Have you ever seen orange Hibiscus flowers? Previously, you may have seen pink Hibiscus, but this one is orange. So, what hibiscus is this? Then, how to grow this kind of hibiscus? Here, you are able to find the answers from these questions.
What is Orange Hibiscus?
Orange Hibiscus is Hibiscus rosa-sinensis ‘orange’ and the other names of this plant are Chinese Hibiscus, Shoeblackplant and Tropical Hibiscus. This plant is native to tropical Asia and it produces pretty orange flowers. It blooms periodically throughout the year.
Their leaves are glossy green. Usually people like to wear the flowers in their hair or eat them raw or cooked. In the Pacific Islands, the flower is used in salads. In certain parts of India, the flowers of this Hibiscus is used to shine shoes. In Chinese herbology, Hibiscus rosa-sinensis is considered to have some medical uses.
How to Grow Orange Hibiscus
There are several things that you need to think when you grow this plant. According to Pennington, here is the information about it. The first one is the ideal planting location. You have to choose an area with full sun. This plant needs six to right hours of direct sun daily so that it can thrive. Do you live in an area with windy conditions? If so, you have to put the plants in protected locations because flowers are delicate and tear easily.
This plant can also do well in containers. If you think that it is impossible to plant Hibiscus in the ground, this way can be your good solution. Temperatures which are needed by this plant is above 45 degrees Fahrenheit. So, in the winter, you can grow it indoors in a container.
After you know where to grow it, then you have to prepare the soil. For having optimal growth, you have to plant it in rich soil. Enrich the soil by amending with bagged compost and earthworm castings before you plant Hibiscus. According to a 2009 study by the American Society for Horticultural Science which is explained in Pennington website, Hibiscus which was grown with worm compost could grow bigger and had better blooms. Add Lilly Miller Lawn & Garden All Purpose Plant Food 16-16-16 to the area of planting based on the package directions to make the soil fertile.
This plant can grow well in slightly acidic soil where the pH is between 6.5 and 6.8. Before you plant the hibiscus, it is better for you to determine the pH of the soil by testing it. If you want to alter pH of the soil, you are able to apply amendments. Increasing pH can be done by using Pennington Fast Acting Lime. However, if you find that the pH is very high, you are able to decrease the pH by applying soil sulfur. After that, you are able to wait around two weeks and then you have to test the soil again to ensure that the pH levels are good for growing hibiscus. If you decide to plant hibiscus in a container, you have to make sure to use potting soil that drains well and it is designed for acidic plants.
Now, how to plant this orange hibiscus? First, you have to dig a hole in the amended planting area. The depth is as deep as the hibiscus root ball and two to three times as wide. Carefully remove the hibiscus from the container/pot and insert the plant into the planting hole. the next stage, fill the planting hole with half of the soil dug from the hole and water it well. You can add an inch of earthworm casting around the base of the plant after you have finished filling the hole and patting the soil around the plant. And water again. You have to space them 3 to 6 feet apart if you grow more than one hibiscus
How about giving fertilizer to this plant? When you find that your hibiscus becomes established and there is a new growth, you are able to give it fertilizer every two weeks with a fertilizer for blooming plants. One of the fertilizers for blooming plants is Alaska Morbloom Fertilizer 0-10-10. What is it for? To promote vigorous root growth and blooming.
Does this plant need pruning? The flowers of this plant bloom only last a day before closing even then falling off the plant. Removing the spent blooms is one of the way to keep then plant tidy. If the plants are overwintered indoors or grown outdoors in a mild climate, you are able to prune the shrub back by one-third in late winter or early spring. When you prune it, remove the crossing and dead branches and then trim the plant again so that all of the stems have the same length.
Is this hibiscus susceptible to some pests and diseases? The answer is yes. Insect pest damage to this plant includes premature dropping of flowers, holes in leaves and petals, failure to bloom and thrive overall, and a sticky substance on plants and nearby surface. The pests which are common found in this plant are spider mites, aphids, thrips and whiteflies.
To see the signs of pests and the damage, you have to check the hibiscus plant periodically. If there are minor infestations, you are able to remove the pests by using a strong spray of water. However, if there are recurring or more severe infestations, you are able to use Sevin Sulfur dust. This insecticide is combined with fungicide and it will kill the pests immediately, but it will not endanger your plant.
Besides, this plant is also susceptible to leaf diseases. Those include gray mold and downy and powdery mildew. It makes the leaves have white, gray or yellow splotches and it can lead to moldy buds that fall before it blooms. If you find the signs, you can treat it with Sevin Sulfur dust.