Hibiscus is a large genus of flowering plants with hundreds of species belonging to botanical family Malvaceae (mallow). Among these, Hibiscus Rosa-Sinensis is the most widely cultivated flowering shrub in gardens. It is known by many common names viz. ‘Shoe flower,’ ‘China Rose,’ ‘Jaswand,’ ‘Gurhal’ etc. Hibiscus is a handsome bushy shrub that can grow up to 1-2 m tall. The plant can flower throughout the year in moderate and humid climatic conditions. The plant is excellent for shrubbery, hedge & as a single specimen on the lawn.
Different cultivars of Hibiscus: The conventional Hibiscus flower is rose-scarlet with a single whorl of five petals. There are several cultivated varieties of many colors ranging from deep red, bright red, yellow and red with white strips & so on. The varieties of Hibiscus can be single flowered, double flowered, Hawaiian hybrids, the hybrids with super-sized flowers & the one with variegated ornamental foliage as well.
Medicinal value of hibiscus: The regular garden variety of Hibiscus with red flowers is also a medicinal plant. Although it has many medicinal uses, the flower is primarily used to prepare medicinal hair oil for strengthening and darkening of hair.
Propagation: Hibiscus is mostly propagated by stem cutting or air layering its branches from mother plants. Hybrids are grown by budding. You can always buy sapling of a hibiscus plant variety from a reliable nursery.
Potting: Hibiscus plant is preferably potted in big sized, earthen round pot. After all the essential potting layers, good quality potting mixture made up of well-drained soil & organic manure is added to the pot. Re-pot your Hibiscus plant every year before beginning of monsoon in a bigger pot. Provide a handful of vermicompost to your plant every month.
Sunlight: Hibiscus is a sun loving plant. Keep your potted Hibiscus in a sunny spot of your home garden if you want it to bloom all the time. Many varieties will flower under partial sunlight as well.
Plant care: Always look for the early signs of any insect/fungal/ any other infections. Spray appropriate medicines as soon as any symptoms of such diseases are spotted. Watch out for mealy bugs that appear under leaf surface & on flower buds in the form of white mass.
Pruning: Remove any dead, decaying, infected branches immediately. Shortening of branches is desirable every year to keep the plant in shape. Heavy pruning is not advisable.
Apart from this, Hibiscus mutabilis, H. Schizopetalus & H. Syracuse are other species of Hibiscus that can be grown in the garden as flowering shrubs.