Hibiscus, also known as mallow, is a tropical perennial valued for its large, attractive blossoms and ease of cultivation. The plant blooms during spring, summer and fall, producing flowers in shades of red, pink, yellow, white and orange. The large flowers can reach up to 10 inches in diameter in some species, though most only reach about 5 inches. Native to tropical and subtropical regions around the world, hibiscus requires a warm environment to thrive. Gardeners in the United States typically grow the plant indoors, where its native habitat is easily emulated.
Plant hibiscus in a container filled with well-drained, fertile soil. Keep the plant in a location that receives at least six hours of direct sunlight each day for optimal growth. Keep hibiscus plant outdoors, unless the temperature drops below 45 degrees Fahrenheit.
Water the hibiscus plant once every five days during spring and summer to keep the soil consistently moist at all times. Reduce the frequency of watering to once every week during winter, when the plant is dormant and needs less moisture.
Feed the plant once per month during the active growing season using a high potassium 12-4-18 NPK water-soluble fertilizer. Soak the soil before and after fertilizing to prevent root burn and release the nutrients. Apply at the rate described by the manufacturer for the best results.
Prune the hibiscus plant during late winter to improve the plant's health and appearance. Use hedge clippers to remove damaged and diseased growth. Sever the limbs at their point of origin to minimize damage.
Repot the hibiscus plant when the roots begin growing out of the container's drainage holes or if they are growing in a solid mass or spiraling around the bottom of the pot. Choose a container one size larger than the previous pot, and provide fresh potting soil.