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Keyword Search Results for:
Hibiscus

17 Found

Question: 35-5201
I have been fertilizing my Hibiscus houseplant with soluble fertilizer every two weeks. It does not seem to help. It has brown edges on the leaves. There are no signs of insects. What can I do? Lillian, Cranston,RI

Mort's Answer:
Stop fertilizing. Excess fertilizer will cause burning on the edge of the leaves. Resume a much lighter dosage in 6 months.

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Question: 992-3213
How far back should I cut my white and rose colored hibiscus. This is the one with huge blooms. Dottie, Griswold, CT

Mort's Answer:
Hibiscus moscheutos has a very showy flower of 5-7 inches. Some new hybrids are 8-10 inches across. I cut mine down to a foot from the ground in early October.

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Question: 600-3411
I purchased a Hibiscus this spring at a box store. The tag says it is hardy. It has orange flowers that are about two inches and drop every day. It continues to bloom all summer and stands about three feet. There is no other name other than hIbiscus. Do you think that I should bring it indoors in the winter? Ruth, Pena, IL

Mort's Answer:
You are in zone 5, which is not hardy for tropical shrubs. Hibiscus mosceutos hybrids with 8-10 inch flowers are hardy enough for zone 5, if covered for the winter. Rose of Sharon aka H.syriacus is also hardy in your area. Tropical Hibiscus mutabilis is hardy in zone 9 south. H.mutabilis has two inch daily flowers. I would not take a chance on this plant that could only be hardy in the south. They make excellent house plants in the winter.

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Question: 623-4011
We have a new hibiscus that has a five inch flower. Can we leave it outdoors and should we cut it back? Dottie, Griswold, CT

Mort's Answer:
Tropical hibiscus have two inch flowers and have to be brought indoors for the winter in zone 6. Tropicals bloom every day and drop their flowers continually. Newer H. moscheutos grandiflorus hybrids, which were once called Mallows, have to be cut back each fall. Many of these varieties have eight and ten inch flowers in the second year. Cut them back to eight inches from the ground. I just cut back my dark pink one last weekend.

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Question: 646-4511
We brought in our tropical hibiscus again this year. It is about seven feet tall. Can we cut it back now? June, Taylorville, IL

Mort's Answer:
You can cut about 18 inches off the top. Since the plant blooms on new wood, you will continue to have blooms every day and will enjoy even more blooms as new shoots develop. I prefer a clay pot and you should consider a larger pot at this time, if you have not transplanted in the last three years. Tropical hibiscus likes a lot of sun, especially a south facing window.

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Question: 783-2812
My hibiscus with the large flowers has its leaves being eaten by an insect that looks like a fly with a red head. Can I spray to keep them away? Marie, Norwich, CT

Mort's Answer:
You can spray with pyrethrin or malathion. Pyrethrin is organic but would be less effective. Malathion is good for all chewing and sucking insects.Follow directions on the labels. Be sure to spray down wind and use a handkerchief over your mouth and nose, when you spray. It is essential to spray because they are breeding in this heat. Add a teaspoon of liquid soap to the dosage prescribed on the labels. This will make the spray last longer.

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Question: 1004-3513
I have a large flowered Hibiscus. Should I give it mulch for the winter? Valerie, Ashburnham, MA

Mort's Answer:
Mulching will help protect it in zone 5. It will probably thaw a little later with wood mulch. It won't be much, it's mulch. Cut it back at leaf fall to a foot from the ground.

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Question: 1034-4313
Can I prune hibiscus and if so how much? I live in the Midwest and am beginning to bring them in for the winter, but really want to trim them but am not sure how much. Sandy

Mort's Answer:
I am assuming that you are inquiring about the tropical Hibiscus that repeats blooms every day. It is not necessary to cut it back. You can take a foot off but this will delay flowers. You need to put it in a sunny location. You can use a light dose of liquid fertilizer every other time that you give it water. It will do better in a clay pot. Wash the leaves before bringing it indoors.

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Question: 1144-2914
We have a large flowered hibiscus on the front glassed porch. It does not do as well as advertised. How do I care for it? Bill, Tulsa, OK

Mort's Answer:
Hibiscus moscheutos grandiflorus can have eight to ten inch flowers that look like pie plates. We often see them named rose mallow or simply mallow. I have a deep pink one that is outstanding in the garden. I would take your plant off the porch and put it in the ground. It likes a lot of sun. It should be cut back to a foot off the ground very fall. It will do very well in zone 7.

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Question: 1160-3614
My tropical hibiscus that grows in my screened porch has been dropping leaves. It has a lot of yellow leaves. It is three feet tall in a foot wide and 18 inch deep pot. What can I do? Bill, Tulsa OK

Mort's Answer:
Tropical hibiscus will thrive in plenty of sunlight outdoors until fall. You could be giving it excess water. In a south facing location outdoors, this amount of water would probably suffice. H. rosa-sinensis is a prolific bloomer that loses flowers as quickly as it produces new ones. Small amounts of liquid fertilizer with every other watering will bring back its vitality outdoors. This fall find a south facing window indoors for continual blooming throughout the winter.

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Question: 1168-3814
My tropical hibiscus is on the deck now. When can I move it indoors and should I cut it back? Al, Storrs, CT

Mort's Answer:
H. rosa sinensis is a prolific bloomer that can be maintained indoors. I highly recommend adding new soil and putting it in a larger clay pot. The new soil should be a third sand and good potting soil. The plants should be blasted with the hose to remove aphids. This will be easier, if you cutback to five or six inches from the main stems. Place your everblooming Rose of China Hibiscus in a sunny south facing window. A light liquid fertilizer can be applied with every other watering. There are some very beautiful new colors available for sale.

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Question: 1200-4714
I took in my two tropical Hibiscus plants indoors last week before the frost. One is a foot high and the other three feet high. I want to cut back them back, especially the taller one. Can I do it now and how much? Gary, Norwich, CT

Mort's Answer:
Tropical hibiscus are everblooming and can handle heavy pruning. There is no need to wait. Because they bloom on new wood, more branches mean more flowers. Be sure to have them in clay pots. You should also rotate them toward the light every week. They can do well in an east or west window, although they prefer a southern exposure.

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Question: 1229-515
My tropical 4-5 ft. hibiscus that I brought in the house this fall is leggy. Can I cut it back? Mary, Uncasville, CT

Mort's Answer:
Tropical hibiscus bloom daily indoors in the winter. Cutting the flower stems off after they bloom will help. Your soil needs more phosphorus. Adding a tablespoon of bonemeal or 5-10-10 will strengthen the stems that support the flower bearing branches.

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Question: 1383-4016
I have a Hibiscus that is hardy and has the smaller flowers. I plan on planting it soon outdoors. Can put a screen around it and can I cut it back after blooming? Dottie, Griswold,CT

Mort's Answer:
You can cut it back to 6-8 inches from the ground. The earlier you put it in the garden, the better chance of roots taking hold. You will need to mix some sand with your soil. Break up the root so that your soil mill mix with the peaty soil of the plant. Do not use any fertilizer until spring. A small handful of 5-10-10 will suffice.

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Question: 307-5201
My hibiscus buds dropped off prematurely this year. We used a soluble fertilizer all summer. Also, when should we bring them indoors? Delores, Seekonk, MA

Mort's Answer:
Your first question is about fertilization. You have the wrong solution to your problem. Roses, fruit trees and other woody shrubs do not do well with quick bursts of growth. The stems that support the large flower buds are too weak to support them. I prefer to use a slow release high phosphorus granular fertilizer. By feeding the soil first, the plant has a chance to build tensile strength in the stems and a root system to sustain it. If you must use up the soluble fertilizer, you can use it when you water the soil as a houseplant. We should have a frost soon, so I would take tropical hibiscus in as soon as possible. Do not water the leaves and place it in a southern exposure. Use a well drained soil mixture and add a teaspoon of bonemeal to the soil on the top after repotting.

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Question: 308-5201
We have a large flower hibiscus that is too close to the building. Can we move it? Mary, Beckley, WV

Mort's Answer:
You should wait until the fall. You can cut it back to a foot from the ground. Malva moschata is a herbaceous perennial that is known as mallow. Newer crosses with the shrub, althaea, are more woody and can be cut back about a foot from the top before transplanting. Wait until the leaves have dropped off to make the move.

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Question: 309-5201
Our tropical Hibiscus are 5-6 tall and 18 pots. They were out on the patio throughout the summer. They have some yellow leaves. Should we cut hem back? Rita, Tiverton, RI

Mort's Answer:
If you just brought them into the house this past week, you may have kept them in too cool temps. Tropical plants will often go into dormancy without the hot night time temps. Leave the plant alone for a few weeks. Water very lightly, if at all. When a plant goes into dormancy, there is no growth. Take you cue from the plant. When new leaves start to appear, you can resume heavier watering and light fertilizing.

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