You know that it’s summer when you start seeing the Hibiscus (Hibiscus spp.) in flower. There are many species and varieties of Hibiscus available, from the perennial evergreen to the deciduous, all with those magnificent large flowers in various colours ranging from white, lemon, red, orange, pink, purple and maroon. They are also quite versatile and can be grown in pots or used in the garden as hedging plants.

How to grow hibiscus in a garden

  1. Choose a spot in the garden that receives full sun or part shade (depending on species). Enrich the well drained soil with Yates Dynamic Lifter Soil Improver & Plant Fertiliser. If the soil is clay based, add gypsum and fork in well.
  2. Dig the planting hole twice as wide and to the same depth as the root-ball. Remove the shrub from the container, gently tease the roots.  Position in hole and backfill with soil, gently firming down. 
  3. Form a raised or doughnut shaped ring of soil around the outer edge of the plant's root zone. This helps keep water where it's needed.  Always water in well after planting to settle the soil around the roots.
  4. Mulch around the base with organic mulch like bark chips, sugarcane or pea straw, keeping it away from the trunk.
  5. Water deeply, one to two times a week, depending on weather conditions.
  6. Feed every 6-8 weeks from spring to mid autumn with Yates Dynamic Lifter Soil Improver & Plant Fertiliser and weekly with Yates Thrive Roses & Flowers Liquid Plant Food.

How to grow hibiscus in a pot

  1. Choose a pot at least 600mm wide. Position in full sun to part shade (depending on species) and fill with quality potting mix, such as Yates Potting Mix with Dynamic Lifter
  2. Remove the shrub from the container, gently tease the roots.
  3. Position in hole and backfill with potting mix, gently firming down. Water in well.
  4. Once planted, keep the plant well watered, but don’t let the water sit in a saucer at the base of the pot.
  5. Feed weekly with Yates Thrive Roses & Flowers Liquid Plant Food.

Growing tips

  • Hibiscus are remarkably drought tolerant but the plants will perform at their best if water stress is kept to a minimum.
  • Trim back plants in spring to encourage new growth for summer flowering.
  • There are many species of Hibiscus that can be grown in Australia. Some of these include:
  •  Chinese Hibiscus (H. rosa-sinensis)

This is the most common Hibiscus seen in Australian gardens. This species is suitable for temperate to tropical climates. Best grown in full sun, it is evergreen and slightly salt tolerant but prefers not to be in the line of strong winds. As it can grow to around 3 metres in height it is great to use as a screening or hedging plant for the garden.

  •    Syrian Rose Hibiscus (H. syriacus)

Another common Hibiscus seen in the Australian landscape. This plant is best grown in full sun and is more tolerant to the cooler climates, but still performs well in temperate climates. It is deciduous and produces a lovely purple flower in summer and can be grown as a hedge or screening plant as it can grow to about 3 metres in height. 

  •    Cottonwood (H. tiliaceus)

Grown mainly as a small tree, it can reach up to 10 metres in height in the right environment. This tree produces a large amount of yellow flowers in summer that all have that defining red centre.  Suited to the temperate to tropical climates, this plant can tolerate salty areas and very sandy soils.

  •     Native Hibiscus (Alyogyne hakeifolia)

There are many varieties of the Native Hibiscus available in a range of colours and leaf textures. These varieties are great for native gardens, for that additional burst of colour in summer.

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