The hibiscus is an evergreen shrub, popular in warmer climates. It does not have any tolerance to cold, and dies if the ground temperature reaches 30 degrees F. Established plants in cooler areas have been known to come back during the spring, but only if they are protected from northern winds. The hibiscus is not tolerant of salt spray or saline irrigation water.
Test the soil pH in a part of the landscape that is protected from winds. You can buy soil test kits at any nursery or garden center. Hibiscus prefer a soil pH between 5.5 and 6.5. If the soil is too alkaline, the hibiscus suffers from micronutrient deficiencies.
Dig a planting hole that is at least 1 foot wider than the root ball and as deep as the root ball. Scarify the sides of the planting hole with the pitchfork.
Fill the planting hole with water if you are planting a hibiscus in a container or a balled-and-burlaped tree. If you are planting a bare-root tree, soak the roots in water for at least eight hours before planting, to ensure the roots are properly hydrated.
Remove the hibiscus from the container. If the tree is balled-and-burlaped, remove any staples or ties holding the burlap onto the root ball. If the burlap is synthetic, remove the burlap. If the burlap is organic, leave the burlap on the root ball. It will decompose and provide nutrients for the tree. Center the tree in the hole, then backfill with soil.
Mulch the hibiscus with at least 3 inches of compost or pulverized bark. Do not allow the compost or pulverized bark to touch the trunk of the tree--keep it about 1 inch away. Water with 1 inch of water.