How to Plant and Care for a Hibiscus Tree

Hibiscus trees and bushes grow in warm and tropical climates where temperatures seldom drop below freezing. Hibiscus plants normally grow as shrubs, but they can be pruned and trained to grow as trees. In the right climate, a hibiscus plant produces bold flowers and has deep green, shiny leaves. Hibiscus plants can be grown in pots in climates where winters are too cold and brought inside until nighttime lows are over 40 degrees F.

Things You'll Need:

  • Shovel
  • Mulch (optional)
  • Potting soil (optional)
  • Pot (optional)

Planting the Hibiscus

Step 1:??Dig a hole in the ground to the depth of the root ball of the??hibiscus plant. The hole should be two to three times as wide as the root ball.

Step 2:??Remove the plant from the pot and place it into the center of the hole. Unless the original soil is poor, the soil does not need to be amended with fresh mulch or potting soil. If the soil needs amending, mix in some of the mulch or potting soil with the original soil. Fill the hole halfway and water it well to compact the soil. Fill the hole back up with the rest of the soil.

Step 3 (Planting in Pot): If you're planting the hibiscus in a pot, follow steps 1 and 2, but use a good planting soil instead of native soil. Use a pot that is larger than the one the hibiscus is currently planted in. Find a small stone to lay over the drainage hole. Add about 2 inches of soil to the bottom of the pot. Place the hibiscus in the center of the pot and fill the sides of the pot with soil. Water the soil well once the halfway mark has been reached, and continue to fill until it is full.

Caring for a Hibiscus

Hibiscus plants are not particular about their care. ??When growing a hibiscus as a tree, prune away all but the strongest stems so that the plant's energy goes into growing taller, not wider.

Step 1:??Water the hibiscus weekly if it hasn't rained.??Hibiscus plants like to be kept moist, but not wet.

Step 2:??Feed the hibiscus with any balanced fertilizer??twice a month during the growing season.

Step 3:??Bring the plant inside when temperatures fall below 35 degrees F, or if it is planted in the garden, cover it. These are tropical plants that freeze easily. If the hibiscus does freeze, cut it down in early spring and it will likely grow once again.

Step 4:??Prune the plant in the early spring. Hibiscus plants bloom on new growth.

Properly fed and watered, hibiscus plants will thrive for years. They make a beautiful accent plant in gardens and yards, as well as bringing color with their showy flowers to backyard patios and homes.