Hibiscus Farming Outdoors and Indoors:
The following is all about Hibiscus Farming outdoors and indoors.
About Hibiscus Farming
Hibiscus plants are either small trees or large plants that bloom with enormous flowers in many colors. The growth of hibiscus plants so high that they can be trained to develop into moderate tall trees that blossom year after year. Hibiscus plants are very easy to grow and cultivate.
Commercial hibiscus cultivation for flowers can be a profitable business for the entrepreneurs. Hibiscus can be grown in pots, containers, terraces, balconies, backyards, open areas, greenhouses, polyhouses and shade nets.
Let us discuss How to Grow Hibiscus in upcoming sections of this content.
Scientific Name for Hibiscus: Hibiscus rosa-sinensis.
Family of Hibiscus: Malvaceae
Originated from: East Asia.
Countries: China, Thailand, Mexico, India, Sudan, Senegal, and Mali are the countries where Hibiscus mainly has grown.
Hibiscus is generally grown well in warm temperate regions, it does not tolerate temperature below 10 degrees. Numerous varieties, cultivators, and hybrids are available, with flower colors ranging from white through yellow and orange to scarlet and shades of pink, with both single and double sets of petals.
Hibiscus rosa-sinensis is a bushy plant, evergreen shrub or small tree growing 2.5 to 5meters (8 to 16ft) tall and 1.5 to 3 m (5 to 10 ft) wide, with glossy leaves and solitary brilliant red flowers in summer and autumn. Hibiscus flowers are 5-petaled with 10cm in diameter, with prominent orange-tipped red anthers.
The flowers of Hibiscus are edible and are used in salads in some areas. These flowers are used in hair care as a preparation. And is also used as a pH indicator, when used the flower turns acidic solutions to a dark pink or magenta color and basic solutions to green. Hibiscus has great medical uses in Chinese herbology, it plays a major role in cosmetic skin care. Extracts of hibiscus used as an anti-solar agent by absorbing ultraviolet radiation.
Varieties of Hibiscus:
There are over 20 different species of hibiscus plants in the world, and each variety differs in size, shape, and color. Species of hibiscus can have separated into two categories, tropical hibiscus, and hardy hibiscus.
- Tropical Hibiscus: Tropical hibiscus is a variation that is not able to withstand cold temperatures or climates that are below a tropical level. They produce blooms that are bright in color with red-orange, yellow, pink and white blooms being that most common. These plants are grown in cooler regions of the world, but if they are not indoors in a greenhouse atmosphere, you can start treating this plant as an annual because it will die when the weather turns cold.
- Hardy Hibiscus: These hibiscuses are cold-tolerant, perennial shrubs can be just as their tropical counterparts, with big showy blooms in a wide range of colors. A popular hardy hibiscus variety is Rosa of Sharon, with pink, white or purple flowers.
- Perennial Hibiscus: These are shrubs which can range from smaller, dwarf varieties to large, tree-like bushes. The perennial hibiscus may be hardy or tropical, and include Rose of Sharon, rose mallow and confederate roses.
- Annual Hibiscus: These are tropical can grown as annual in slightly cooler climates. These grow in containers and include Chinese and read leaf hibiscus.
Hibiscus Farming Outdoors / Open Fields
Growing conditions for Hibiscus Farming:
Soil requirement for Hibiscus Farming:
Both the tropical and hardy Hibiscus plants should be planted in a well-drained soil amended with organic matter. Hibiscus required acidic soil. Mixing sphagnum peat moss into your garden soil or potting mix is one of the best ways to increase soil acidity. In case of heavy clay soil region, growing hibiscus in a raised bed helps eliminate water buildup. Hibiscus plants need plenty of fertilizer that is high in potassium and low in phosphorous. High phosphorus levels may kill the plants. In cold weather, you should give your plants an application of 10-4-12, 9-3-13, or 10-10-10 fertilizer. In summer, apply the fertilizer at half strength every two to three weeks.
Temperature requirement for Hibiscus Farming:
Hibiscus needs warm, steady temperature to thrive. Fluctuations in temperature may affect the growth of plants and even can kill them. Hibiscus has best bud growth at a temperature range 65 to 75 degrees Fahrenheit. Hibiscus plant buds stop growing around 55 F, and at 45 F, plants may suffer damage. If your microclimate gets an occasional frost, you will need to overwinter your hibiscus in a container indoors. Tropical hibiscus is grown on the in any outdoor areas is can easily survive a frost. Hardy hibiscus is also growing well in a warm climate, these hibiscus breeds survive freezing temperature. You should provide some protection layers to protect your hibiscus if there is frost in your microclimate.
Sunlight requirement for Hibiscus Farming:
Sunlight works well for all hibiscus varieties. Full sun promotes good growth of the plant, though plants grow well in shade flowering may get delayed. Hibiscus plants need at least six hours of sunlight per day. In high temperatures area, you should provide shade to plants where sunlight is very strong. In case of container plants, put your plants in front of a sunny, south facing window for adequate light. Use supplemental lighting if not direct light comes through your windows.
Water requirement for Hibiscus Farming:
Both the hardy and tropical hibiscus need moist and well-drained soil. In case of a container, it should have good drainage holes. You should water your hibiscus plants until water drips from the holes. And water should not overflow, overwater may cause fungal disease and root rot. Hibiscus plant should not be dry out for a long time. In the winter season, you should water only when the soil feels dry.
Winter Protection of Hibiscus:
When the low temperature gets down to the 30’s hibiscus plant may get to freeze to the ground. In that case, plants should be covered and protected. Temperature fluctuations ate not easy to meet since warm days are interrupted by chilling.
Propagation in Hibiscus Farming :
This large shrub plant grows well in subtropical areas. Hibiscus propagate easily from softwood cuttings or leaf bud cuttings from March to September. You can use hardwood cuttings almost any time of the year. In Commercial Hibiscus growing, farmer propagates hibiscus from air-layers.
You should use a rooting medium of sand or peat moss and perlite and treat the cuttings with rooting hormones. In case of green thumber, a 6 to 8-inch lengths of the stem with leaves at the top is planted into the bed and will keep moist and cared, the plants can grow and bloom.
Then the rooted cutting should be potted, till they get root in water or they may be stated in a moist mixture of peat moss and sand. Once the roots are formed they should be transplanted to permanent beds or containers.
Under fluorescent light, hibiscus plant can be potted in six weeks approximately and starts flowering in a year.
Seeds of hibiscus are easily handled and to blossom, it takes about 18 months. You should plant seeds in vermiculite, peat moss, sand or mixture of three items can also be better. To get a spare plant from future transplant shock, plant each seed in a small individual pot or peat pot. To set seeds on a plant, simply place loosed pollen from one bloom into the little pads of stigma at the top of the pustular column of another bloom.
Watering / Irrigation in Hibiscus Farming:
Hibiscus plants at the early blooming stage they require large amounts of water. Plants should be watered daily in warm weather. But in winter, they should be watered when needed, as too over water may kill the plant. In the winter, water your plant only when the soil dries to the touch.
Fertilizing in Hibiscus Farming:
A growing hibiscus plant needs lots of nutrients to bloom well. A perfect feed and fertilizer can promote the growth, color pigmentation, and strong stems. The peat moss, composted bark, and coco coir are not sources of food for plants- they are simply there to secure the roots and to hold water and food for the roots to absorb. You should provide a good feed that your plant needs.
Potassium requirement for Hibiscus Farming: Hibiscus have a good need for potassium, it promotes plants growth and metabolism. Potassium promotes photosynthesis, that used sunlight and water to create sugar for food. These sugar helps to build to every part of the plant and hibiscus, with their complex, colorful huge flowers need more levels of potassium. Potassium promotes the growth of plants by dragging water into every plant cell by keeping them hydrated and healthy.
Phosphorous requirement for Hibiscus Farming:
You should be very careful in using the plant blossoming fertilizers that have high levels phosphorous. High dosage of phosphorous may kill the hibiscus plants. Even though phosphorous promotes many minerals and nutrients like iron, we should use only the fertilizers that have a very low composition of phosphorous.
Nitrogen requirement for Hibiscus Farming:
Nitrogen promotes the plants the metabolism processes in the plants. But too much nitrogen may damage them. Too less nitrogen can lead to slow growth of plants. So, the goal is to provide enough for optimum growth without overdoing, means the middle ranged amount of nitrogen.
So, the fertilizer ratio for the Hibiscus plants is Medium Nitrogen-Low phosphorous-high potassium.
In the summer, use a high potassium fertilizer and in winter you don’t need to fertilize.
Pests in Hibiscus Farming
Common pest problems in Hibiscus Farming:
- Aphids: A common pest that found in clusters, that suck the juices from the foliage. You can control them using horticultural oil or insecticidal soap.
- Whiteflies: These flies affect the undersides of the leaves, they suck the juices. These flies can be controlled by horticultural oil or insecticidal soap or sticky traps.
- Thrips: Small pests that lay eggs on the buds of hibiscus, these pests damage the buds before flowering. These can be controlled by horticultural oil.
- Mealybugs: Soft-bodied pests that can be controlled by using horticultural oil.
- Scale: these pests damage the roots and stems of the plants. You can control them by horticultural oil or insecticidal soap.
- Ants: Ants really don’t harm hibiscus plants. They help in the controlling the insects like scale and aphids by eating them. You should avoid the spray the can ill ants, use baits that ants will carry back the nest. And baits tend to take longer than sprays.
Pest control in Hibiscus Farming:
- You should promote the growth of insects the control bug that feeds on hibiscus. Ladybug, syrphid fly larvae, green lacewings etc are natural insects that do pest control.
- You should go for chemical pesticides only when the natural processes fail. Toxic chemicals may affect the plant growth, so used only insecticidal soaps and horticultural oils.
- You should water your plants properly and fertilize them regularly.
- You should keep the area around the plants clean and free of plant debris.
- You should remove dead or damaged growth caused by pests or diseases.
- Hibiscus plants should be pruned regularly for a healthy plant.
Diseases in Hibiscus Farming
Some serious diseases in hibiscus:
- Botrytis: Effects on the buds and drops off them before opening
- Myrothecium roridum: It attacks to weaker plants and leads to crop dying and leaves falling.
- Phytophthora: this occurs the soil is dry in warm months
- Pseudomonas cichorii.: A fungal infection that affects plant growth.
- Black spots. It is also a fungal disease that effects when the plant is left in damp conditions.
Growing Hibiscus in Containers / Pot Hibiscus Farming:
- Hibiscus is a tropical plant that can easily adaptable in pots or containers. Potted tropical hibiscus plants are best for container growing.
- Types of containers: There are many types of containers available in market and pot is best in them. You should opt the pots that are equally wide and deep or preferably wider than their depth. It always preferable to grow hibiscus plants in a wider container as the delicate feeder roots of these stems expand from the stem base. Plastic pots can be the best option if you have a warm climate. Professional farming people suggest terracotta pots as the clay concrete pots are not “glazed” and helps the plants to breath. You also use pots made from concrete or stone, timber pots, pots made of cedar wood are also best options for hibiscus.
- While growing hibiscus in containers, you should take care of a drainage system that drains out the excess water. Drainage holes should be in external perimeter instead of being below, or holes at both places are also advisable. You should place pots on a raised platform, saucers are compulsory that helps to keep plants cool in hot weather conditions.
- Potting mix: Potting mix should be highly porous, it is necessary to mix it with sand. Sharp sand is best for hibiscus, potting mix should be loose and friable. You should blend 80 percent potting mix and 20 percent “ sharp sand”.
- You should select dense and luxuriant plants, it is essential to avoid plants that are tall, lanky or scraggy. It is preferable to purchase smaller bush or get plant having a thick branching tendency and copious foliage.
- Planting: You should plant hibiscus very carefully without damaging the roots. And you should not plant the hibiscus very deeply, keep the plant’s root and stem joint near the surface of the soil. You should not fill pot completely up to the top, and you should water properly.
- You should feed the plant with pellets or coated granules as required. In winter plants don’t require much fertilizer, you apply fertilizer once in a year.
- Watering the plants when required, scrape the surface of the soil to a depth of roughly ¾ inch to 1 inch and you find that the soil is moist underneath, don’t water the plant. If you find the soil to be arid, water the plant frequently using a hose. It is necessary to water plant after feeding them with nutrients.
- Hibiscus plants should be pruned regularly to control the size of the plant.
- Repotting: When roots of your potted hibiscus plant have grown large and became visible through the drainage holes, you should know that it is time to repot the plant to a larger container. While repotting the plant to a larger pot, you need to be extra careful to prevent any damage to the roots.
Pruning of Hibiscus
Pruning hibiscus is a great way to give plants what they need. Pruning helps to stimulate budding on new shoots. It helps plants to rejuvenate the plants and makes the attractive appearance and healthy, vigorous growth.
When to prune in Hibiscus Farming?
Hibiscus pruning is done during spring, these plants can be lightly pruned in late summer or early fall.
How to prune Hibiscus Farming?
Before you prune, you should make sure your pruning shear is sharp and clean, preferably sterilized with alcohol gel, to prevent the spreading of any disease from affected branches. When pruning hibiscus, you should cut about a third of the way back, leaving two to three nodes on the branches for new growth to emerge.