How to Grow Hibiscus

Hibiscus flowers are one of the most beautiful flowers you can find. And guess what? They can be easily grown in your own home or garden.

Let’s discuss what are the most popular types of Hibiscus and what you can do to properly care for them, whether you opt for a hardy garden variety or a tender house plant.

 

Types of Hibiscus

In total, there are more than 200 known species of Hibiscus. The most suitable Hibiscus to grow indoors is Chinese Hibiscus, otherwise known as Hibiscus rosa-sinensis. Whereas Hibiscus syriacus, or if we use its other name, Rose of Sharon prefers to be grown outdoors.  Hardy Hibiscus syriacus are more widely available that the the tender indoor types, and you will find a superb range of flower colours on offer.

Now, let’s find out a bit more about them.

 

1. Hibiscus rosa-sinensis ‘Apollo’

Hibiscus rosa-Sinensis ‘Apollo’ has very pretty flowers with a mix of yellow, orange, and red colors, making it look almost like a Sun, hence its name, after the Greek god of Sun. This variety was bred especially for larger flowers, so it makes quite an impression in the conservatory or a bright, sunny room indoors.

Hibiscus 'Apollo'

©Zenflora – Hibiscus ‘Apollo’ produces dazzling flowers!

 

2. Hibiscus syriacus ‘Pink Chiffon’

Hibiscus syriacus ‘Pink Chiffon’ is quite recognizable, due to its ruffled, double pink flowers that don’t appear until quite late in the summer, but deliver plenty of colour while early summer plants are starting to fade. It really likes direct sunlight, enjoying 6 hours of direct sun per day, so make sure it is placed in a bright location.

Hibiscus Pink Chiffon

©Shutterstock – Hibiscus Pink Chiffon boasts ruffled, double blooms.

 

3. Hibiscus ‘Starburst Chiffon’

Hibiscus ‘Starburst Chiffon’ will really add an exotic feel to your garden, with its huge semi- double flowers with the crimson-red streaks. This hibiscus species can grow up to 150cm in height and spread, making a fabulous specimen shrub that will really make an eye-catching display.

Hibiscus 'Starburst Chiffon'

©De Nolf – Hibiscus ‘Starburst Chiffon’ is a real eye-catcher!

 

4. Hibiscus ‘Big Hibiskiss’

Hibiscus ‘Big Hibiskiss’ comes with extra big flowers that grow up to 18cm (7”) across! It makes an incredible focal point for late summer borders. This impressive variety comes from British breeding, with flowers that are much flatter than most other varieties.

Hibiscus 'Big Hibiskiss'

©De Jong – Hibiscus ‘Big Hibiskiss’ has been bred for extra-large flowers.

 

5. Hibiscus syriacus ‘Oiseau Bleu’

Hibiscus syriacus ‘Oiseau Bleu’ is  a real head-turner for its silky blue flowers. Like many Hibiscus it is often one of the last plants in the garden to begin leafing-up after winter – often not until May. It’s worth waiting for though, as the late summer flowers will keep going right into autumn.

Hibiscus 'Oiseau Bleu'

©Shutterstock – Hibiscus ‘Oiseau Bleu’ flowers right through to autumn.

 

Hibiscus Care

Watering

First of all, most Hibiscus like moderately wet soil, with the ability to drain well. This means that if you are gardening on clay soil, you may need to mix in some grit, sand and garden compost when planting , to increase its drainage.

If you are growing it in a pot then make sure that there are plenty of drainage holes in the base of the pot to allow good drainage, and prevent it becoming water-logged.

Pot grown plants will need regular watering during the summer months. Plants grown in borders should be able to look after themselves once they are established, so you will only need to water them for the first month or two after planting.

Hibiscus in the garden

©Shutterstock – Hibiscus are quite low maintenance once they are established in borders.

Sunlight

Hibiscus likes sunlight, so whether you are growing a hardy variety outdoors or a tender houseplant, make sure that they are in a bright spot.

Fertiliser

You can use fertiliser to help your hibiscus to grow. Feed them with a liquid plant food every 4 weeks from spring to late summer.

Pruning

Indoor Hibiscus rosa-sinensis won’t really need pruning so there’s no need to worry if you are growing this type.

Hardy Hibiscus syriacus should be pruned in in late spring, just as the leaf buds are opening. Remove any dead or damaged branches, and lightly prune the rest to shape the plant.

As you can see, Hibiscus plants are really easy to grow and don’t need a lot of special care. You can enjoy their bright flowers outdoors or in your home. Wherever you grow yours, you will love its exotic-looking flowers!

 

How to Grow Calatheas

Calathea is one of the prettiest tropical houseplants from the Marantaceae family that you can have in your home or office.

If you want to create a jungle feel in your home, then you simply have to include some leafy Calathea plants. All of them require similar care, which makes your job easier.

Types of Calathea

There are a lot of different species of Calathea plant, over several dozen of them, with distinctive colors, shapes, and sizes. They are mostly grown in pots and containers. Let’s check some of the most popular ones.

 

Calathea orbifolia

Calathea orbifolia is one of the largest-leafed Calathea plants. Each leaf can grow up to 30cm (12″) wide!

Its leaves have a round shape and striped, metallic appearance. This species forms a dense clump, with new leaves developing from the middle part of the plant.

Calathea orbifolia

©Thompson & Morgan – Calathea orbifolia

Calathea orbifolia, like most other Calathea species, likes a warm environment, where the temperatures are between 18°C (65°F) and 24°C (75°F).

 

Calathea ornata ‘Sanderiana’

Calathea ornata ‘Sanderiana’ is one type of Calathea ornata species. The most important difference between the mother plant and ‘Sanderiana’ is in the leaves. ‘Sanderiana’ leaves are shorter and not so spear- shaped as common Calathea ornata’s leaves.

Because of the distinctive foliage striping,’ Sanderiana’ has earned a nickname ‘Pin Stripe plant’, which is shared with many other cultivars of Calathea ornata.

Calathea 'Sanderiana'

©Thompson & Morgan – Calathea ‘Sanderiana’

The plant has very glossy, broad, and colorful leaves, with the dark green topside, combined with rose feather-like stripes, while bottom sides are dark purple.

The stem is purple, and it can grow up to 60cm (2ft) in height when the plant reaches peak maturity.

 

Calathea zebrina

Calathea zebrina, otherwise known as Zebra Plant, is one of the Calatheas that are very commonly found almost everywhere, even though it originates from Brazil.

It has very distinctive green stripes on the leaves, which look like Zebra patterns, hence the name. The underside of the leaves is purple, like with some other Calathea species.

Fully grown Calathea zebrina can be up to 90cm (36″) height and width and have leaves that are over 30cm (12″) in length.

Calathea zebrina

©Thompson & Morgan – Calathea zebrina

Calathea zebrina can also produce white and purple flowers during springtime, which is not so common for Calatheas.

 

Calathea roseopicta

Calathea roseopicta, otherwise known by the name of Rose Painted Calathea, has big glossy and circular green leaves, which are also purple on the underside.

What is distinctive about this Calathea subspecies is that every leaf has a very pretty pattern, which looks like a leaf inside the leaf. There are also different cultivars of this plant that have leaves with different patterns.

The plant usually grows up to 60cm (24″) in height and width. It likes moist soil, which is capable to provide excellent drainage.

 

 

Calathea roseopicta Medaillon

©Thompson & Morgan – Calathea roseopicta Medaillon

 

Calathea rufibarba

Calathea rufibarba doesn’t look like most other Calatheas at first glance. It doesn’t have similar markings and colors, but it is still very beautiful.

It is also known under the name of Velvet Calathea, as well as Furry Feather because its leaves look like feathers and have a distinctive texture that resembles fur on the bottom side of leaves.

Another characteristic of this plant is burgundy stems that are quite long, and the plant itself can grow up to 60cm (24″) in height and width.

Calathea rufibarba

©Shutterstock – Calathea rufibarba

Calathea Care

Calatheas need sunlight, of course, but not direct sun. They thrive the most in the shade because they are tropical plants, and are mostly found in the jungles. Exposing them to direct sunlight might cause burns on the leaves.

They prefer distilled water. You can also use water purified through filters to water these plants. Even though Calatheas like moist soil, make sure not to overwater.

Being tropical plants, Calatheas like warm temperature, between 18°C (65°F) and 24°C (75°F). Also, make sure to put them in a humid environment.

Calathea in a window

©Thompson & Morgan – Calatheas need sunlight, but not direct sun.

Fertilizing is not essential for Calatheas, but if you insist, you can use normal fertilizer for indoor plants during the autumn, spring, and summer.

Propagation of Calathea Plants

It is possible to propagate Calatheas from divisions, simply by repotting them. New divisions need to be kept moist and in a warm place. It is also advised to cover them with plastic and put them on indirect light until they start growing again. Always use the fresh potting mixture to grow a new plant.

Pruning Calathea Plants

Calatheas do not require any special pruning. The only thing you might worry about is removing occasional leaves that have turned brown or yellow.

 

 

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