Hibiscus - the ruby of your home
This legend is widely known in East Asia. She tells how a person discovered the wonderful properties of a hibiscus flower.
Exhausted by the long passage through the jungle, the traveler who strayed from the road sat down to rest. He was hungry and languished with thirst. Settling among trees and bushes, he began to make fire. Pouring water into the pot, he dreamed that the gods would send him food. Suddenly, from somewhere above, several red flowers fell into the pot, saturating the water with a ruby red color.
The traveler ventured to try tea, which surprisingly turned out to be fragrant and tasty. Each sip gave him a surge of strength. A fresh sip returned a sense of vigor. Leaving the jungle, the traveler took these wonderful flowers with him for the future. He distributed them to the people of those villages that met on the way, talking about the amazing properties of the drink. Since then, a lot of time has passed before the news of Hibiscus tea spread all over the world.
Hibiscus (Hibiscus) - an extensive genus of plants of the family Malvaceae (Malvaceae) According to various sources, it includes from 150 to 200-220 species, some sources indicate up to 300. Hibiscus are found wild and cultivated. Mostly shrubs and trees. Perennial and annual herbs are also found. They are bred by gardeners in a sharply continental climate.
The leaves are more or less notched, petiolate. The flowers of most species of hibiscus are large, elegant, with brightly colored corollas. The fruit in the form of a box, which breaks up into 5 leaves, contains a lot of seeds, dressed with fluff or fibers, or smooth.
Southeast Asia is considered the birthplace of hibiscus, but they grow freely in Africa and America. In America, they form entire thickets on the wet floodplain meadows, lushly covered with flowers. For their great love of moisture, they are called “marsh mallow” there. In Hawaii, hibiscus is considered a national plant, called the "flower of beautiful women." In Brazil, a diclinous hibiscus is growing, called the “princess earrings”. It has split petals and a long peduncle on which it sways gracefully, really resembling an exquisite earring.
Hibiscus in the places of their growth serve not only for decorative purposes. Young leaves and shoots are eaten as vegetables. Seeds, leaves, fruits, roots are used in medicine. Necklaces are made from seeds. From the flowers get black hair dye and purple - for the food industry. Pieces of dried fruit Hibiscus sabdariff (Hibiscus sabdariffa) - An indispensable component of fruit teas. It goes on sale under the names "Hibiscus Tea", "Mallow Tea", "Sudanese Rose", "Hibiscus."
We are best known cultivated as a houseplant Hibiscus chinese rose (Hibiscus rosa-sinensis), or Chinese rosan from Southeast Asia. How vegetable spicy plants are grown in southern areas Edible hibiscus (Hibiscus esculentus), or okra. In temperate regions, okra can be grown in greenhouses and greenhouses.
Okra, or Okra, or Gombo, or Lady's fingers (Abelmoschus esculentus, previously classified as Hibiscus esculentus)
Popular types of hibiscus
Hibiscus hybrid (Hibiscus hybridus)
Hybrid hibiscus is a herbaceous perennial, with very large, bright, showy flowers. They are propagated in spring (with the onset of steady warm weather, when the buds on the root necks begin to swell) by dividing the bushes, green cuttings and grafting. These ornamental plants are good for large flower massifs, mixed borders, stalls, boulevards, fringes, the banks of ponds, they are planted in glades in the park and among rare bushes in the southern regions of Russia.
Chinese hibiscus (Hibiscus rosa-sinensis)
Chinese hibiscus, or Chinese rose, grows in East Asia and the Pacific Islands. Introduced to Europe at the end of the 17th century. About 500 varieties are known. A very decorative evergreen shrub, the height of which (at home) reaches 3 m. In the conditions of culture - this is a very famous greenhouse, indoor plant. The leaves are dark green, glossy on top, oval or ovoid, serrated along the edge. Chinese hibiscus blooms from early spring to late autumn. The flowers are large (12-16 cm in diameter), simple, semi-double, of various colors - from fiery and orange-red to pink and yellow, depending on the variety.
- Anita Buis - flowers are simple, yellow-orange.
- Florida - flowers are large (up to 14 cm in diameter), orange-red.
- Hamburg - flowers are large, double, carmine-red.
- Rosa - semi-double and double flowers, salmon-pink.
Hibiscus dissected (Hibiscus schizopetalus)
Dissected hibiscus can be found under the synonym of Chinese Hibiscus, a variety of dissected hibiscus (Hibiscus rosa-sinensis var. Schizopetalus). Homeland - Central Africa. Shrub with thin shoots and shiny green leaves. Red-orange flowers with a diameter of 5 cm with bent petals, deep and uneven fringe. Greenhouse and indoor plant.
Syriac Hibiscus (Hibiscus syriacus)
Syrian hibiscus comes from China, India. Its original exotic flower is a symbol of the island of Haiti. They are adorned by locals and numerous tourists. In some provinces of India, red and pink flowers are woven into wedding wreaths.
Features of growing hibiscus
Bloom: hibiscus blooms from spring to autumn.
Growth: plant growth is fast.
Shine: bright diffused, in the spring and summer period without direct sunlight. In the autumn-winter period - good lighting, direct rays are allowed.
Temperature: moderate, in the spring-summer period +18 .. + 22 ° С. Autumn-winter period - +14 .. + 16 ° С, at temperatures below + 10 ° С it can drop leaves.
Watering: during the growing season and flowering - plentiful, as the top layer of the substrate dries. In the autumn-winter period, watering is moderate, two to three days after the drying of the top layer of the earth. When the plant is kept (in winter) at a temperature below + 14 ° C, the soil is moderately moist.
When watering, drying and excessive waterlogging of the substrate should not be allowed.
Air humidity: does not play a significant role, however, it is advisable to spray plants, especially during flowering. This procedure is also a prevention against spider mites.
Top dressing: in the spring-summer period, regular (1 time per month) top dressing with nitrogen-containing mineral fertilizers (stimulate prolonged flowering). In winter, only phosphorus-potassium fertilizer is applied in a half dose once a month, or (if it is almost dry in cool conditions) they are not fertilized.
Rest period: November-February. The optimum temperature is +14 .. + 16 ° С, good lighting, moderate watering. It can winter in a pruned state - in the fall, watering the plants is gradually minimized and leaves fall, and then the stems are trimmed, leaving hemp 7-8 centimeters. In this state, the hibiscus overwinter in a cool place (+10 .. + 12 ° C) - so that the roots do not dry, the soil of the hibiscus is slightly moistened from time to time
Transfer: young - annually in spring. Adults cross every three to four years.
Breeding: cuttings, rarely seeds.
Hibiscus care at home
Hibiscus prefers diffused light, without direct sunlight.
The optimal placement of hibiscus in the summer is windows with a western or eastern orientation. On the windows with a southern orientation in the spring-summer period, a plant is placed far from the window or scattered light is created by translucent fabric or paper (gauze, tulle, tracing paper). Subject to the rules of care, it can grow well and even bloom on windows of northern orientation.
On warm summer days, hibiscus can be taken out into the open air (balcony, garden), but it should be protected from sunlight, from rain and draft. If you do not have the possibility of placing plants outdoors in the summer, then you should regularly ventilate the room.
In winter, hibiscus provides good lighting, no shading is required. You can create additional lighting using fluorescent lamps for this, placing them above the plant at a distance of 50-60 cm, for at least 8 hours a day. In the autumn-winter period, it is also necessary to ventilate the room, but drafts should be avoided.
With a lack of lighting, the plant may sparse or not bloom at all.
During the growing season and flowering period, hibiscus is watered abundantly as the top layer of the substrate dries. In the autumn-winter period, water moderately, two to three days after the top layer of the substrate dries.
When watering, drying and excessive waterlogging of the substrate should not be allowed. Water from the pan, half an hour after watering is poured. Watered with soft and well-settled water.
Humidity does not play a significant role, however it is advisable to spray plants. This procedure is also a preventative measure against spider mites. During flowering, especially on clear, warm days, hibiscus is sprayed with warm, soft, settled water. In the autumn-winter period, you can occasionally spray plants with warm water.
In the spring-summer period, regular (1 time per month) feeding of hibiscus with nitrogen-containing mineral fertilizers is useful (this stimulates prolonged flowering). It can be fed with special complex fertilizers for flowering indoor plants, every 3 weeks. You can use "Rainbow", "Ideal", etc. After irrigation with clean water, it is very useful to feed 1 time per month with a fermented solution of bird droppings (1 part of solution for 20 parts of water) or liquid mullein (1 part of infusion in 12 parts of water). By mid-August, the amount of nitrogen in feed is reduced. In winter, only phosphorus-potassium fertilizer is applied in a half dose once a month, or (if it is almost dry in cool conditions) it is not fertilized. Top dressing is applied after watering.
In late April - early May, adult plants transship in large pots (once every three to four years). If the soil is not acidified and there are no pests in it, you can simply replace the top 5-centimeter layer of soil with a fresh nutrient. As soon as the flower reaches its maximum size in your conditions, do not transplant it, but carefully remove it from the pot and replace part of the soil. The soil for hibiscus is used close to neutral (pH about 6), light, nutritious. You can cook from 4 parts of turf, 3 parts of leaf, one part of humus and sand. Pieces of charcoal are mixed into the mixture. Do not use unripe manure and dry mullein. A mixture of turf, humus and sand (2: 1: 1) may also be suitable. You can add some peat and bone meal. Good drainage is needed, since the plant does not tolerate stagnation of water very well.
Hibiscus is cultivated as large or small bushy or standard plants, the various forms of the crown of which can be obtained by timely correct pruning.
To increase the decorativeness of the crown and stimulate the development of a large number of young shoots that form flowers (flower buds of hibiscus are laid on the shoots of the current year), after transplanting (for young) or replacing the topsoil (for adults), the plant must be cut to the bud at a distance 15 cm from the base. When new shoots begin to form, you must remove the weak and leave the healthiest.
To delay the flowering of hibiscus until autumn or winter, plants must be replanted and pruned in May. Prior to this, they should be at rest with very moderate watering. In July, cut again. As a result, flower buds are formed only at the beginning of autumn. The resulting pruned branches can be used for propagation.
Hibiscus is able to grow from the root. This property is convenient for those gardeners who have a shortage of light and space in the apartment, and because of which there is nowhere to put an extra flower pot in the winter. In autumn, watering the plants is gradually minimized and leaves fall, and then the stems are cut, leaving hemp 7-8 centimeters. In this state, hibiscus overwinter in a cool place (10..12 ° C) - so that the roots do not dry out, the soil at the hibiscus is slightly moistened from time to time, and after three or four months the plant will give fresh shoots. From now on, it must be exposed and watered, not forgetting to pinch the young shoots, as they grow very quickly.
Hibiscus is propagated by seeds, cuttings.
Hibiscus seeds are sown from mid-January to mid-March. Before landing, they are soaked for 12 hours in epin. Sown in a mixture of peat and sand. The plate is covered with glass, the temperature is maintained at 25..27 ° C. The use of mini-greenhouses or lower heating contribute to better seed germination. Spray and ventilate periodically. When the seedlings form two or three leaves, they are dived into pots of the appropriate size. Seedlings bloom and bear fruit in 3-4 years of life.
It is easy to propagate hibiscus by cuttings. They are cut in June-August from the tops of young growth with 2-3 internodes. Slices are treated with growth stimulants. Cuttings root well after 25-30 days in indoor hotbeds with soil heated to 22..25 ° C (a mixture of peat and sand or clean sand) or in pots covered with a glass jar or in water. After the appearance of the roots, they are planted in 7-10-cm pots with a soil mixture of humus (2 parts), leaf and sod land and sand (1 part each), and watered with warm water. It is good to add horn chips and bone meal to the mixture.
For the correct formation of a hibiscus bush, pinch smaller shoots. Young plants grow very quickly, so they may need a transplant into a larger pot in a few months after rooting. In the future, they need to be transplanted annually into fresh, fertile soil. Transplantation is carried out in early spring before flowering. Before this, it is useful to prune the plant, this stimulates abundant branching and flowering. Branches are cut into two-thirds or half their length. With good lighting and plentiful watering, flowering plants can be obtained in 1 year.
Possible difficulties in growing hibiscus
Buds appear on the plant, but do not open and soon fall off - the plant lacks nutrients; watering is not plentiful enough, the soil is very dry; low air temperature.
The lower leaves of the hibiscus fall, the yellow ones grow back - leaf chlorosis has arisen due to the increased content of chlorine and calcium in the irrigation water, while there is a lack of nitrogen and iron (it is necessary to defend the water for irrigation and add the iron chelate according to the instructions); root disease from hypothermia with heavy watering and low temperature; Too dry indoor air, combined with high temperature and insufficient spraying.
The absence of flowers in hibiscus in the presence of lush numerous foliage - the plant is overfed with fertilizers with a high nitrogen content keeping in an insufficiently bright place; insufficient watering during the period of active vegetation;
winter maintenance at a fairly high temperature.
A lack of lighting in combination with excessive nutrition can cause dirty pink spots on the leaves.
The roots of a plant can dry out from cold soil.
With a lack of moisture, the leaves wilt and become lethargic.
When kept in a warm room in winter, with temperatures above 15 ° C, leaves may dry on the plant if the air is too dry.
Damaged: aphids, thrips, whiteflies, spider mites.