Hibiscus as a pot or tub plant is very popular. The plants impress with their large colored flowers, which usually appear in large numbers. Care is relatively easy if suitable overwintering quarters can be provided. You can overwinter the plants in a warm living room, but that’s not ideal. The first leaves usually fall quickly and often the first pests appear shortly thereafter. Read in the following text what you need to consider if you want to overwinter the hibiscus properly. Inform yourself!
Table of Contents
- Houseplant, not to be confused with garden hibiscus
- Also called rose mallow , marshmallow or Chinese rose mallow
- Hawaiianische Nationalblume
- Perennial bloomer with numerous flowers
- Probably from Southeast Asia
- Funnel-shaped, large flowers
- Colors – Red, Orange, White, Pink or Pink and numerous multicolored varieties
- Great multicolored varieties: ‘C’est bon’, ‘The Path’, ‘Persian Rug’, ‘Easy Magic’, ‘Key Largo’ and ‘Antique Treasure’
- Flower diameter between 6 and 12 cm
Care measures for the hibiscus
- Location – bright, like to be outdoors in summer and then in the sun, avoid blazing midday sun and great heat, get used to the sun slowly, otherwise there is a risk of sunburn
- Planting medium – mixture of clay, compost and sand
- Plants – Repot in spring. Due to abundant growth, planting must be carried out almost every year in a slightly larger container. Do not choose a container that is too large, otherwise roots will be full of flowers
- Watering – water regularly, especially in summer, the hibiscus needs plenty of water, no standing moisture, always allow the top layer of soil to dry first
- Fertilize – Weekly during the growth period from spring to August, commercial flowering plant fertilizer is sufficient, low-phosphate fertilizer is favorable
- Pruning – hibiscus blooms on one-year-old wood, so it can be easily pruned, radical pruning in spring, before sprouting begins, shorten to about 15 cm, thin out occasionally if the crown is too dense, hardly any flowers without pruning
- Propagation – cuttings: Use any shoots that fall when cutting in spring
- Diseases and pests – aphids, spider mites, leaf spot fungus, chlorosis, yellow spot
In principle, overwintering the hibiscus is quite simple. The plants need plenty of light. They should not be too warm, but not too cold either. A bit of finesse is required when pouring. In any case, the plants do not need as much water as they do during the growing season, but they must not dry out either. The amount of water depends on the room temperature and the amount of leaves present. Little is fertilized. It is important to regularly check for pest infestation!
Hibiscus does not tolerate frost, so it should overwinter in good time. Even if the night temperatures fall below 12 °C, the container and plant should be placed in a warmer place. Since the plants grow quickly and sometimes become quite large and bulky in summer, it is usually necessary to trim them slightly before putting them away, simply so that the plants do not take up so much space.
- Do not leave outdoors for too long
- even at night temperatures below 12 °c
- Cut back the plant a little if you have space problems
- Don’t overheat
Hibiscus plants need a lot of light. They are tropical plants and should have at least 12 hours of light, even in winter. Unfortunately, in Central Europe this is not possible with natural light. Additional lighting can be of great service here, although many of the plants can do without it.
- 2,000xLux are usually sufficient
- 3,000 lux are top values
- Metal-halide vapor lamps or high-pressure sodium vapor lamps are suitable. Both are mostly used in commercial cultivation.
- Without additional lighting, the plants are best placed close to the window
- A light curtain protects against the glaring midday sun.
- Small plants can be placed on the windowsill.
- It is best to turn the hibiscus over and over again so that they do not grow one-sidedly towards the light.
The warm living room is not ideal for overwintering hibiscus. But if you have no other place, you can try it. What almost always happens is that the leaves, or at least a large part of the leaves, fall off. It doesn’t look pretty, but it’s usually not tragic. In the spring, often earlier, the plant will sprout again.
- Minimum temperatures 15°C
- Temperatures below 10°c are bad
- In the short term, this is less of a problem, but over the long term, hibernation doesn’t work that way.
- Always foot warm place
A bit of finesse is required for pouring. The plant must not be too wet, but should not dry out either. It is important to find the golden mean. Basically, the cooler the room, the less water is needed.
- Water significantly less than the rest of the year
- Never keep it too wet
- The soil should dry well before watering again
- Water more again from April
Many hibiscus lovers do not fertilize their plants at all in winter. However, the plants are among the heavy consumers and should get a few additional nutrients, but less often and in lower concentrations, at least that’s what the experts say.
- Fertilize every three to four weeks with a maximum of 0.5 grams per liter of irrigation water
- For comparison, 2 grams per liter in the main growth period and 1 gram in the transition period.
Plants that don’t look healthy shouldn’t be fertilized, they have to come to terms with themselves first. A rest period does not harm the hibiscus. Some plant lovers almost swear that such a phase will be gone through. Then the plants would produce a particularly large number of flowers. You can only find out by trying it out.
Pests mainly appear if you overwinter the hibiscus warm. Aphids appear first. It doesn’t take long after setting it up. Later, spider mites like to join them, which are more dangerous because they cannot simply be rinsed off like aphids.
Prevention is better than cure here. This includes maintaining a high level of humidity by misting or showering the plants frequently, but preferably with low-lime water. If a plant should nevertheless be infested, it must be isolated immediately, otherwise the other plants will also be threatened.
- Aphids – mostly on the young shoots and the unopened flowers. The honeydew, the excretions of the animals, is often attacked by fungi. The insects can be easily rinsed off with a sharp jet of water. If necessary, you can put the plant outdoors on a frost-free day, shower it off and put it away again. The process usually has to be repeated. Alternatively, the whole bush can be sprayed with soapy water until dripping wet. Chemicals should only be used in emergencies.
- Spider mites – can be easily recognized if the shoots, mainly the shoot tips, are covered with a fine mist of water. The webs on which the water drops get caught are shown. Spider mites are not easy to control. First, the humidity should be increased. If you have a suitable room available, you should use predatory mites. However, these little animals are not suitable for the apartment, because they can also live on humans and animals. Rinsing or wiping helps here, too, but is almost never enough. It is usually not possible to do without chemical agents here.
- Red spider – these pests are not very different from spider mites and can be controlled in the same way.
- Whiteflies – belong to the lice and usually sit on the underside of the leaf and fly up at lightning speed when touched. Yellow stickers, to which the little animals stick, help with these pests. Insecticide sticks can also help, but should only be used when the stickers are no longer effective. The larvae are combated with systemic agents. These are absorbed by the plants. When the pests suck the sap, they ingest the toxins and die. Systemic agents are also effective against spider mites and the red spider.
Frequently Asked Questions
The hibiscus loses a lot of leaves in winter quarters. What can be the reason?
This is often the case immediately after the setting and is due to the changeover, the changed lighting conditions and the change in temperature. If these reasons apply, it is usually not a problem, because the hibiscus will then reliably sprout again. On the other hand, if diseases or pests are to blame for the drop, it is more serious. Often it is root rot, which in most cases is caused by too much water.
It depends on how far the disease has progressed. In the case of a light infestation, affected root sections can still be cut away. If, on the other hand, the majority of the root is already affected, there is usually nothing more to do.
When dropping leaves, it is important that the leaves fall, but the flowers remain on the bush. Then he decided to shed the leaves in favor of the flowers, because there is not enough power for both.
What do yellow leaves indicate when overwintering?
Yellow leaves with clearly visible green veins indicate chlorosis. The culprit is usually a nutrient deficiency, mostly magnesium and iron. However, it can also be due to a location that is too dark. A few yellow leaves that fall off can simply be old. It’s time they make way for fresh shoots. That is normal.
Be careful with yellow spots on the leaves. Yellow spot disease, a viral disease. This can also affect other plants. The hibiscus needs to be isolated. The leaves are to be removed and disposed of with household waste.
It is harmless if a change of location leads to yellow leaves. This is almost normal and not dangerous.