bigger and higher-quality blooms when it is planted in compost versus standard soil.
You can encourage more blooms out of your hibiscus plant by using a type of fertilizer that is focused toward blooms and blossoms. Typically, a 16-16-16 fertilizer will do the trick for hibiscus plants and emphasize how their blooms look. You should apply this type of fertilizer according to the instructions that will be located on the container.
Finally, in regards to the soil, you will want to try and keep the hibiscus plant in an area that has a soil pH between 6.5 and 6.8. You can test the soil acidity beforehand so that you can make any adjustments to reach the prime pH for your hibiscus plant. You can increase the pH of soil by adding special products to increase the alkalinity and you can decrease the pH by adding specialized soil sulfur. If you alter the pH of the soil, you should wait about two weeks before testing it again to make sure that the nutrients have been absorbed into the soil enough to affect the pH levels.
Maintaining the Hibiscus
Just as you should make sure that you are providing the best planting environment possible for your hibiscus plant if you want it to produce a lot of blossoms, you should also make sure that you are providing the best maintenance for the plant.
While there are many garden plants that focus on being low-maintenance and easy to care for (such as the hibiscus), if you want your plant to do something specific like have an increased bloom output, you are going to need to care for it more often so it has a higher chance of producing what you want.
This includes watering the plant regularly when rain is not occurring, fertilizing the plant with another solution, and pruning the plant. Of course, this will also involve the standard checks for any pests or fungus damage to the plant while you are maintaining its health, but unless you live in an area where other plants have fallen victim to fungus or pests, this should not be a priority.
First things first, you will want to water the plant regularly. The first week after it is planted, you should water it daily, tapering it off to once every two weeks after that, and then twice a week after that. You should continue using the twice a week ideal, aside from when there is rainfall. If the weather becomes notably hot and dry, you can switch back to watering daily.
You will also want to apply bloom-boosting fertilizer to the plant once it is in the ground. Here, you will typically want to add the fertilizer when you see new growths on the plant, applying the fertilizer every two weeks for as long as the new growths keep appearing (which they should if you follow through properly).
For the additional blooms, you should aim for a 0-10-10 solution for the fertilizer. As a monthly addition for the sake of the plant’s health, you should add a 0.13-0-0.60 mixture of fertilizer.
Most importantly, you are going to want to prune the plant so that you can promote the additional blossoms. This is going to involve a process known as deadheading and it is crucial to helping your hibiscus produce as many blossoms as possible.
For this process, you are going to want to prune the shrub back by approximately one third during the late winter and early spring, especially if you live in a milder climate. While you are doing this, you should remove crossing and dead branches so that new ones can grow in their place. All of the stems of the hibiscus plant should remain the same length as well so that everything is both uniform and efficient.
After the first bloom has been completed in the mid spring or early summer, you will want to cut the plant’s branches and stems back by another one-third so that you can encourage an influx of new blooms to take place. This will allow you to make your hibiscus look even more vibrant and beautiful for the next few weeks as your plant continues to produce the vibrant flowers that everyone knows and loves.
The deadheading process is also pretty simple. The blooms of the hibiscus plant are notoriously fragile, usually only lasting for about a day or two before they wilt away.
You can make some space for new blooms and blossoms by cutting off the dead flowers as soon as you notice they are dead. This is known as deadheading and it will encourage new blossoms to take the place of the old ones that have been removed from the tree.
Preparing and Protecting the Hibiscus Over the Winter
For tropical plants like the hibiscus, any form of winter is hard for the plant to handle. If you want to make sure that your hibiscus blooms properly next year, you are going to want to do what you can to try and preserve the hibiscus’ life. If you live in an area that tends to have cold winters, you are going to need to bring your hibiscus inside, especially overnight, while still letting it get its two to three hours of direct sunlight each day.
If you do move your plant inside, you will want to have it face a south-, east-, or west-facing window so that it can get the best quality sunlight for its needs. You should also try to make sure that it will not need as much watering during the winter. If your home is well-heated during these months, your hibiscus is going to need more watering because the heat can accidentally dry the plant out.
If your hibiscus tries to bloom during the winter, you should cut those blossoms off when you see them. You do not want to encourage the plant to bloom in the winter because it will only be expending its energy by producing blossoms that won’t be nearly as beautiful or as strong as the ones that bloom during the summer months when this plant tends to thrive.
These are just a few of the ways that you can not only preserve the life of your hibiscus plant, but you will also be able to increase the number and quality of the blooms it produces throughout the years. If this goes well, your hibiscus will be blooming for many more years to come.