Hibiscus Inside and Out

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“Do not let your adorning be external—the braiding of hair and the putting on of gold jewelry, or the clothing you wear— but let your adorning be the hidden person of the heart with the imperishable beauty of a gentle and quiet spirit, which in God’s sight is very precious.”                                                            1 Peter 3:3-4 ESV

Hibiscus

 I love hibiscus!  They have such beautiful tropical looking flowers. The one unfortunate thing is the blooms usually only last one day.  But the flowers are so pretty, I think they’re worth it!

I bought one, a tree hibiscus, on sale in the summer of 2012.  It was the middle of summer and was on sale for 1/2 price!  This is NOT a hardy hibiscus in our part of the country, so I knew it would be outside on my deck for the summer, and then inside once it got to about 55 at night outside.

I immediately gave it a new pot and dirt when we got it home. To help retain moisture in the soil I covered the top of the soil with sphagnum moss.  It was on my back deck in partial sun and had lots of beautiful blooms!  I brought it inside for the fall/winter; then back outside last summer.  When I move my houseplants outside in the summer, I always put them first in the shade for quite a while.  The ones that like shade stay there and the ones that like a little more sun I gradually move to a spot with more sun, but never full sun-most houseplants won’t take full sun outside…that’s why they do well as  houseplants.  At the end of summer I again brought it inside and it has bloomed continuously since!

While outside last summer it started to lean, so I put a stake in the pot next to the stem and tied the stem with cloth to the stake.

Another outdoor problem I encountered was a gnawing little bunny!  So, I wrapped the trunk of the hibiscus with tree wrap.

Squirrels are another cute problem…. They like to bury acorns and seeds in the nice soil of my hibiscus.  Basically all I do is pull out any sprouts as soon as they appear.

Hibiscus Tree-5 blooms for Thanskgiving 11-28-13

This pic is from Thanksgiving 2013…5 blooms that day!

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Closer view of one of the blooms

Now, there are hibiscus that are hardy, even here in northern Wisconsin! Of course I had to have one of those!!!

This one is Hibiscus ‘Giant Fireball’.  It dies back to the ground every winter, then comes back up (later than some things, so don’t give up on it too soon) and blooms usually in August.

Hibiscus Giant 'Fireball' multi blooms 8-28-13 #2vcropf

Notice the different looking leaves on this type!

Giant Hibiscus 'Fireball' 8-15-10 size next to Bernie's handv

To give you an idea of just how LARGE these blooms are this is my husband’s hand…

Hibiscus like a lot of light but not hot summer sun, so semi-shade/lt. sun is best for them.

They like their soil to be kept moist at all times. For the ones you bring indoors they will need less water in the winter.  Indoor ones will especially like a misting once in a while.  I actually make sure I mist the ones outside in the early morning; you don’t want to do this when the sun will be shining on the leaves/flowers.  Giving them a ‘shower’ helps to keep the pests away.

I fertilize as directed in the summer, stopping in August.

Hope you will give hibiscus a try!

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