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Northwest Illinois Horticulture Corner

In the far Northwest Corner of Illinois, gardening is a very popular pastime! Get your info here!
Tropical Hibiscus

Tropical Hibiscus; Easy to Grow and Rewarding

Today outside the window is a winter wonderland filled with snow, ice, and very cold temperatures but inside my home my tropical hibiscus (Hibiscus rosa-sinensis) is blooming. This particular tropical hibiscus is a tree from that my son made me buy a few years ago when we were out shopping at a local garden center. Ok, so it really did not take much arm twisting for me to take this beauty home. It was in full flower and I knew it would make the perfect addition to our deck. Ever since then it has spent the summers on the deck and the winters in our dining room.

This week the hibiscus is in full bloom so I thought it appropriate to share its beauty with everyone. It has had about 5 beautiful red blossoms on it this week contrasting against its dark green, glossy leaves. There are many more blossoms set to open in the coming days.

Tropical hibiscus is generally a popular plant at the garden centers in the spring time. They come in several different bloom colors and can be in shrub form or tree form. Some of the tree forms even have a braided trunk adding extra eye appeal to the plant.

I grow my tropical hibiscus in a pot so that it is easy to take in the house in the fall. Use a good quality potting mix in your pot so that there are ample nutrients and good drainage. Although hibiscus like water they do not like to have wet feet.

When it is time to move the hibiscus outside remember to transition the plant so that you do not sunburn the leaves. Consider starting it in a location in the shade on the north side of your home or under a shade tree. Slowly it can be moved closer to the sunlight so that it is getting morning or evening sun. Be sure to make sure you are attentive to the water needs of the plant as being outside their water needs will increase.

The hibiscus will lose leaves when it is stressed. When you first move it in the house for fall, if you allow the leaves to sunburn, or allow the plant to dry out too much the leaves will yellow and drop. Do not let this worry you as with the proper care the plant will bounce back from this. When it bounces back you will be rewarded with beautiful, cheery blooms!

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