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Hibiscus Syriacus Ultimate Growing & Care Guide

If you’re looking for a beautiful plant to add a touch of the Mediterranean to your garden or yard you have plenty of choice. However, we reckon the one to choose is the glorious and easy to grow Hibiscus Syriacus with its beautiful bold flowers in a choice of vibrant colours. 

In this guide we look at why you may wish to grow hibiscus, what you need to know about caring for these amazing trees, and how to get the best from your plants.

Let’s start with a brief look at why you may want to grow this wonderful plant.

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Hibiscus Syriacus Ultimate Growing & Care Guide

What is Hibiscus Syriacus?

What is Hibiscus Syriacus

Hibiscus syriacus, known as the Korean rose, is the national flower of South Korea. Other common names are Syrian ketmia, rose of Sharon, and shrub althea. 

Native to the southern parts of China and Asia, the hibiscus is a popular garden plant the world over, and while it does require certain conditions to thrive it can be grown quite successfully in most locations.

If you are in a tropical location, your hibiscus syriacus will bloom throughout the year providing a flash of amazing colour throughout. In cooler places, the tree will bloom in the late summer and into the fall.

Hibiscus is also used to make tea, is present in many beauty products as it has soothing properties and is used in eastern medicine as a cold remedy. 

Why Grow Hibiscus Syriacus

Why Grow Hibiscus Syriacus

Hibiscus Syriacus is highly regarded for its large flowers that can be any of a number of colours. Blue and purple, red, yellow, and orange, plus pink and white are the main varieties.

An evergreen tree, the hibiscus will keep its foliage during the winter making it an ideal choice for any garden where you need space filling.

One of the Mallow family of plants, hibiscus trees do need to be protected from extreme weather but once fully mature will handle most that nature can subject it to. 

Let’s get on to the important bit – how to grow and care for your hibiscus syriacus. 

How to Grow Rose of Sharon

There is concrete proof that growing plants is good for your mental health and indeed medical practitioners prescribe getting out in the garden for people suffering from anxiety and depression.

The incredible colours of a hibiscus syriacus cannot fail to raise the spirits. So, how easy is it to grow? We’ve covered the main factors you need to think about when growing a hibiscus.

How to Grow Rose of Sharon

Location

If you only have a small outdoor space, there is no reason you can’t grow a hibiscus syriacus as they are easy to keep pruned and shaped. However, you do need to take care when choosing the location for planting.

These are plants that thrive on sunshine, so they will need to be positioned where they get maximum sunlight during the day. Also, consider growing hibiscus syriacus in a planter as this may allow you to move it around when you need to.

Watering

The hibiscus needs water like most other plants of this type. In fact, they are surprisingly thirsty plants that need a lot of regular water. They will require more when in bloom and after a hot day.

Increase your watering routine during the hotter weather as this is when the plant needs it most. Look out for yellowing leaves which is a sign of too much watering and adjust as needed.

Overall, if you water your hibiscus syriacus plenty and often it will thrive.

Hibiscus Syriacus Care

Light

We’ve already mentioned that this is a plant that needs plenty of sunlight, so it’s worth looking at this just briefly again. If possible, plant or position the tree where the sun’s rays can get to it for most of the day.

Do this, and keep it watered, and you should nurture a healthy tree for many years. However, it’s important that the plant is protected when the sunlight reaches extreme heat, and this is another reason why some people plant them in large pots that can be moved. 

Soil Type

The general advice is for moist but well-drained soil with a pH of between 6.5 and 7. With these conditions, the plant will happily absorb the nutrients in the soil. Try and grow it in a wet and waterlogged location and it simply won’t grow.

Lime – which can be bought from a garden store – and coffee grounds can help with the pH situation, while Epsom salt will also help as it contains magnesium.

Make sure you get as close to these soil conditions as possible for the best result. 

Temperature

The ideal temperature for the plant is between 60°F and 80°F and it will not survive in temperatures below 32°F. You can grow a hibiscus indoors in which case the temperature should be no less than 55°F.

When the weather reaches the hot end of the scale the hibiscus syriacus will appreciate being misted with water if indoors or sprayed outdoors.

Remember these are naturally tropical plants so need an environment that is suitable and replicates this. 

Propagating Rose of Sharon

Propagating Rose of Sharon

It is surprisingly easy to propagate new plants from your existing hibiscus syriacus, so here’s a few tips:

  • Cut a short 2cm to 3cm segment of the plant with just a couple of leaves and soak it in water overnight.
  • Do this in spring or early summer and prepare a spot in the ground or in a pot with soil enriched with the substances we mentioned earlier. 
  • Plant the cutting 5cm down and water regularly.

Keep the plant within the temperatures mentioned and you should have a healthy hibiscus syriacus growing for planting out later. 

For more plants to grow in your garden, check out our Forsythias and Hebes growing guide. 

Wrapping Up Our Hibiscus Syriacus Growing Guide

The hibiscus syriacus is a popular garden plant because of its ease of growth and beauty in bloom. It also looks great in a conservatory and indoors.

These tropical plants do grow quite tall – some up to 4.5 metres if planted in the ground – so make sure you have the space for one.

Follow our Hibiscus syriacus growing guide and you will have a glorious evergreen tree that is simple to care for and that will bring colour to your garden in great style.

About the Author Mabel Vasquez

Mabel has enjoyed a long career as a horticulturist, working in nurseries and greenhouses for many years. Although she loves all plants, Mabel has developed a particular passion over the years for herb gardens and indoor plants. Mabel has since retired from her horticulture career and loves sharing her many years of experience with our audience here at Sumo Gardener.

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