Hibiscus: How to Grow Indoors
Growing flowers and plants inside can add some extra color and warmth to our homes. There are even health benefits from having plants inside. Many people like flowers with lots of color, and that’s why hibiscus are a favorite choice. They have big flowers with lots of color. Hibiscus flowers are a great choice for an indoor flower and they are easy to take care of.
There are numerous options in the hibiscus family to cultivate indoors. To name some varieties there are the red-leaf hibiscus, tropical hibiscus, Texas star hibiscus, and the Rose-of-Sharon hibiscus. Numerous studies have been done on which ones grow better indoors and which are better for outdoors, but it has been found that all seem to grow the same inside and produce fairly large flowers. So, it really is up to you as to which hibiscus flower is right for you. Each plant has their own color and personality; you just need to find which one is going to match your own.
Planting and Care
Since hibiscuses are tender flowers they do require a lot of care and cultivation. Once you have picked which one you would like to have in your home the fun begins. Understanding what the plant needs will help keep them healthy and make it easier for you. Growing those big colorful flowers is a lot of work, so the flower will need a lot of nutrients. These nutrients include: potassium, low levels of nitrogen, magnesium, iron, and some slightly acidic levels of pH. To get all of these to the roots of your plants it is easiest to water them with watered down solutions of it. You can purchase the feed on Amazon. The top recommended feed is Hibiscus Plant Food by Carl Pool.
Like all flowers, hibiscus needs sunlight to bloom. The plants will do fine without sunshine, but they will not bloom. So, if the big bright flowers are what you are looking for, make sure they get sunlight. There is no specific amount of sunlight that they require. They will survive with one hour of sunlight and will do well with hour’s worth of sunlight, but the more sunlight they get, the more blooms the hibiscus will produce. As a rule of thumb, make sure there is at least one inch of space between the leaves of the plant and the window. If the window they are growing in gets a lot of sunlight, the heat of the window can damage the leaves and flowers, so just make sure there is some space between them.
Hibiscus need lots of water in the warmer weather and less in cooler weather, but since the plant is being grown indoors you will have to read the flower a little bit. Water each until the water starts coming out of the bottom of the planter and filling into the plant tray. Check in on the hibiscus in about 12 hours. If the water is gone, leave it be. The plant just absorbed the rest of the water and used it as needed. Hibiscus need air to their roots and can drown in standing water. If you come back and there is still water in the tray, pour it out. This will keep the roots from drowning and will allow air to flow to the roots. Keeping standing water away from your plant will also reduce the risk of root diseases and rot.
Dust Them Off
Just like a person or animal, plants want to be clean too. Maintaining the hygiene of your hibiscus will help to keep it healthy. Hibiscus will help clean your air and give you fresh oxygen. As it does this, it collects a lot of dust on its petals and flowers. Dust increases the hibiscus’ risk of spider mites. These tiny pepper sized spiders can be destructive. Spider mites feed on the sap from the underside of leaves. Their feeding causes leaves to become weak, yellow, and stippled, so keeping your hibiscus dusted off is the best way to keep it healthy.
Dusting off the leaves is not quite enough. Dusting only stirs up the dust and flips it into the air and it will end up on your hibiscus again in a day or so. Give your hibiscus a bath instead. Plop your plant into the bathtub or sink and spray them down with some warm water, not hot. Start at the top and work your way to the soil. Make sure that you get on top and the bottom of the leaves. Get into all the branches and between all the blooms. End it with a good soil soaking and wash on the outside. Leave your plant out to air dry and it will be good to go for a bit. Wash your plant once a week, or at least twice a month. If you end up with a spider mite infestation move your washing up to twice a week for three weeks and then go back to once a week to keep them from coming back.
Keep Them Clean
You can also use horticultural oil. This oil will keep your hibiscus clean and shiny without causing them stress and without needing to be rinsed off. You can get this type of oil on Amazon. One of the top sellers is All Seasons 210 Horticultural Spray Oil Concentrate – 16 oz. Make sure to follow the instructions so that you do not use too much and end up harming the hibiscus.
It can be one of the most difficult things to do! Pinching and snipping off the little bit of growth they present can be really hard, but the hibiscus will reward you in the end. Small plants that are about 4 inches will bloom well if you pinch off some parts of the plant. Larger flowers will bloom even more if you pinch off a bloom. Again, this can be really difficult to do, but one pinched bloom can lead to the future growth of more blooms. It takes some sacrifice to make a bigger and better hibiscus. Maintain your pinching, water well, and give plenty of sun and nutrients and the hibiscus will thrive for you.
Blooms Falling Off
Now, there are a few things that could go wrong with your hibiscus. Some have noticed that their blooms fall off before they even bloom. This could be due to a little pest known as thrips. Thrips feed on the flower buds and cause them to fall off before they can even bloom. The easiest way to get rid of these pests is to spray your flowers with an organic pesticide or learn how to make your own here. Gall midge is another pest that infects your buds. The pests lay their eggs inside the buds and cause them to fall off. Be sure that these are the culprits by cutting open the blooms and opening them up. If there is larva inside, you know that you have gall midge. Again, get yourself an organic pesticide and end their infestation.
Another cause of buds falling off could be malnutrition. Make sure you are being consistent with watering, feeding, and sunshine.
Summing it Up
Having plants inside your home can create a really peaceful environment. It is proven that having plants inside creates cleaner air, creates a quieter space as they absorb sound waves, and decreases carbon dioxide levels. Having plants inside that are full of color add even more beauty to your home. Since hibiscus have such big and beautiful flowers, it is no question why they are a favorite. Keeping them healthy and happy indoors can be a process. Making sure that they get the water they need, the nutrients they want, and maintaining sunshine levels can be a lot. Not to mention the fact that they need a bath to keep the spiders from invading their homes. You will find the work is well worth it when you see their big and colorful blooms lighting up your home.