Hibiscus Rosa-Sinensis Bonsai Care Sheet

Hibiscus is likely one of the most recognizable of all the blooms in the natural world. Their signature slender pollen tubes capped with an intricate arrangement of stigma have captured the attention of many tribes of man who use their instantly recognizable forms as symbols of national and cultural pride. Hibiscus rosa-Sinensis might be the most popular of this genus of flowering shrubs, and rightly so. 

There are few flowers more striking and radiant than hibiscus rosa-Sinensis. This is the classic large-format hibiscus flower that you will have seen on swimsuits and tropical-themed clothing. This is also the state flower of the state of Hawaii as well as the national flower of Malaysia, with other species of hibiscus being the national flowers of the Solomon Islands and Niue, Haiti, and South Korea. Here’s an idea, why not make this national symbol the symbol of your gardening pride? No matter how big or small your garden is, hibiscus rosa-Sinensis is the perfect showpiece.

Hibiscus rosa-Sinensis

Now, let’s take a look at how to ensure that your symbol of gardening pride will thrive. Here is a list of the topics we’ll cover in this handy comprehensive guide:

Quick Care Sheet for Hibiscus Rosa-Sinensis

Before we delve into the fullness of this guide, we’d prefer to highlight the most crucial care information with a concise but comprehensive care sheet. This is so that you have an easily accessible table of information to refer to when needed. Gone are the days of sifting through piles of information on the internet while you’re trying to plant. Here is the quick care sheet for hibiscus rosa-Sinensis:

Native Area

Tropical and temperate Americas, Southeast Asia, the Pacific Islands, and the Caribbean.

Growth patterns

Tropical, evergreen, bears flowers all year round.

Optimal soil

Loose, fertile soils rich in loam. Hibiscus rosa-Sinensis doesn’t do well in clay-rich or waterlogged soils.


Water hibiscus Rosa-Sinensis liberally during active growing seasons. Allow soil to dry properly between waterings.


Full sun, at least 8 hours of light a day.


NPK with higher concentrations of nitrogen and potassium and lower concentrations of phosphorus.

Propagation methods

Root, stem, and leaf cuttings, and water propagation

Potting season

Late spring to early summer.

Shaping and pruning season

Early spring.

Recommended styles

Chokkan, Kengai, Literati, and Shakan

Pests and diseases

Aphids, ants, and grasshoppers.

Hibiscus rosa-Sinensis

Scientific Classification

  • Clade: Eudicots
  • Order: Malvales
  • Family: Malvaceae
  • Genus: Hibiscus
  • Species: Rosa-Sinensis

Caring for Hibiscus Rosa-Sinensis: The Finer Points

Here is where we dig into the substance of the article. We’ll cover all the points mentioned above in much greater detail so that you have as much information as possible for growing and taking care of hibiscus Rosa-Sinensis. 

Overall, the hibiscus genus is not a difficult plant to grow. Even though each species has a favorite region or climate, they all adapt rather easily to their surroundings and grow well in various conditions. That said, hibiscus Rosa-Sinensis prefers the temperate tropical conditions of its home region, Eastern Asia. As with any plant replicating its native conditions as best as you can will give you the greatest chance at success. 

Native Area

As we explored above, Hibiscus rosa-Sinensis is native to many regions of the world, more so than most of its contemporaries in the mallow family. Proof of this is the immense social impact this larger-than-life flower has had in many regions across the globe. Hibiscus rosa-Sinensis is recognized as the national flower of Malaysia. The locals there call it bunga raya, a name which translates directly to great flower. I cannot blame them; In all its brilliant glory, this species of Hibiscus is a pretty great flower. If we take a look at the more realistic lexical breakdown of bunga raya, we’ll find that bunga means ‘flower’ in the Malay tongue, and raya means ‘grand’, or ‘celebratory.’ 

From that, we see that the Malaysian name of Hibiscus rosa-Sinensis means something more akin to ‘the flower of celebration’, or ‘the celebratory flower’. Either way, the regal Hibiscus rosa-Sinensis is a celebration of what it means to be Malaysian. It is a powerful reminder of the history and global relevance of the Malaysian peninsula, and all the subsequent subcultures it resulted in, such as the incredibly vibrant, colorful, and proud culture of the Cape Malay on South Africa’s western coast. 

The flower arrived on the Malaysian Peninsula somewhere in the 12th century. It took a while for the flower to earn real recognition, but thanks to how much it became a part of the locals’ lives, Hibiscus rosa-Sinensis was eventually nominated as the territory’s national flower in 1958. The Ministry of Agriculture nominated numerous other flowers for the honor as well. Among them were the rose, jasmine, ylang-ylang, magnolia, and medlar. Finally, after much back and forth and deliberation, Hibiscus rosa-Sinensis was awarded the prestigious title of National Flower of Malaysia on the 28th of July, 1960. 

As with any national symbol, the flower has picked up a few extra symbolic characteristics over the years. The red of the petals has come to represent the courage, vigor, tenacity, and rapid growth of the Malaysian spirit. The pentamerous structure of the beautiful bloom represents the five principles of Rukun Negara of Malaysia. The Rukun Negara is the Malaysian declaration of national philosophy. The five principles are as follows:

  • Belief in God
  • Loyalty to the King and Country
  • Supremacy of the Constitution
  • Rules of Law
  • Courtesy and Morality  

These five ideals together make up the aspiration that each individual in the Malaysian peninsula strives toward. Hibiscus rosa-Sinensis also appears quite proudly on the notes and coins that make up Malaysia’s currency, the ringgit. 

Haiti is another place where Hibiscus rosa-Sinensis enjoys national honors. Although, in this case, the bloom is recognized as the unofficial national flower. It has however also been used in Haitian branding campaigns where it has appeared as the symbol of the country for the distinct purpose of promoting tourism. In Haiti, Hibiscus rosa-Sinensis has two widely-used names in the Haitian Creole language; Choeblack, and rose kayenn. It also basks in the honor of being the symbol of the Fusion of Haitian Social Democrats, a democratic political party.

If you look at Haiti and Malaysia on a map, the two territories could not be further from one another. One is in the Caribbean and shares land with the Dominican Republic, the other is part of Southeast Asia and is around the corner from Singapore. They don’t share Gross Domestic Product statistics, cultural history, socio-economic or political factors, or even time zones. However, both regions fall into a similar climate; Tropical. So while the territories may share nothing else, the one thing they do share is the beautiful Hibiscus rosa-Sinensis and its impact on their individual cultures and histories. 

These tropical climates where Hibiscus rosa-Sinensis thrives are typically categorized by average monthly temperatures of 64.4 degrees Fahrenheit or higher. This usually persists year-round and results in generally hot weather for most of the year. Tropical climates also see an abundance of precipitation. 

The facts to take home then are that Hibiscus rosa-Sinensis thrives in sunny spots with moderate water intake. Don’t plant your hibiscus in the shade, and it should be a perfectly happy, healthy, vibrant plant with a year-round visual payoff.

Hibiscus rosa-Sinensis

Growth Pattern

Previously, we covered Hibiscus rosa-Sinensis, a dwarf species. This is no dwarf. Hibiscus rosa-Sinensis is one of the upwardly growing species that dominate the Hibiscus genus. This plant also generally boasts fuller, more dense foliage. Dense foliage coupled with its larger-than-life leaves gives you more than an opportunity enough to create stunning visual displays. 

Dwarf hibiscus is modest and somewhat shy in its approach to growth, Hibiscus rosa-Sinensis is the exact opposite of that. This is the perfect plant to grow as a monumental display piece. While many gardeners keep their Hibiscus shrubs from growing too tall, some instances of Hibiscus rosa-Sinensis surpasses 3 meters. This means, if you so desired, you could grow your Hibiscus rosa-Sinensis into a fine tree. This might however require thickening the trunk to support the additional magnitude and weight, but we’ll touch more on this in the bonsai section of this article. 

Its dense foliage also means that Hibiscus rosa-Sinensis makes for the perfect hedge. Easy to trim and almost always decorated with vibrant, large-format flowers, your Hibiscus rosa-Sinensis hedge would be the envy of the cul-de-sac. This plant is also perfect for lollipop trees, or medium decorative shrubbery. 

In addition to all of this, Hibiscus rosa-Sinensis is also an avid climber. For a truly show-stopping visual display, give your Hibiscus rosa-Sinensis a trellis! You might need to weave the first few branches through but with the height you’re typically likely to get out of this species, you’re looking at massive full-wall climbing potential, provided it’s a sunny wall of course. 

Plants like Hibiscus rosa-Sinensis tend to become root-bound in pots, but with proper maintenance, and a sturdy central post, you can grow this beauty in a pot for an even more decorative approach to your garden landscape. Any way you choose to grow Hibiscus rosa-Sinensis, you’re looking at a massive visual payoff with vibrant tropical hues and monumental flowers. 

Optimal Soil

As we’ll discuss further below, human intervention and the intensive and persistent use of chemical fertilizers in agriculture have led to a massive decline in the quality of natural soil systems. This is especially true in the more tropical regions of the earth that Hibiscus rosa-Sinensis calls home. We now have to intervene to guarantee any improvement in the biological and physicochemical properties of naturally occurring soils. Decades of unbridled industrial development and the general footprint we humans leave everywhere we go haven’t exactly helped matters. But what does the soil that Hibiscus rosa-Sinensis typically grows in look like before human intervention?

In general, Hibiscus rosa-Sinensis grows in loose soils as that is what commonly occurs in the tropical landscape. These soils are usually fairly low in nutrients. In fact, nutrient deficiency is one of the biggest problems with tropical soils. The majority of the usable nutrients are located in the topmost regions of the soil, also known as the humic layers. From here, nutrients are rapidly returned to the supported vegetation such as Hibiscus rosa-Sinensis plants. 

Just for interest’s sake, if you’ve ever wondered why tropical soils typically appear redder than soils in other regions, this is due to the concentrated presence of iron. Iron also explains the toxicity levels in tropical soils, due to a reaction between aluminum and the aforementioned copper remnants when they come into contact with high temperatures and heavy rainfall. 

One of the other major problems found in tropical soils is that the prevalent rainfall that tropical regions are typically known for leads to the soil taking on a clay-like consistency. Clay, as you might know by now, is not the preferred soil type of Hibiscus rosa-Sinensis. That coupled with tropical soils being fairly low in nutrients doesn’t paint the prettiest picture for the survival of naturally occurring Hibiscus rosa-Sinensis plants. Although, somehow, the plants survive their harsh natural environment. 

These are however not the circumstances you should seek to replicate when bringing Hibiscus rosa-Sinensis home with you. Think of Tropical Hibiscus as a child from a broken home. You’re not going to adopt it and subject it to the same lousy treatment it’s accustomed to, you’re going to treat it the way any plant deserves to be treated. You’re going to give it not what it knows, but what it requires. So, what does Hibiscus rosa-Sinensis require in terms of soil composition?

Soil Texture

The first thing you want to avoid is wet, waterlogged soil. Hibiscus rosa-Sinensis doesn’t like wet feet. This magnificent crown jewel of the tropical world prefers moist soils that allow decent drainage. Your best bet here would be any soil of the loam or sandy loam variety. If your soil is a little too sandy for your plant’s liking, you can incorporate decomposed organic matter and mulch into it to increase aeration and improve its texture. As stated above, Hibiscus rosa-Sinensis doesn’t like or thrive in clay or clay-like soils. I have clay at home. 

Every time I introduce a new plant into my ever-expanding garden, it’s a little bit of an inconvenience to prepare the soil. Luckily, however, I know first-hand that you can improve the consistency and general quality of clay soils by mixing in adequate amounts of either sand or gypsum. Another thing I do – if I don’t feel like altering the very nature of the soil I was blessed with – is plant my new Hibiscus shrubs in raised beds. This helps with avoiding the drainage issues that clay soils usually cause. 

Soil pH

Just in case you aren’t terribly familiar with pH, this refers to whether the soil is predominantly alkaline or acidic. The halfway point is a pH of 7.0. Anything over 7.0 is predominantly acidic, while anything under is primarily alkaline. As a general rule of thumb, Hibiscus rosa-Sinensis prefers soils that are neutral to slightly acidic. This is the one attribute of tropical soil that the plant actually agrees with. If your soil is relatively high in acidic content, you lower the pH by mixing in either sulfur or a sulfuric compound such as aluminum sulfate. 

If your soil is a little too alkaline, you can raise its pH with lime. You could also opt for dolomite or ground agricultural limestone if that’s what you have on hand. Again, an easier alternative is to plant your Hibiscus rosa-Sinensis into a raised bed or pot. This way, you can control the pH of the soil from the get-go, instead of trying to find a good balance between acidity and alkalinity. 

Soil Fertility

We’ll delve deeper into fertility by interference – fertilizer – a little further down in the article. However, you can increase the fertility of your soil by adding a generous helping of decomposed organic matter or compost into it before you plant your Hibiscus rosa-Sinensis. You can check both the nutrient content and pH of your soil with a handy soil test kit which you should be able to pick up at your nearest nursery or hardware store. The results of the test kit should also give you recommendations on how to make your soil more habitable for your Hibiscus rosa-Sinensis. 

Potting Mixes

This section is primarily for if you choose to plant your Hibiscus rosa-Sinensis in a pot or a raised bed. Potting mixes are incredible resources as they allow you to control the nutrient content and general suitability of your soil from the beginning. One recommendation I can make for the perfect Hibiscus rosa-Sinensis soil composition is two parts potting soil, or part vermiculite or perlite, and two parts peat moss. Even if your garden soil is of better quality than my clay, I’d suggest raised beds and potting soil over what you have in your garden. The mix of potting soil and other nutrients I described above primarily yields better results than garden-variety soil.

Hibiscus rosa-Sinensis


Hibiscus rosa-Sinensis is a tropical bloom, therefore, you can assume that it loves water more than most. And you’d be right. While the hardier species such as Hibiscus rosa-Sinensis have adapted to thrive in hot, dry climates like the plains of Central and Southern Africa, Eritrea, and Yemen, Hibiscus rosa-Sinensis thrives on more frequent exposure to water. 

The tropical climates that Hibiscus rosa-Sinensis calls home are hot, but they experience frequent, deep, and soaking rains. For the highest probability of success and to ensure blooms that come back year-round, you should try and replicate these conditions. In terms of watering, this means that you should subject your Hibiscus rosa-Sinensis plant to deep watering once a week. This will allow the soil to dry properly between waterings, thus preventing the wet feet that Hibiscus rosa-Sinensis cannot thrive with. 

If your region experiences a good deal of rainfall, you’ll want to cut back on watering during the rainy seasons so that your plant doesn’t become waterlogged. Another thing you’ll want to keep in mind is that newly-rooted plants and younger shrubs require more water than those that are mature. For young saplings, you may want to water them twice a week. 

Also, pay attention to what your plant may be trying to communicate to you. If the leaves and foliage of your Hibiscus rosa-Sinensis are limp or droopy, you’re likely giving it too much water. If the leaves start going dry and wilting, you’re likely not giving them enough water. As with anything, as time progresses, you’ll start to develop a better sense of when your particular plant needs to be watered, and how much water it needs in your region and climate. 

Light and Location

For this section, we can again turn to the native climate wherein Hibiscus rosa-Sinensis naturally grows. The tropical regions of the earth are known for their warm sun-drenched days interspersed between periods of sporadic thunderstorms and heavy rain. Of all of the different climates we experience on this earth, tropical climates are among the most dramatic. However, we can focus on the sun-drenched days because this is what Hibiscus rosa-Sinensis prefers. 

If you’re planting your Hibiscus in a garden bed, you’ll want to make sure that you plant it somewhere it can bask in the sun. There are a few schools of thought on this, but many experts agree that tropical hibiscus performs best if it receives at least eight hours of sunlight a day. Some enthusiasts say that hibiscus flowers more profusely in shadier conditions, however, you don’t want to plant it in full shade. I typically plant mine in full sun once they’re old enough not to wilt and shrivel under its intense heat, but a partially sunny spot in your garden would be perfect. 

Hibiscus rosa-Sinensis doesn’t merely have to be a statement piece relegated to a back wall somewhere in your yard to make a blank wall more interesting. The sheer size of the flowers that this species produces and the size of the plant itself, make it perfect for use as a hedge or a lollipop-style tree. As long as the spot you choose for your Hibiscus rosa-Sinensis experiences sufficient sunlight throughout the day to facilitate photosynthesis, it will thrive. 

In terms of planting your Hibiscus rosa-Sinensis in a pot, you’ll want to keep the sun in mind too. I have an open courtyard on my property. One would think that such a place would be perfect for Hibiscus, but unfortunately, it isn’t. The issue here is that the rooflines of my house obscure the sun for many hours each day. I can’t very well place a massive pot in the center of the courtyard where furniture goes, so I usually place my pots a little out of the way and off to the side. 

Even though there is considerable light in my courtyard, my potted Hibiscus doesn’t like the location; it doesn’t experience enough direct sunlight, and my plant suffered while it was in that spot. Since moving my plant to the north side of my property, it has started thriving. See, for plants like Hibiscus that love drinking in the golden rays of the sun, the north side is best – at least where my region is concerned. 

Our shadows fall to the south, so even though I have a larger garden to the south of the house, much of it is covered in shade for most of the day. On the east, where the sun rises, my plant would only have the morning hours to bathe in the sun, and the same on the west with the slightly less intense evening sun. The north experiences the eastern rising sun, the western setting sun, and none of the southern shade. Take a walk around your space and see where you’d get the most sun. This is the perfect spot for this sun-loving plant.

Another thing you’ll want to keep in mind in terms of location is wind. While a gentle breeze won’t harm your Hibiscus rosa-Sinensis, you’ll need to make provisions if your region experiences strong gusts of wind. 

In general, if you experience sporadic and extreme weather conditions, it’s best to keep your Hibiscus potted so that you can move it to counteract the effects of the weather. This way, you can move it undercover during a particularly cold winter, out of the way of a strong wind storm, or out of the reach of damaging hail or black frost.

Hibiscus rosa-Sinensis


Fertilizer is one of the essential compounds we feed crops so that their strength, flower and fruit production, and overall beauty experiences encouragement to increase exponentially. The three most important elements that need to be present in your fertilizer are phosphorus, nitrogen, and potassium. While all three of these basic nutrients are already present in the soil our plants grow in, numerous factors, such as inappropriate human intervention, have drastically decreased the natural availability of these resources. 

Thus, we humans are currently in a position where we have to intervene and provide these nutrients to our plants for them to have any chance of thriving. 

There are numerous schools of thought on why we started using fertilizer. While some believe it was out of greed that we wanted more produce faster, this was likely instead due to shifts in population and an increase in the demand for fresh produce, and increased lush, green, vibrance around us. We are also not the only culprits in the decrease of naturally occurring resources in the soil. Changes in climate, rainfall, herbivorous animals’ grazing patterns and the reduction of biological material breaking down in an area drastically change the composition of the soil. 

The point is that we need to replace these essential elements in the soil because of how we’ve affected its natural composition, but also due to other environmental and ecological factors that are largely out of our control. Therefore, there are two upsides to fertilizer; we make the soil healthier and more hospitable to our plants and other biological life, and we increase the flower, shrubbery, and fruit production of our plants. Here is a short rundown on the three elements mentioned above and their importance to the soil makeup, and thus their importance to your Hibiscus rosa-Sinensis.


Nitrogen is widely regarded as one of the most essential nutrients to promote healthy plant growth. Nitrogen typically exists in the makeup of fertile soil and is absorbed by plants, like your Hibiscus rosa-Sinensis, to gain the energy needed to sustain life. Nitrogen also features rather prominently as a component in chlorophyll. Chlorophyll gives plants the ability to generate nutrients from sunlight via photosynthesis and also gives them their green hues. Photosynthesis quite literally translates to “the act of making things with light.”

Due to its presence in chlorophyll, you’d be right to assume that nitrogen has more to do with sustaining leaves and shrubbery than it does flowers. In fact, if you give your Hibiscus rosa-Sinensis too much nitrogen, you’ll stunt flower growth, but your green shrubbery will thrive. But how about too little nitrogen? 

Just because too much is bad for flower production, doesn’t mean that too little is good for flowers. As with any nutrient, it’s a balancing act. Nitrogen is also an essential component in plant protoplasm, this is the translucent matter contained in the cells of your Hibiscus rosa-Sinensis which makes up and supports your plant’s gross biological functions. Protoplasm is essential for flower differentiation, and it also increases the vigor with which your plant grows, as well as its speed. Protoplasm is also an integral part of internal mineral catalysis and biochemical reactions. 

Too little of this essential component is called chlorosis and is a rather serious condition for plants. Nitrogen absorption typically occurs in the younger growth, at least initially. Once the young are taken care of, nitrogen travels to the older parts of your Hibiscus rosa-Sinensis. This means that a deficit in nitrogen levels in your Hibiscus rosa-Sinensis presents as yellowing and discoloration on the older parts of your plant. 


Phosphorus is vital to your Hibiscus rosa-Sinensis if you want it to survive and thrive. However, your plant requires this nutrient in lesser quantities than nitrogen and potassium. Phosphorus is vital to the health of your Hibiscus rosa-Sinensis for three reasons:

  • The process of photosynthesis is dependent on it to convert sunlight into sugars, starches, and usable energy.
  • Phosphorus is essential to plant respiration and energy transfer through adenosine triphosphate (ATP).
  • Phosphorus makes up RNA and DNA, otherwise known as ribonucleic and deoxyribonucleic acids. 

Phosphorus is important not only to the survival of your hibiscus but also to its reproduction cycle due to its presence in critical genetic material like DNA and RNA. Your Hibiscus rosa-Sinensis will struggle to carry its genetic material and adaptations over to the following generation if there isn’t enough phosphorus in the soil. 

As a result, any offspring of your Hibiscus rosa-Sinensis from a particular mother plant might lack the ability to thrive in your garden, as well as any other characteristics you may have wanted to replicate from the original plant.

The plant’s entire lifecycle, including photosynthesis, requires phosphorus. As the Hibiscus dies, its phosphorus will be returned to the soil, where it may be utilized by microorganisms and other plants to support their own life cycles. This is known as the phosphoric circle of life. 


Potassium is the most important nutrient to any hibiscus plant. Potassium is an essential component in transporting nutrients throughout the roots, as well as to different sections of the Hibiscus rosa-Sinensis organic structure. This miracle medicine may also be used by plants to activate a variety of enzymes that are involved in the plant’s own roles. Potassium regulates how much carbon dioxide the plant absorbs, and hence controls its stomata. Photosynthetic activity is improved as a result of this process. 

The letters N, P, and K are often found on hibiscus fertilizer containers. Nitrogen, phosphorus, and potassium are the elements they stand for. Without these three vital nutrients, your tropical hibiscus will struggle to survive.  

The Best Fertilizer for Hibiscus rosa-Sinensis

When I was starting out, I’d immediately reach for balanced fertilizer for my hibiscus, bougainvilleas, and all the other plants I wanted to populate my garden beds with. This is not the right move. While ‘balanced’ is a brilliant trait for most things you come across, including people, this is not what you want to fertilize your Hibiscus rosa-Sinensis with. A balanced fertilizer, as you’ll be able to tell by the numbers on the packaging or container, contains equal parts of potassium, phosphorus, and nitrogen. 

As we’ve discussed, potassium is the most vital of the three nutrients and the one you need the highest concentration of. Even though both nitrogen and phosphorus are essential to healthy foliage, root production, and the statement blooms Hibiscus rosa-Sinensis is famous for, too much of either of these is detrimental to the plant, and will likely result in premature death for your beloved hibiscus. Unfortunately, nitrogen and phosphorus in the same concentration as potassium are far too much for your plant to handle. 

Therefore, experts and Hibiscus rosa-Sinensis enthusiasts agree that the best formulation of fertilizer is a ratio of 3 -1 -4. This is to say, a moderate concentration of nitrogen (N), a low concentration of phosphorus (P), and a high concentration of potassium (K). Now, a decent NPK in a ratio of 3 -1 -4 isn’t too hard to find at a dedicated nursery or even a hardware store, but if you cannot find the right ratios on a pre-mixed fertilizer bag, you can adjust the ratios yourself. All three of these nutrients can be purchased separately, then it’s only a matter of measuring out three parts of nitrogen, one part of phosphorus, and four parts of potassium. 

The Best Time to Fertilize Hibiscus rosa-Sinensis

You never want to give your Hibiscus rosa-Sinensis too much fertilizer, or too frequently for that matter. There are two main types of fertilizer; slow release and water-soluble. If you opt for a slow-release fertilizer, you’ll want to fertilize your plant four times a year. These times primarily coincide with the active growing phases of your Hibiscus rosa-Sinensis plant. 

You may be sensing a pattern here. Any activity involving the procreation of your Hibiscus rosa-Sinensis or encouraging the plant to grow typically takes place during an active growing phase. Not only is this safer for the plant, but in the case of fertilizer, you’ll also have better results if you localize activity to active growing phases. The four times a year that you should fertilize your Hibiscus rosa-Sinensis with slow-release fertilizer are:

  • Early in the spring


  • After your Hibiscus rosa-Sinensis has finished its first round of blooming


  • In the middle of the summer


  • Early in the winter

Even though tropical plants typically grow and bloom year-round, you don’t want to fertilize too deep into winter for fear of nitrogen burn or any other side-effects of overloading a plant with fertilizer during a potentially dormant phase. 

If you choose to fertilize your Hibiscus rosa-Sinensis with a water-soluble fertilizer, you can make a weak solution and fertilize your plant every two weeks in the spring and summer, and once every four weeks during fall and winter. 

No matter which fertilizer you use, you’ll want to opt for a 3 -1 -4 NPK ratio. There are websites that recommend using balanced fertilizer over any other ratio, but as we’ve discussed quite thoroughly, it is detrimental to the health of your Hibiscus rosa-Sinensis plant to use all three nutrients in the same concentration. I have first-hand experience of many of the many detrimental effects on plants which is what makes me comfortable and qualified to furnish you with the kind of knowledge these articles contain. 

Hibiscus care is similar to driving, in my opinion. In the beginning, you need to focus consciously on the task at hand and how to do it to the benefit of your plant. But as you practice all the facets of Hibiscus care more frequently, it will turn into more of a reflex-based activity. You may even notice that time turning into a sort of meditation moment, as it is with me. Whether you call it a habit or a ritual, it gets easier the more you practice it.

Hibiscus rosa-Sinensis

Propagation Methods

Propagation Basics

The biggest difference between hardwood and softwood when you’re picking bits of your Hibiscus rosa-Sinensis to propagate is that hardwood cuttings take longer to root. To help you identify hardwood and softwood, here’s a short helpful guide:

If you look at the stems or branches on your Hibiscus rosa-Sinensis shrub, you’ll likely see slightly lighter green foliage at the tip of the branch. The branch itself will also be lighter in color and more vibrant. This is the softwood and is likely growth from the current season. A little further down the branch, you’ll notice that the foliage is a little darker – maybe a deeper, less vibrant shade of green. 

The branch here is also a little darker, and as we discussed earlier, will have slightly less give than softwood. This is semi-hardwood and is likely growth from earlier in the current year. Even further down, likely at the base of the branch – if the branch is more than a year old – you’ll see more of a bark-like covering, and the foliage will be slightly darker still. This is hardwood and is growth from the previous year. 

You can propagate nearly every part of your Hibiscus rosa-Sinensis shrub, excluding the flowers, as we discussed previously. However, softwood cuttings are easier to propagate and they take less time to develop roots and start flowering. 

There isn’t really a massive difference in how you prepare your cuttings based on whether they’re softwood, semi-hardwood, or hardwood. In each case, you should:

  • Make sure the cutting is between four to six inches. 


  • Clean the leaves off of the cutting. 


  • Slice the base of the cutting at a 45-degree angle below a node.


  • Scrape the lower inch of the cutting to promote root growth.

Easiest Way to Propagate Hibiscus rosa-Sinensis

Below, we’ll discuss two unique and interesting propagation methods, namely propagating Hibiscus rosa-Sinensis in water, and using its leaves as a means of propagation. Before that, however, I’d like to share the most popular and easiest way to propagate hardwood, semi-hardwood, and softwood cuttings. This is a method you may be familiar with, but there may be a step or two that you’re not familiar with.

First, you’ll need to select a region of your plant to take cuttings from. I’d suggest preparing three garden pots and trying all three types of wood to see which gives you the best results. Remember, try to keep your cuttings between 4 and 6 inches. We’ll go into details about this under water propagation, I’d like to keep this specific method as concise as possible. 

Once you’ve collected your cuttings, you’ll need to clean the majority of the foliage off of them and slice each cutting at a 45-degree angle just below a node. Next, you’ll want to gently scrape the outermost layer from the lower inch of each cutting to promote root development. 

The last step in preparing your cuttings is to dip them into a rooting hormone. This is completely optional and I’ll expand on the options below. 

Next, you’ll need to prepare your pots. I’d suggest using proper potting soil if you have it at hand, however, I’ve successfully used garden soil. Fill your container up with your chosen soil, and then make holes in the soil with either a pencil or your finger. It’s never a good idea to shove cuttings directly into the soil as more granular soil can damage your cuttings and impede how well they form roots. Your cuttings should be around 2 inches deep. 

Once you’ve positioned your cuttings in the soil, you need to water them well. I’d suggest watering your pots slowly until the water runs through the drainage holes. 

Now, you’re going to turn these pots into little closed ecosystems. Take a clear plastic bag and secure it to the lip of each pot. This is to raise the humidity within the ecosystem and keep your cuttings moist without too much intervention. Once your pots are prepared, put them into an area that experiences partial sun. You don’t want them to dehydrate, but you want them to be able to bask in limited sunlight. 

You shouldn’t have to water your cuttings until they take root and start producing new foliage. This will take a few weeks. If they start looking a little dry, however, you’ll need to water them again. 

Once your cuttings produce new vibrant foliage, you can take the bags off of each of the pots. Now you’ll want to leave them in their pots for a week more to get them accustomed to the outside climate. Thereafter you can plant them in individual pots or in your garden bed. 

Water Propagation

Of all of the propagation methods we’ll cover, water propagation is by far one of the easiest. Hibiscus also does really well with water propagation, and if you do it the right way, you should expect to wait no more than 4 to 5 weeks before you have new plants to put into pots.

There are actually numerous variations on water propagation for hibiscus, but the method highlighted below is the one with which I experience the most success. If you find that another method works better for your climate or your hibiscus, then that is the method that you should use. After all, the most important thing is that your hibiscus plant thrives. 

The first step in propagating hibiscus in water is to harvest the appropriate cuttings. Even though every part of the hibiscus plant can be used as a cutting, they each require slightly different preparation and some parts of your hibiscus plant definitely make better cuttings than others. For the method of propagation highlighted below, the ideal section of your hibiscus plant to use is that which is classified as hardwood but is also not yet fully mature. 

By hardwood, we mean that the piece in question needs to be slightly stiff and should preferably have a layer of bark. I know from experience how tempting it is to reach for the greenest stem on your hibiscus rosa-Sinensis plant, but stems that are too green do not fit the description of hardwood. 

On the other hand, you also don’t want to harvest stems that are too mature. Mature in this case refers to how much flexibility a branch has before it snaps. Ideally, you’re looking for a branch that still has a little give if you try and bend it. 

A helpful tip that I find doesn’t get enough time in the Sun as it should, is that you should never take a cutting from a branch that has flowered. Flowering uses up a great deal of nutrients and energy and once a branch has flowered, it is unlikely to have enough potential energy to produce roots. 

Next, you need to clean the cuttings that you’ve taken from your hibiscus rosa-Sinensis plant. This requires a clean and dry pair of garden shears or a sharp knife, so be sure to have this handy. The first thing you want to do is to cut your cutting down to the right size. I have found that the ideal length for hibiscus cuttings is between 4 and 6 inches. In fact, this is the ideal length for any cuttings. You are, of course, allowed to make your cuttings either shorter or longer than the recommended length, but doing so can result in a failure to root. 

If your cuttings are too short they don’t have much chance of producing roots. On the other hand, while lengthier cuttings may still produce roots, the resultant plant is likely to be lanky and tall. While you may like the string bean look, mini hibiscus rosa-Sinensis enthusiasts prefer a slightly shorter bushier plant.

Another point that is sometimes overlooked is that the base of your cutting should preferably be cut at a 45-degree angle. You should also make this cut directly beneath one of the nodes on the stem. 

Next, you’ll want to remove any excess foliage. This is again because of the limited nutrients and vital potential energy that your cuttings have. You don’t want them to have to support and sustain foliage growth and development; you want your cuttings to expend the majority of the energy they have on producing roots. This way you can ensure their survival. 

You don’t have to remove all of the foliage from your cuttings, but from personal experience, what you end up with is a cutting that looks rather vibrant and full of life in the water, but doesn’t develop the required roots to keep the plant alive once it is removed from the water. At that point, your Hibiscus rosa-Sinensis cutting essentially becomes a cut flower with no flowers. 

Scraping your cutting is the next step in water propagation. This isn’t an essential process, and many enthusiasts don’t partake in the make-shift ritual that this has become for me. However, because plant matter works very similar to the way human muscles strengthen and reproduce, it makes sense to wound the cutting before placing it into the water. 

You’re not looking to leave gashes on the sides of your cutting. All you need to do is once again reach for whichever sharp, clean blade you’ve been using, and gently but firmly scrape the lower inch of your cutting. The idea is to expose some of the light internal plant matter. I usually do this on all sides of the lower inch of the cutting for maximum root growth encouragement. 

Once your cutting is clean, you may opt to dip it into a rooting hormone. As the name suggests, this will further encourage roots to form, often quicker, and therefore ensure the longevity and survival of your cutting. You don’t have to head out and buy a dedicated rooting hormone, although this is sometimes the most effective method. There are other options you can use from your own pantry or store cupboard. Some of the best home-sourced rooting hormones you can use are honey and cinnamon powder. 

Now, when I was finding my feet in the art of propagation, I used to simply dip the end of the cutting into a rooting hormone and then place the cutting into around two inches of water. Now, however, I’ve become a lot attuned to what my cuttings need, and so I don’t use pure water for propagation anymore. 

Instead, I add two tablespoons of quality potting mix and one tablespoon of my chosen rooting hormone into the two inches of water. This is still water propagation, even though it doesn’t look as striking as the classic crisp, clear glass containing vibrant green cuttings that you’re likely to see on Pinterest. I find that this method works better though. I have more success with water propagation this way than with a glass of pure water. 

As with any propagation, this should ideally be done early in spring. This is so that you can plant your resultant shrubs in summer. It will take a few weeks before you see any significant root development or new foliage, but you should never be discouraged if it takes a little longer.

Hibiscus rosa-Sinensis

Leaf Propagation

This is a strange method, one that you likely haven’t been confronted with before. But yes, I am about to tell you how I grow brand new hibiscus plants from just the leaves of a mother plant. You see, I don’t like wastage, and nothing feels more wasteful when I’m cleaning cuttings up than having to throw away perfectly good leaves. Instead, I am able to use the entire cutting I take from the mother plant for propagation purposes. 

The first thing you need to do is harvest a few leaves. As stated above, I usually use the leaves that I remove from cuttings while cleaning them up. You can, of course, take leaves from the mother plant directly – you’d end up with the same results. The only thing you need to keep in mind is to try and take your leaves with the bottom node intact. If you pinch the leaf at its base from the mother plant or cutting, you should be fine. 

Next, you’ll need a small container, preferably the size of a small breakfast bowl or something of the like. Fill your bowl with a growing medium. This can be either regular garden sand or a dedicated potting mix – both work equally well. You don’t need any rooting hormones here, but if you have any on hand, I’d always recommend dipping your cuttings for a maximum chance of success. By cuttings, I mean leaves in this case. This is a seriously no-fuss method, so you won’t need anything like perlite, vermiculite, or peat moss for this to work. You can adapt this method to your heart’s content though, but this is what works for me. 

Soak your growing medium with water, you want the soil to be fairly wet for this method. Not quite a mud, but close. It’s better if your container has drainage holes, this way you can count on excess water draining out of the container and not sitting in the bottom. Next, you’ll want to gently stick your leaves into the growing medium. 

You should push them about an inch deep, this way they have enough growing medium around them to anchor them down. You won’t need to water your leaves again until they root – at least, you shouldn’t have to. 

Place your container in a partially sunny spot that isn’t too hot, and wait for them to root. In my experience, it takes around 20-25 days for them to root properly. When you’re ready to remove your hibiscus leaves, water the container again so that it’s easier to get your new plant babies out without hurting them. 

From here, you can pot your hibiscus leaves and their new little roots. We’ll cover potting more comprehensively below.

Hibiscus rosa-Sinensis

Potting Season

One of the most exciting times of the year is undoubtedly potting season. The two major reasons we repot plants are to either allow the roots more opportunity to expand or to replenish the plant’s nutrients, which can eventually run out completely. 

To keep the tiny beauties from becoming pot-bound or root-bound and starving to death, bonsais are repotted rather frequently. When bonsais’ roots extend out into thick carpet-like structures to look for nutrients in the depleted soil, they become pot-bound. Eventually, the roots fill up the whole area that the fertile soil once occupied and effectively get trapped in their container.

Hibiscus rosa-Sinensis should be potted or repotted in the late spring or early summer. These are the times of the year when hibiscus rosa-Sinensis experiences the most active growth. During this time, they have access to the warm climate, ample sunlight, and fertile soil they require for growth. 

They also have additional daylight hours in the spring to bask in the sun and engage in photosynthetic activity. By elevating the temperature of the soil and the air around your hibiscus, the prolonged hours of sunlight also rather accurately mimic the tropical conditions of its native climate.

Before you repot your plant, take some time to inspect it. It is best to make sure that no animals are munching on the roots of the plant before you transfer it into a new pot. Carefully transfer your Hibiscus rosa-Sinensis into a new container with some of the soil from its old container. This will speed up the plant’s adjustment to its new environment. 

The roots of a hibiscus rosa-Sinensis bonsai probably need to be cut back a little during repotting. You don’t want to upset the plant and cause it to struggle to find nutrients, so take care not to cut too much of the roots. Additionally, be careful not to overly disturb the dominant roots, as these will grow thicker and occasionally longer than the others, and are essential for finding nutrients in the soil and transporting them to the rest of the plant.

Hibiscus rosa-Sinensis

Shaping and Pruning

As it is a shrub, Hibiscus rosa-Sinensis doesn’t need much shaping or pruning unless you want to make a topiary of a particular shape out of it. Therefore, this section primarily applies to those of you interested particularly in cultivating Hibiscus rosa-Sinensis as a bonsai. 

The Best Time to Shape and Prune

Spring is the best season for pruning rosa-Sinensis. This is the start of the plant’s active growing season. Before the season’s new growth starts, it is always a good idea to remove a little of the old growth. You don’t want to remove too much of the old growth though, as this could put your plant at risk. In general, it’s advised to tidy up the tree’s base and get rid of any leaves and branches that are protruding improperly and diminishing the tree’s beauty.

Keep in mind that every component of a tree has a function. You are robbing the tree of nutrition and its capacity to survive if you remove too much of any of these essential components. When shaping and pruning your bonsai, consider the tree’s health as well as its appearance.

In late fall, when the growing season is coming to an end, you might want to prune once more. Sometimes it’s a good idea to remove any extra leaves from the tree, especially around the base or on branches that you want to keep bare since this will enable the tree to dedicate more nutrients toward sustaining the season’s new growth. 

Shaping your Hibiscus rosa-Sinensis

There are a variety of well-established shaping techniques for hibiscus bonsais. Hibiscus bonsais, which typically grow girthy trunks, are perfectly suited to most bonsai shapes. Some of the bonsai shapes we suggest for this lovely plant are shown below:

Chokkan – Formal Upright

Chokkan, arguably one of the most well-liked bonsai types, rules the bonsai world with its strong, unyielding trunk and gently tapering lofty proportions. The chokkan style is perfect for the larger-than-life proportions of the Hibiscus rosa-Sinensis. 

Kengai – Cascade

The difficulties a tree encounters when growing on a sheer cliff are exemplified by the kengai style. Due to the tree’s precarious position, falling boulders, snow, or any number of other things can lead it to bow downward. 

Allowing the tree to flower below the pot’s rim also adds a great deal of visual intrigue and a sense of overcoming hardship. Kengai is often cultivated in higher pots, which offer solidity to the bonsai and promote healthy root development. Once the branches have properly bent downward, we advise training them to grow horizontally for the ideal balance.

Bunjingi – Literati

These trees must grow taller in order to live in the intense competition for resources because they flourish in highly populated places. Since the tree’s top receives sunlight, the trunk of the tree grows crookedly upward. Typically, the bark is removed off the branches to give them a more rugged, aged appearance. This gives the impression that the tree is fighting for its life. Most literati bonsais are cultivated in small, spherical pots.

Shakan – Slanting

The shakan bonsai style attempts to mimic the way trees thrash in gale-force winds. In the wild, trees exposed to hard winds have a tendency to grow foliage in the wind’s direction, which reduces the chance of branches falling from the trees. Shakan bonsais are cultivated with foliage that primarily grows in one direction. The roots strike a balance by stabilizing the bonsai and establishing visual harmony.

Hibiscus rosa-Sinensis

Pests and Diseases


The aphid is a common creature you’ll find on your plants. The majority of us have experienced an aphid infestation at some point in our lives. As I’ve mentioned in a previous article, I find aphids to be incredibly fascinating pests. Aphids are no longer dependent on their male counterparts to reproduce due to evolution and the fight to survive in the modern garden. 

When the next generation of aphids is born, they are already pregnant and are on the verge of giving birth to their own offspring. Thus, aphids are among the most quickly spreading organisms in gardens. Some aphids even develop wings and become airborne in hopes of spreading through your garden faster and wreaking more nutrient deficient havoc. 

The average size of an apid is around 18 inches (2-4mm). You can find them in a variety of colors, sometimes matching the dominant color of your plants. Some are hard to spot without looking close enough, but others have striking colors, like red, black, or white. These tiny, almost oval-shaped insects feed by sucking all the nutrients and sap from your Hibiscus rosa-Sinensis plant. 

Your Hibiscus rosa-Sinensis leaves suffer the greatest damage from aphid feeding because they are able to feed off its nutrients. You will likely notice significant yellowing on the leaves, whether in spots, patches, or at the edges. It is possible for some leaves to completely die from an infestation if the infestation is severe enough. An absence of nutrients can also cause your leaves to curl at the edges and become dry and brittle.

Worry not, however. There are numerous ways to get rid of an aphid infestation. 

  • Water

One of the easiest ways to get rid of an aphid infestation is to hose your plants down or gently wash them by hand. The one thing you should never do is opt for a high-pressure hose or the pressure fittings or settings on your garden hose. This will most assuredly damage your Hibiscus rosa-Sinensis. Another thing to keep in mind is that this method is primarily useful against younger infestations – those that haven’t properly taken root and caused significant damage to your plants yet. This isn’t a one-and-done solution; you’ll need to hose your plants down every couple of weeks until you’re sure the aphid infestation has cleared. This could take up to two weeks. 

  • Homemade Spray

This is an extension of the previous method. Instead of washing your Hibiscus rosa-Sinensis’ leaves by hand, you can mix up a solution of soap and water and spray it onto your plant. For best results, coat the leaves and stems liberally. You’ll need to repeat the process every couple of days until the infestation has abated. Aphids have soft bodies held together by compounds neutralized by soapy water. This is why this method works so well. It literally destroys the aphids one by one. 

  • Pesticide

Another method that works incredibly well is any pesticide that contains a compound called Imidacloprid. This should be your last resort when dealing with an aphid infestation on your Hibiscus rosa-Sinensis. Even though pesticides sometimes exterminate pests indiscriminately, Imidacloprid doesn’t harm the pollinators that visit and propagate your garden.


Out of the context of my Hibiscus garden, ants are actually one of my favorite little critters. My affection for ants stems from how interesting I find them. This is a creature that lives in a vibrant, bustling community, just like we humans do. And these ant communities are actually incredibly good for the natural world – within limits though. See, ants aren’t the bad guys some people make them out to be. Part of these ant communities are, of course, their massive underground networks of tunnels that soften the earth around your plants and, in most cases, keep your soil aerated and provide better water drainage. Your Hibiscus rosa-Sinensis would be doing a little happy dance right about now because, as we’ve discussed, they love well-draining soil. In this way, there’s no better place for ants than in and amongst your Hibiscus rosa-Sinensis. 

However, in numbers greater than your garden can handle, these industrious little critters can cause a lot of damage. The tunnels and colonies that ants build can suffocate your plants and critically disrupt root development. 

One of the other things that I find most interesting about ants is that they’re able to farm other smaller critters. The critters in question are none other than the aphids we discussed above. You see, aphids produce a sweet sticky substance when they break down organic matter – like the leaves and stems of your beloved Hibiscus rosa-Sinensis. The resultant substance is called honeydew, and ants find it delectable. You’ve likely seen ants walking up and down your plants in long lines. They’re collecting honeydew. Ants and aphids have a mutually beneficial relationship; Aphids produce honeydew for the ants, and the ants in turn protect the aphids from creatures that would otherwise spell their doom. 

Other than disrupting root development, ants don’t typically directly harm your Hibiscus rosa-Sinensis. Even so, ants aren’t something you want in excess when you’re trying to produce massive, vibrant Hibiscus rosa-Sinensis flowers. So what can you do about them?

  • Control the Aphids

The best keep your ant population in check is to make sure they don’t have any little buddies to farm. Get rid of the aphids in your garden and the ants won’t have much reason to stick around. This method isn’t going to completely get rid of every ant traipsing around your garden, but it will scale them – and their mining operations – back enough for your plants to breathe again. 

  • Sugar

Remember where I told you that ants farm aphids for sweet, sticky substances? You can use similar sweet, sticky substances to take ants off of the census. Experts agree that a small deep bowl of sugar water should help you get your ant problem under control. The ants will be attracted by the sweetness of the sugar and home in on the bowl. Once they reach it though, they should get stuck in the water and drown. However, it takes a considerably long time for ants to drown, so this isn’t exactly a quick fix. Another thing is that if your bowl is too shallow, the ants aren’t likely to get stuck. What you’re doing then is simply giving your ants another repository for sweet stickiness. 

  • Borax

The presence of borax or boric acid in your sugar solution will likely make it deadly. As borax is toxic to both humans and pets, it should be used with caution. If you handle it, be sure to wear gloves. If you consume borax, you may experience nausea, vomiting, and diarrhea. Taking large amounts of this toxic compound may result in shock and kidney failure. The inhalation of borax can cause damage to your nose, lungs, and throat. You can also experience skin and eye irritation from it. 

Borax is dangerous for humans, so it makes sense that it is deadly for little critters like ants. The corrosive properties of borax disrupt critical ant infrastructure, including their digestive system, when consumed. Ultimately, the ant’s internal structure is completely destroyed, resulting in death. Even so, borax’s suitability for ant poisoning has a certain beauty. 

To understand the efficacy of borax, it is necessary to understand ant society. Keep in mind that the insects that roam up and down your hibiscus are only part of the entire social system of the industrious ant. These insects serve as scouts. Their job is to haul food back to their nests. These are also the aphid farmers that we discussed above. 

There is a whole other world of ant societies deep within the earth, under your hibiscus, and within the mounds of annoying ants. A particularly noteworthy ant is the queen, who lays her eggs underground. In addition, you have the reproductive ants, as well as the vast underground network of worker ants. 

In order to get rid of surface wanderers as well as ants hiding in the hidden world, you’re going to require something as potent and well-traveling as borax. Ants do not consume everything they find on the ground’s surface, as we discussed above. They consume some of what they collect for energy, but the bulk goes to the queen.

Borax’s slow-acting nature allows the scouts to penetrate deep into the belly of the beast before inflicting the final blow. Consequently, surface scouts use borax unknowingly to kill their entire nest, committing mass genocide.

  • Diatomaceous Earth

As opposed to borax, diatomaceous earth poses no health risks. The fossilized remains of hard-shelled algae called diatoms are used in food-grade diatomaceous earth. Since it is food-grade, humans and dogs are completely safe should they come in contact with it. Ants, however, find it extremely toxic.

Insects dehydrate rapidly when they are exposed to diatomaceous earth. This slow-acting solution can also protect your hibiscus against slugs and cockroaches. When used regularly, diatomaceous earth will keep ants under control in your garden, since it is a slow-acting substance. By giving the ants time to reach their nests beneath the surface, diatomaceous earth also helps to take care of the entire nest, as does borax.

  • Spices

Consider covering your hibiscus with something spicy. Cayenne pepper, cinnamon, and chili powder are the ideal products for this. It isn’t harmful to ants, but that isn’t always the goal. Using spices is a perfectly suitable solution if all you want to do is protect your Hibiscus rosa-Sinensis without decimating entire generations of ants. 

  • Hot Water

How long it takes for ants to drown is a crucial consideration when dealing with water. It may take an ant 24 hours to completely drown. This results from the biology of the ant. The ant is one of the oldest living things on earth. This critter flourished when dinosaurs roamed the world. In order to make an organism less likely to perish, survival of cataclysmic events like the great dying would certainly cause some type of mutation and evolution. And so it has.

A thin layer of oil protects the structural integrity of each biological component on an ant’s body. The ant is a tough little bugger because its exoskeleton is kept protected by an oily residue, and the exoskeleton protects all of the ant’s internal soft squishy bits. 

You can avoid this clever little evolutionary ploy by adding soap to your water solution. The soap will hasten the ants’ drowning by neutralizing the oil. You really don’t need to add a lot of sugar or aspartame to the solution to draw ants because they occasionally appreciate a sip of water. You’ll probably even see ants floating around if you leave water in your cup or the kettle.

Unfortunately, it will take time and be largely ineffective to pour hot water directly through the hole in the top of the ant mound. Even boiling water will quickly cool when it comes in contact with the soil, producing the same unimpressively sluggish drowning effect as room temperature water.

However, while you take care of the queen using various means, water can confuse ants and keep them from going back to their nest. Ants form extensive lines and queues as a result of the pheromones they emit. Other ants can use these pheromones to leave a breadcrumb trail that leads back to their colony. You can stop ants from returning home by neutralizing the pheromones by sprinkling soapy water along the ant trail.


The grasshopper is a natural cleaner. They are one kind of creature that breaks down dead matter in nature. They are incredibly important in the broad scheme of things, and like most cleaners, their waste supplies vital nutrients for the development and growth of other species. The grasshopper moves about constantly during its life, allowing biological materials to decompose and leaving behind a new source of food for plants. After it passes away, other cleaners break down its biological material and it becomes a crucial component of the process it worked so hard to spread.

Grasshoppers don’t always concentrate all of their deconstruction efforts on biological matter that is dead or dying. In other words, grasshoppers don’t care that your Hibiscus rosa-Sinensis is alive and well. The grasshopper serves a vital purpose. It decomposes organic stuff, releases nutrients, and then continues. They work at it for the rest of their lives. Nymphs and adults alike will destroy as much lush, green organic material as they can at every stage of their life cycle.

Grasshoppers lay their eggs in the summer. The eggs spend the winter buried in pods beneath the soil as a result of diapause. Nymphs hatch in the spring after the egg-laying season and immediately start eating. For survival, nymphs need to consume plant material. Nymphs also need food to grow into adults. And when it comes to your pretty green plants, they’ll consume everything and anything. 

Nymphs ruin the fertile area where they were born and then move on to fresh pastures to transform them into a dismal wasteland. Adult grasshoppers continue doing this throughout their entire lives until the winter when they decompose into dead husks. Preventing an infestation in the first place is the greatest strategy for dealing with grasshoppers.

  • Flowers

This will thrill you to the core if you love plants. Grasshoppers dislike a wide variety of plants and flowers. You can deter grasshoppers more humanely by planting your garden full of other flowers. Would you have thought it could be so easy? Some of the most advantageous flowers in this regard are dianthus, lilac, salvia, crepe myrtle, and artemisia. Since grasshoppers despise juniper, this is justification for starting a juniper bonsai! Even though some of the best gins use juniper’s berries, the days of juniper being appreciated only for alcoholic beverages are long gone. Other plants that grasshoppers detest include lantana, forsythia, and moss roses.

  • Garlic Spray

Garlic repels grasshoppers. Therefore, spraying it on your Hibiscus rosa-Sinensis will work wonders. 

  • Neem Oil

Neem oil, a potent insect repellant, is made from an Australian tree. In addition to keeping grasshoppers away from your hibiscus, neem oil can reduce the quantity and frequency of grasshopper eggs laid. Neem oil can thus be used to gradually reduce grasshopper populations over time and eventually eradicate them entirely.

Hibiscus rosa-Sinensis

Final Thoughts

It’s so difficult for me to look at hibiscus and not be awe-struck. This is especially true in the case of a beauty like Hibiscus rosa-Sinensis. This plant is the epitome of hibiscus in many respects, as the flower most people see in their minds when the plant’s name comes up. This flower has been so pivotal in the histories and cultural diversity of so many nations and regions, and looking at its stunning blooms, you get a feel for why so many people have been influenced by it.


You should fertilize this beautiful bloom during its active growing phases. This is during spring and summer. Depending on the type of fertilizer you use, you may need to decrease the amount and increase the frequency during these times.

In the case of Hibiscus rosa-Sinensis, you can use hardwood, semi-hardwood, and softwood cuttings, as well as individual leaves from your plant for propagation.

The best fertilizer for Hibiscus rosa-Sinensis is an NPK blend with a 3 -1 -4 Ratio. This means you want a moderate concentration of nitrogen, a low concentration of phosphorus, and a high concentration of potassium.

Hibiscus rosa-Sinensis prefers tropical and sub-tropical climates, but these blooms will typically adapt quite easily to their locations. The best thing you can do for your Hibiscus rosa-Sinensis shrub is to plant it where it will receive at least 8 hours of sunlight. This is usually the north side of your property. If your region experiences overall colder temperatures, you might want to plant your Hibiscus into a pot so that you can move it if the weather gets too nippy for your plant to handle.

This hibiscus is perfect for the art of bonsai! Rosa-Sinensis typically develops large blooms that make the perfect statement for most bonsai styles, and this shrub can be trained to develop a thick, strong trunk that you can attempt numerous bonsai styles with.

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Russ has always been on his own unique path. He was introduced to bonsai and horticulture as a way of life through photography on his work lunch breaks. An avid lover of the older way of life, he loves watching happy tiny plants take root in a chaotic world. He has since started cultivating a wide array of flora from his mid-century home in South Africa. Russ has a massive appreciation for how ancient peoples benefited from a more nature-centric life and wishes to one day retire to a riverside cottage in a forest. He hopes to continue learning and growing himself, with his cat, bonsai and… ahem… all sorts of natural remedies.



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