Looking After Tropical Hibiscus Plants

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When most people think of tropical flowers, among the first types to come to mind are the hibiscus. Whether or not you have a green thumb, you may be attracted to the colorful hibiscus flower. The hibiscus is a long-lasting plant that produces flowers ranging anywhere from two inches to nearly one foot in diameter. Caring for this plant can be a little tricky, and may require a little more attention than other plants and flowers, but it is also very rewarding. Often this flower forms the centerpiece for a tropical garden. If you feel you have the time and space to keep these beautiful plants you should be aware of some of the following guidelines.

Where to Grow Hibiscus

The best place to grow your hibiscus plant is in the ground outdoors, provided you live in a warmer climate. If there is a minimal amount of frost in your area, you can keep your plants outside as long as they are kept covered. Keep your plant protected from the wind and elements as much as possible. Remember, hibiscus are essentially tropical plants, and they are not used to the cold. Place the plant in a location that is primarily in direct sunlight though a bit of shadow certainly won't hurt the plant. In colder climates, it's best to grow the hibiscus in a pot indoors; of course, even if the weather is warm enough to plant it outdoors, you can also choose to enjoy it as a potted plant indoors as well.

Fertilizer and Soil

Fertilizer is important for all plants, but especially tropical flowers, which are accustomed to good soil. 10-10-10 fertilizer is ideal, while those who grow hibiscus often use 7-2-7, which helps to encourage large blooms. Whatever type of fertilizer you decide to use, keep an eye on the nitrogen content. Some hibiscus growers say that it may affect the number of flowers on your hibiscus plant. These plants are known to prefer a soil pH between .60 and 6.5, if you want to get technical.

Caring for your Hibiscus

Like most plants, Hibiscus need plenty of water, fertilizer and light. In addition, you should follow standard plant care practices. Keep your plant pruned and clear of any dead branches or debris; keeping your plant properly pruned will help promote additional growth. Be sure to only prune in early spring, as pruning right before the cold weather hits can be detrimental to tropical plants. Check for infestations of whiteflies, scale, mealy bugs, thrips and aphids, some or all of which may be common in your region. There a variety of home-based remedies that you can use to take care of these infestations.

Regardless of your experience growing plants, you'll no doubt enjoy owning and caring for a hibiscus. Although a hibiscus may require more attention than other plants, the beauty of the flowers will no doubt brighten your home! Whether you want to be reminded of your latest vacation to Hawaii, or are trying to recreate the look of a tiki bar in your backyard, these are beautiful plants to grow!

Gardening Articles: http://organicgardenarticles.com/

Author: Rene Thompson
Royal Tiki has a wide range of Tiki, hand-carved on Hawaii. Also check our Tiki bar specials

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