Hibiscus Tree: Care and Growing Guide (Including Braided Hibiscus)

The hibiscus tree is a spectacular, trumpet-shaped bloomed plant that blooms during the year. Hibiscus flowers range in color from pink, red, lilac, purple, blue, and white and are up to 8 inches (20 cm) across. As long as they get enough sunlight, Hibiscus trees are simple to grow in gardens. The huge shrubby tree flowers continuously throughout the summer because to the abundance of light.

About Hibiscus Trees

Hibiscus trees come in two forms: braided hibiscus, which thrives in tropical areas, and the tree type Hibiscus syriacus (Rose of Sharon), which is a hardy hibiscus.

In northern climates, the Hibiscus syriacus (Rose of Sharon) is a large hardy shrub. A single trunk may be used to train the multi-stemmed shrub to grow as a tree. Littleer hibiscus trees may thrive in pots, despite their preference for the ground.

Braided Hibiscus Tree

The Chinese hibiscus (Hibiscus rosa-sinensis) is a braided hibiscus tree. In warm climates, this hibiscus plant may be cultivated in gardens and pots. The braided hibiscus is made out of the stems of numerous Chinese hibiscus plants. Pots are commonly used to cultivate the braidable hibiscus.

In colder climates, you may grow potted braided hibiscus trees as long as you bring them indoors during the winter.

This is a comprehensive guide to hibiscus plant cultivation in your yard. To make sure that these lovely blooming trees bloom all summer long, year after year, please check out our helpful advice on caring for them.

Plant the big shrub-like tree in well-draining soil that is consistently moist to care for hibiscus trees. In the summer, water hibiscus trees are watered to keep them flowering. Wherever possible, make sure the trees get at least six hours of direct sunlight each day. Hibiscus trees should be fertilized on occasion.

Hibiscus Tree Facts

Hibiscus trees, sometimes known as huge bushy flowering bushes, are enormous in the mallow family. Tropical hibiscus and cold-hardy hibiscus plants have become known for their profusion of enormous, stunning, colorful blooms.

USDA zones 10 through 12 are the only places where braided hibiscus trees (Hibiscus rosa-sinensis) grow. Braided hibiscus prefers temperatures of 50°F (10°C) or lower.

Hibiscus Tree (Hibiscus Syriacus) Care Guide

First, we will look at how to care for the hardy hibiscus tree, the rose of Sharon (Hibiscus syriacus).

Sun Requirements for Growing Hibiscus Tree

The brightest portion of your front or back yard is ideal for growing Hibiscus trees. Hibiscus trees need at least six hours of sunlight each day. In hot environments, hibiscus trees can also flourish in partial shade. In deep shade, Hardy hibiscus trees struggle to survive.

When grown in plenty of light, hibiscus trees produce more flowers. Extreme sunlight, on the other hand, may have a negative effect on plant development. In hot summers, direct, intense midday sunlight may cause foliage to wane yellow.

Fungal infections can be caused by high moisture if the hibiscus tree is exposed to it on a regular basis. Hibiscus trees’ flower buds do not open because there is insufficient sunlight.

The Best Soil for Growing Hibiscus Tree

In rich, permeable soil that drains well, grow hibiscus trees. The soil must retain enough moisture to stay moist throughout watering when it is warm weather. Addition of organic compost and a layer of mulch is the best way to improve the hibiscus soil.

Hibiscus trees adapt well to a variety of soil types due to their ease of cultivation. Hibiscus can be grown in sandy, loamy, or chalky soil. Hardy shrubs may also grow in poor soil.

You’ll want to modify the soil so that it drains better if you see water gathering around the hibiscus tree’s trunk. You might have to dig up the blossoming tree and relocate it to a better spot.

How to Water a Hibiscus Tree

To thrive and add color to garden landscapes, hibiscus trees need frequent watering. Water hibiscus trees thoroughly soak the soil every week during the summer. Water the trees more frequently if the weather gets hot. Water hibiscus plants bloom less frequently in the winter.

To care for a hibiscus tree, it’s best to water the ground only halfway before allowing it to dry out. The hibiscus plant is drought tolerant in general. As a result, overwatering a flowering shrub will make it perform better than if you water it slightly.

Hibiscus Tree Care – Temperature 

When growing outdoors, the Hibiscus tree (Hibiscus syriacus) can tolerate freezing temperatures. Hardy hibiscus trees grow well in temperatures as low as 0°F (-17°C) in zones 5 through 8. You’ll have to protect the plant from severe cold if temperatures drop below -4°F (-20°C).

Warm temperatures also encourage the growth of the Hibiscus tree (Hibiscus syriacus). Hardy hibiscus trees can be grown in the backyards of even southern states. It’s important to water the plant frequently and shield it from intense sunlight if the summers become excessively hot.

Humidity Requirements for Hibiscus Tree Outdoors

Hibiscus trees may tolerate a wide range of environments and are tolerant of humidity. If hibiscus is grown in continuous shade, humidity might be a concern. Fungal infections may be caused by air currents and a lack of sunlight. In addition, the wide spreading crown should be able to expand fully and allow adequate air circulation.

How to Fertilize Hibiscus Tree

Fertilization is beneficial to Hardy hibiscus trees, who are moderate feeders. Apply in early spring using a balanced tree fertilizer with an NPK rating of 10-10-10. In mid-summer, you may reapply fertilizer to encourage further bloom. To ensure that all roots get nourishment, apply the fertilizer around the crown’s drip line.

The hibiscus tree should not be fertilized excessively, and instead, a slow-release fertilizer may be used to care for your flowering tree. Too much fertilizer, few flowers, and burnt roots may result from too much fertilization.

Tropical species of hibiscus trees need more fertilization than the hardy varieties.

How to Prune Hibiscus Tree

Pruning Hibiscus bushes isn’t required. You will, however, need to trim the stems that rise from the ground so that a main stem develops in order for you to grow a hibiscus tree. Late winter or early spring is when regular hibiscus pruning takes place. The form of hibiscus trees is maintained by pruning as well.

It’s important to understand that new growth develops buds. Therefore, before new growth emerges in the spring, it would be best to trim the shrubby tree.

Hibiscus Tree Care During Winter

Cover the root zone of the hibiscus plant with a thick layer of mulch to protect it. To protect the tree from bitterly cold winds, it’s a good idea to lightly wrap the plant in hessian or burlap. You can remove the protective cover when the weather warms in the spring.

If you reside in zones 4 through 6, only winterize hibiscus trees. Hibiscus thrives in warmer areas and can be left outside during the winter.

In the winter, you may need to cover a potted hibiscus tree. You might cover the branches with burlap and put a layer of mulch over the plant pot. You can alternatively bring the potted hibiscus indoors to protect it from cold weather.

Pests Affecting Hibiscus Tree Growth

Mealybugs or spider mites, for example, can attack both hardy and tropical hibiscus trees. To eliminate insects from flowering garden plants, use a neem oil solution. Whiteflies, aphids, and Japanese beetles are common hibiscus pests. Aphids, thrips, and scales are the pests that can harm tropical braided hibiscus.

To avoid your lovely hibiscus tree from being damaged, it’s crucial to identify the indications of pests early. Tiny insects that are crawling or sticking to leaves should be found beneath the leaves.

Here are some tips on recognizing pests on your hibiscus trees:

  • Aphids are small pear-shaped creatures that feed on brown, green, white, gray, or yellow leaves.
  • Mealybugs—These crawling white insects leave behind a fuzzy white substance.
  • Silky threads or webbing beneath leaves are the hallmark of spider mites. Red dots can be spider mites as well.
  • Thrips are difficult to see since they’re so tiny. Little dots on the underside of leaves may be visible to you. Thrips are also known to crawl on plants and fly.
  • Whitefly can attack hibiscus, and you’ll notice numerous of them swarming around the foliage.

Diseases Affecting Hibiscus Tree Growth

A frequent fungus illness that affects the growth of Hibiscus trees is root rot from overwatering. Leaves can yellow, develop leaf spots, or fall to the ground if rotting hibiscus roots are ignored. Hibiscus garden plants should get adequate drainage to avoid illness.

What is a Braided Hibiscus Tree?

Chinese hibiscus plants (Hibiscus rosa-sinensis) are used to create braided hibiscus trees, which are attractive ground or pot plants. To create an attractive braided tree trunk, the small trees have at least three stems intertwined. Creating a braided hibiscus might take years.

Hibiscus trees with braided branches typically reach a height of 5 to 6 feet (1.5 to 1.8 meters). The crown of the ornamental garden tree is trimmed to be small and rounded. Braided hibiscus produces massive funnel-shaped blooms that can be up to the size of enormous saucers, as do other tropical hibiscus shrubs.

How to Form Braided Hibiscus Tree

You’ll need three young Chinese hibiscus trees with pencil-thin stems to make a braided hibiscus tree. Each hibiscus tree should have well-formed root systems and be roughly 24 inches (60 cm) tall. Put the young trees together in a big pot. Until you get to the leaves, braid the stems. Loosely bind the braided stems together.

How to Care for Braided Hibiscus Tree

Plant a well-draining potting soil and cultivate in a sunny outdoor place to look after a braided hibiscus tree. Over the summer, water the braided hibiscus daily to keep the soil moist.

Fertilize the braided hibiscus tree with water-soluble plant fertilizer every spring to help it grow. To help maintain the oval or rounded form, you should also trim any stems. The hibiscus tree should be repotted in a bigger pot with fresh potting soil every three years.

In colder areas, suppose you’re growing a braided hibiscus tree. When the weather gets below 55°F (12°C), you’ll want to bring it in. You’ll also need to find a spot in your home that gets lots of sunlight while being shielded from direct sunlight.

Is Hibiscus Tree Poisonous?

According to the ASPCA, rose of Sharon (Hibiscus syriacus) is on the list of plants that are harmless to cats and dogs, despite the fact that some hibiscus species are toxic to animals.

When to Plant Hibiscus Trees

Hibiscus trees should be planted in early spring, when they are most active. To establish Hardy hibiscus bushes, they need at least a month of frost-free weather.

For your tree to thrive, you may plant Chinese hibiscus trees in late spring or early summer.

Where to Plant Hibiscus Trees

Hibiscus plants need to be in full sun to thrive, whether they’re hardy or tropical. Pick a spot in your yard where the spreading crown may develop freely. The abundant amount of sun and adequate air circulation help to promote prolific blooming and avoid illness.

Hibiscus trees should be grown where they are in the shade during lunchtime if you have excessively hot summers.

Plant Hibiscus trees in a spot sheltered from the wind because the tree branches may shatter in strong winds.

FAQs about Hibiscus Tree Care

Hibiscus trees are easy-care garden plants, but there are a few things that can harm their development.

Do hibiscus plants come back every year?

Perennials like the Hardy Hibiscus syriacus are hibiscus trees that bloom every year. Despite sub-zero temperatures, Hibiscus syriacus will flourish in your garden and blossom all summer long.

Frost can’t be tolerated by tropical braided hibiscus trees like the Chinese hibiscus. If you reside in northern climates, keep the braidhed hibiscus (Hibiscus rosa-sinensis) as a houseplant throughout the winter.

How do I get my hibiscus to bloom more?

The key to magnificent blooming is providing hibiscus trees with enough water throughout the summer. When you water them every day during hot bright weather, Hibiscus plants will produce a great deal of blooms.

Do you deadhead hibiscus?

As part of your hibiscus tree care, it’s not necessary to deadhead flowers. Large colorful funnel-like flowers may sometimes be prevented from blooming by deathheading. Spent hibiscus blooms tend to fall off after they’ve faded.

How do I make my hibiscus bushy?

In the early spring, trim back hibiscus tree branches to encourage bushy development and summer flowering. To encourage bushy foliage on your hibiscus tree, you might also pinch off branch tips throughout the season.

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