Plan the perfect garden with our interactive tool →

Stages of a Hibiscus

Jupiterimages/Photos.com/Getty Images

Hibiscus flowers are immediately recognizable to many people by their large, lush blossoms in bright red, paper white or canary yellow. It’s possible to grow hibiscus indoors and outdoors. If you’d like to enjoy healthy hibiscus plants around your house, learning the stages of the hibiscus life cycle can help you provide targeted care for the plant.

Overview

Hibiscus plants rotate through an annual cycle. These plants mature within 2 to 3 years, reaching a mature height of 2 to 8 feet and returning to roughly the same height every year. Planting seeds in early spring can yield flowers the same year.

Seeds

Plant hibiscus seeds indoors about 12 weeks before the last spring frost. Before sowing, soak seeds in warm water. If you’re planting outdoors, it’s possible to sow hibiscus seeds in fall or after the last predicted frost date. Some hibiscus enthusiasts enjoy creating new varieties by blending pollen from different varieties. Pollination occurs when pollen falls to a plant’s stigma pads and connects with the plant’s ovary. The ovary of a hibiscus will swell after connecting with pollen, creating a pod within 6 to 14 weeks. Seeds may be harvested and planted if desired. Seedlings will bloom within 6 to 24 months after planting.

  • Hibiscus plants rotate through an annual cycle.
  • Seedlings will bloom within 6 to 24 months after planting.

Replanting

Replant hibiscus plants, if desired, during February and March, before plants enter their annual growth stage. For optimum replanting, loosen the plant's root system and trim away dark-brown or soft roots. For replanting, choose a pot one size larger than the current pot.

Growth Period

The growth period for a hibiscus plant is March to October. During this time, plants get ready for intense flowering and can be prepared with water-soluble fertilizer formulas. Low-phosphorus fertilizers boost flower production, and high-phosphorus fertilizers boost leaf production.

Pruning

The best time for pruning hibiscus is August to October, although it’s also possible to prune during spring. Because hibiscus produce flowers on new shoots, pruning can help encourage blossom production. Trim enough to leave 3 or 4 primary branches, then trim these by one-third for conservative care that won’t threaten the plant’s growth.

  • Replant hibiscus plants, if desired, during February and March, before plants enter their annual growth stage.
  • Because hibiscus produce flowers on new shoots, pruning can help encourage blossom production.

Care

You'll need to provide appropriate care as the hibiscus plant grows in later stages. During colder seasons, tend your hibiscus plant by covering its base with a layer of straw, mulch or blankets. Regularly mist indoor hibiscus plants with water, or place near a humidifier. Provide additional light in winter with fluorescent bulbs.

Pests

As your hibiscus proceeds through various stages, it may face threats from external sources. Eliminate ants and aphids from your hibiscus plant by spraying the underside of leaves with water. Spider mites can create yellow, bumpy patches on hibiscus plant leaves, or create small webs; eliminate these by applying miticide to the leaves.

  • You'll need to provide appropriate care as the hibiscus plant grows in later stages.
  • During colder seasons, tend your hibiscus plant by covering its base with a layer of straw, mulch or blankets.

Related Articles

How to Care for Hibiscus Plants Indoors
How to Care for Hibiscus Plants Indoors
How to Get Rid of a Hibiscus Plant
How to Get Rid of a Hibiscus Plant
Small Black Bugs on a Hibiscus Plant
Small Black Bugs on a Hibiscus Plant
How to Cure Mildew on Hibiscus
How to Cure Mildew on Hibiscus
How to Grow Hibiscus in a Container or Pot
How to Grow Hibiscus in a Container or Pot
Yellow Flowering Tropical Plants
Yellow Flowering Tropical Plants
Are Hibiscus Plants Poisonous to People?
Are Hibiscus Plants Poisonous to People?
White Bugs on Hibiscus Plant
White Bugs on Hibiscus Plant
Why Are My Hibiscus Leaves Turning Yellow?
Why Are My Hibiscus Leaves Turning Yellow?
Hibiscus Tree Disease
Hibiscus Tree Disease
How Does a Hibiscus Reproduce?
How Does a Hibiscus Reproduce?
Hibiscus Care Instructions
Hibiscus Care Instructions
How to Dissect a Hibiscus
How to Dissect a Hibiscus
How to Winterize Hibiscus
How to Winterize Hibiscus
Problems With Hibiscus Plants
Problems With Hibiscus Plants
How to Plant Hibiscus & Make Them Grow in Texas
How to Plant Hibiscus & Make Them Grow in Texas
How to Propagate Hibiscus by Air Layering
How to Propagate Hibiscus by Air Layering
The Temperature Zone for Hibiscus
The Temperature Zone for Hibiscus
Hibiscus Plants
Hibiscus Plants
Garden Guides
×