White hibiscus is the best starter plant for all beginners. Every year in late summer, this plant produces the purest white colored flowers.
You will have the easiest time getting this plant to grow and bloom. Read this article to learn how to look after a hibiscus.
- What Is White Hibiscus?
- White Hibiscus Care
What Is White Hibiscus?
White hibiscus is a subtropical flowering plant. Known by its scientific name hibiscus rosa-Sinensis, it produces gorgeous hibiscus flowers that are pure white in color. This perennial is known for producing bunches of flowers year after year.
White Hibiscus Care
A white-colored hibiscus house plant needs full sun for six to eight hours daily. Don’t worry, we have it all in details, from the water requirements all the way to the pruning.
– Water Requirements
This perennial flowering plant likes moist soil consistently. Its watering schedule can be hard to figure out in the beginning. On average, you will need to water it once a week during the hot spring and summer days. The time between each watering during winters will naturally be longer.
There is a right way to water this plant. Always water during early morning or early evening hours. It is never a good idea to water your plant during midday when the sun is at its peak. Most likely, the sun will evaporate most of the water before the roots have had a chance to use it.
Never water the plant; instead, direct the beam only towards the soil. If you want to clean the plant, just wipe it with a damp cloth. To prevent overwatering this plant, this method can be ideal. All you have to do is to check if the top two inches of the soil have dried every third to the fourth day.
When you find that the top two inches of the soil have dried, that is the perfect time to water a hibiscus. You can use your finger for this method. A more sophisticated approach would be to use a pencil or a popsicle stick instead.
– Light Requirements
Your tropical hibiscus needs six to eight hours of direct bright sunlight each day. This is necessary for it to produce an exuberant bloom in late summer.
The intense noon and mid-day sun is more useful than the morning or evening sun. This is a houseplant you can put safely outside in your yard.
Inside the house, to provide such high-intensity sunlight can be a bit tricky, hence you will have to place this plant directly next to a window. A southern window is the most suitable window for a hibiscus house plant. However, potted hibiscus plants kept next to an eastern or western window will produce fewer flowers.
Technically, you can also place this plant in the shade. You will have to sacrifice a good yield of flowers in that sense. You can use artificial grow lights for 13 to 14 hours if natural light is lacking.
– Soil Requirements
Your hibiscus needs soil that is acidic below 7 pH and drains well. A compost or peat-based soil has the type of low pH you need. However, organic matter like this tends to clump together and has poor drainage.
Take an equal quantity of ball-shaped perlite and mix it thoroughly with the organic mix. You can also add a few pieces of chunky bark and charcoal to make spaces within the soil.
Remember, don’t fill this soil in a pot that is too large. A two-inch pot larger than the plant’s root ball is the most suitable. Go for a clay pot and place a layer of gravel or filter paper before filling the soil.
– Temperature Requirements
The temperatures from 65 to 85 degrees Fahrenheit work the best for them. Below 60 degrees, the growth and production of new leaves start getting impaired. Below 35 degrees, the plant starts dying altogether. Overall, hardy Hibiscus is best suited to US hardiness zone 5.
When the night turns cold later in the year, just move this plant indoors. You can move it back when spring arrives the next year.
– Humidity Requirements
This plant needs humidity in the range of 50 to 60 percent throughout the year. Lack of adequate air moisture levels causes the leaves to become dry and papery and start turning brown at the edges.
The flowering is affected negatively too. A hygrometer is an instrument that helps keep an accurate check on humidity around your houseplants. It is pretty reasonable and will be a good purchase on your end.
In order to increasing humidity artificially, remember that misting takes regular commitment because it has to be done every other day. Use only a small nozzle bottle to spray the plant from afar. Take care not to douse the plant entirely in water.
Place a pebble tray under the pot of your hibiscus. Put water and some pebbles on it. The pot should rest on the pebbles so that it doesn’t come in contact with water. Change the water every week to prevent attracting mosquitoes.
Owning a humidifier will save you a lot of time and effort. These need to be run 24/7 near the plant to be effective. Don’t worry about mounting electricity bills; most new varieties of humidifiers are pretty easy to run. Do you have more than one such plant? Move them all together for a combined increase in humidity around them.
– Fertilizing Requirements
Fertilizing is a must if you want your plant to get brilliant white flowers and green foliage. Hibiscus must be fertilized only during the growing and flowering season lasting from spring to late summer.
To produce their white blooms, three nutrients are important. These include nitrogen, phosphorus, and potassium. Liquid fertilizer has to be applied to the soil every month.
You can use a well-balanced one with an NPK ratio of 5:5:5. To produce a better bloom, a phosphorus-rich fertilizer is more suitable. This is because excessive nitrogen tends to suppress hibiscus flowers from blooming.
You still need to dilute your liquid fertilizer first as a safety precaution. Undiluted fertilizer can cause chemical burns to the plant and toxin accumulation within the soil.
A slow-release granular fertilizer is much more convenient than a liquid fertilizer. It comes in a powdery form that you must mix with the top half of the soil. You have to fertilize only once at the start of the growing season in early spring.
A good quality granular fertilizer will last your soil the entire growth and flowering season. Some slow-release formulations work only for three to four months, and you will have to mix it again with the soil in the summer right before spring.
It is very important to deadhead your hibiscuses like hibiscus syriacus and white. This means cutting off the flowers along with their stems. This is carried out at the end of the flowering season near the start of fall.
Also, prune the stems at the start of each spring with a 45 degrees cut. Believe it or not, this helps with improving further growth. Pruning is essential and imperative to keep the plant in its desired shape. Regular pruning keeps the plant from turning bushy. This naturally helps with improved air circulation. Pests and diseases are also easily spotted in a well-pruned plant.
Instead of looking for a white hibiscus plant for sale, try propagating this plant yourself. The right time to propagate hibiscus is early spring.
The best way to propagate this flowering plant is using stem cutting. This method will produce a new plant in less than two months. Hence, it is crucial to star by looking for a stem within the plant that is healthy and pest free. It should have lots of green leaves but no flowers at all. A flowering stem will not propagate at all.
Sharpen your scissors and cut a six to eight inches long piece of this stem, make sure that your scissors are properly santied by rubbing alcohol so that all infestations are whiped. Cut the stem at an angle of 45 degrees in one smooth snap.
Keep in mind that after curring you must remove all the leaves on the lower half of the cutting near the incision. The rest of the leaves can stay. Keep this cutting wrapped in a paper napkin for one whole day.
After one day, take it out and apply some rooting hormone on the cut-off end. Rooting hormone is antibacterial, antifungal, and a growth promoter. Prepare the perfect hibiscus soil and fill half a pot with it. Then place the cutting vertically in the middle, pouring soil all around it. If the stem keeps falling off, use a pencil or a stake to hold it up.
Moisten the soil surface by pouring a very small amount of water into the soil. Provide the potted cutting with bright, indirect light and a warm place in the house. Keep the humidity levels high by wrapping transparent plastic around the pot. If you have a humidifier, this works even better.
Luckily, a hibiscus tree remains problem-free for most of its life. This makes it the ideal plant for beginners and busy people. Should they arise, some problems you need to know how to tackle have been discussed here.
– Powdery Mildew
Powdery mildew is a fungal infection that commonly attacks this plant. If you moisten the leaves and stems when watering each time, they will most definitely get infected. Mildew starts with the appearance of countless white spots all over the plant. It starts looking like the powder has been accidentally sprinkled over the plant.
Over time, these spots merge, and the whole plant becomes covered with the white, powdery fungal hyphae. Your poor plant finds it hard to obtain sunlight to make its food. Luckily, powdery mildew is not a fatal fungal disease. That is why you should always use natural DIY methods to get rid of. Harsh chemical fungicides are better left alone for this problem.
Neem oil foliar spray is our go-to approach for treating mildew. Put one teaspoon of neem oil and a few drops of dishwashing soap in one gallon of water. Use some of this mixture every week to spray on the affected plant. At the same time, you can use a cotton roll dipped in neem oil to wipe off the white fungus from the plant’s surface.
Does your luna white hibiscus seem dull and lifeless? Are there yellow one-inch round spots over the leaves? Do the leaves seem to be drooping and falling off? All of this could indicate an aphid infestation.
Aphids are, without a doubt, the most common hibiscus pests. Aphids can be green, brown, or black in color. You can spot them easily clustered around stem sheaths and near leaf nodes.
Why are these tiny pests such a nuisance? They feed on the nutrition-rich juice flowing through your plant. The plant, deprived of food, becomes weaker and eventually starts dying.
Aphids take time and effort, but natural methods easily treat them. To help get rid of the aphids you must pirst, pick them off the plant by hand if you can. Otherwise, use a jet of water from a hose to drop them from the plant.
Next, wash the plant with a mixture of water and mild insecticidal soap. This will hopefully kill the larvae and the eggs too. Apply a few drops of neem oil on the leaves, especially their undersides. Lastly, repeat the washing and neem oil application every week for at least one to two months. You will see for yourself how quickly the condition of the plant improves.
Because hibiscus likes moist soil, it can be easily overwatered. It might be that either you are watering the plant too much or there is some problem with the drainage of the soil and pot.
Due to excessive accumulation of water in the plant, the leaves swell up. They become yellow-colored and mushy. The roots might also start to rot and become prone to fungal diseases. If your soil is runny, stop watering the plant further. Improve your watering habits and change the soil and the pot if needed.
Therefore, keep in mind that overeating doesn’t only cause root rot for your plant, but it also harms the leaves and turns them yellow, and this would effect the blooming and growth process.
– Can You Propagate White Hibiscus With Seeds?
Yes, seed propagation is much possible and so much simpler than any other method, but it has lowerr success. You need the best quality seeds for propagating hibiscus. Soak them up for about eight to ten hours the day before planting.
Take a shallow tray, fill it with a nutrient medium and moisten it lightly. The best nutrient medium, in our opinion, is just sphagnum moss. Remember that you shouldn’t just sprinkle the seeds in the tray randomly. Put them in rows, only about half an inch deep.
Place the tray in a bright, warm, and humid place until the seeds germinate. Cover the tray up to improve humidity to more than 60 percent. Wait two to three months till the seeds germinate and grow big enough to be placed in pots.
Our care guide for the white hibiscus hedge plant is now over. Here are the keey points that we convered in this article:
- The plant likes direct sunlight for six to eight hours per day.
- Water it when the top soil dries using the touch method.
- The plant needs humidity in the range of 50 to 60 percent throughout the year.
- All types of white hibiscus are warm-loving plants that like temperatures between 65 to 80 degrees Fahrenheit.
- This plant is a perennial that keeps flowering yearly. This goes for other hibiscus plants, too, such as purple hibiscus, pink hibiscus, and hibiscus moscheutos.
With only a little time out of your busy daily life, you will get one of the best flower blooms in the plant kingdom. What more can a nature lover ask for, right?
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