Tampa Homebody


– Posted in: Gardening, Summer Season
Flowers | Hibiscus | Tips on how to care for them.

Mother Nature sure knows how to put on a beautiful show, and I have been a captive audience as of late.  The Hibiscus plant, in particular, has been quite spectacular.  Displaying vivid color, in a variety of hues, they have blooms that are larger than the palm of my hand.  They are simply impossible to ignore!

The individual blossoms are short-lived on the Hibiscus, yet in their short life cycle … they produce an amazing amount of beauty.  They are very attractive, and humans are not the only ones smitten with them.  Insects, butterflies and other beneficial critters all want to befriend them as well.

It is important to remember that hibiscus plants flower best in temperatures between 60-90 F. (16-32 C.) and they can’t tolerate freezing temperatures.  Since I live in Tampa where the climate is hot and humid, I plant them outside in the ground – or place them in patio containers.  Tampa weather rarely freezes, but when it does, I need to bring them indoors to spare them of the cold temperatures.

As far as watering needs go, when the Hibiscus is blooming … they require large amounts of water.  Daily watering is definitely required in warm weather.  However, once the temps cool down, your plant will need far less water.  In fact, too much water can kill it, so be diligent.  In the winter months, you should only water your hibiscus when the soil is dry to the touch.

Gardening | Hibiscus FoodAs with most flowering plants, fertilizing is highly recommended.  Most plants that flower need large amounts of nutrients in order to bloom well; the Hibiscus is no exception.  This is especially important in the hot summer season; however, in the winter months you don’t need to fertilize at all.  Here are a few fertilizers to choose from:

High Potassium Fertilizer (specifically for Hibiscus)
Liquid Fertilizer (diluted mixture, used every 1-2 weeks)
Slow-Release Fertilizer (used every few months)

Caring for hibiscus plants is really pretty simple.  If you want to see big colorful blooms, be sure to provide your plants with at least six hours of sunlight.  With our hot Tampa sun, we are careful about positioning the plants so that they get the morning to early-afternoon sun, but are shielded later in the day.  Hibiscus really do not require a great deal of maintenance and they make your garden look like you just stepped into a tropical paradise!  They are unassuming, quietly allowing you to pause and appreciate the beauty that is right in front of you.

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