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A favorite in the home and garden, hibiscus boasts lush, gorgeous blooms that create a unique aesthetic appeal. Some species such as the giant hibiscus have flowers with a diameter of up to 30 centimetres, which only bloom for a short time, but draw everyone's attention. If the flower buds suddenly do not want to open or die, care mistakes and temperature conditions are often responsible.
The most common causes
Hibiscus is offered in Germany in a few species, of which the garden, rose and giant marshmallow are most commonly found in gardens and living rooms. The flowers are the most distinguishing feature of any Hibiscus species and it is therefore important to give the plant the care it needs to allow the flowers to shine in all their glory. But especially newcomers to the field of hibiscus care often have problems with the flowers, which do not like to show up if there is a lack of care or the wrong care.
This can have many reasons:
- wrong location
- Lack of lightErrors in watering
- fertilizer error
- poor cutting care
- frost damage
- Collisions with living beings or objects
Choosing the right location
All hibiscus species, whether as a houseplant or as a solitary plant in the garden, need a location that exactly meets the requirements of the plant. This should have the following properties.
- sunny to semi-shady
- no draft
- few temperature fluctuations
- sheltered from the wind
Marshmallow likes constant amounts of sun and should be kept in the dark as little as possible. The penumbra should be chosen carefully, as the plant originally comes from the dry tropical areas of the world and can only supply the flower buds with nutrients with difficulty if it is too dark. The indoor hibiscus should be positioned either on a window sill in full sun or close to the wall on a balcony. Especially in winter, it must not be too close to doors, windows and heaters, as well as air conditioning systems in summer, as the buds wither due to the air circulation and thus there is no flowering. Specimens in the garden should have a windbreak.
Tip: Refrain from moving the marshmallow frequently. It is loyal to its location and will not forgive it if the new location is very different from the previous one or if you turn it in the pot.
The right substrate is important
Hibiscus is a plant in itself that often forgives small mistakes, but in addition to the location, the substrate is an essential factor for the mallow plant. Rose marshmallows are often delivered in the wrong substrates that are too dense and impermeable to air. This results in a problem with the roots, resulting in weak buds that don't have enough energy to flower. Prepare the substrate or location in the garden as follows.
- choose nutrient-rich potting soil of good quality
- preferably neutral or minimally acidic
- should not contain any clay or loam
- for older hibiscus specimens: mix in compost and sand
The sand loosens the soil a bit and the compost provides the necessary nutrients that the hibiscus needs so badly when it is not blooming. So you can fill a fresh pot with potting soil, mix in some mature compost and a handful of sand. This provides the necessary energy boost without depriving the roots of oxygen.
lack of light
Prevent from lack of light
As mentioned above for the location, sun is extremely important for all hibiscus species and therefore too dark a location can weaken the buds. Here it simply helps to move the plant to a brighter location, but make sure that the substrate for a hardy species corresponds to the substrate of the previous location.
Since all hibiscus species are extremely thirsty plants that do not tolerate a bit of waterlogging in any form, watering must be optimized. If the buds are drooping and the soil is damp, the roots may rot. Root rot causes significant damage to plants and should be remedied with the following guide.
- Carefully remove the plant from the pot with the root
- Remove wet substrate, taking care not to tear off the roots
- Cut off dark, foul-smelling roots, leave white and greenish roots on
- prepare fresh substrate
- then plant
- only water again when the top layer of the substrate has dried
- mist the leaves to moisturize the hibiscus
Root rot is serious business and should be stopped as soon as possible. In addition to the root rot, the marshmallow must not dry out. If more than the top layer has dried and the soil appears lighter than usual, it is essential to refill. Only use stagnant water that is not cooler than the outside or room temperature. The flowers and leaves of the hibiscus in particular suffer from cold water and for this reason you should avoid it at all costs. Therefore, in rainy areas, a hibiscus should either be kept in a greenhouse or have a rain cover that protects the sensitive flowers.
The humidity must be adjusted to the needs of the marshmallow. The tropical plant needs a constant humidity of over 60 percent, better still in the direction of 70 percent. Too dry air is usually a problem for the rose mallow and for this reason the flowers fail. Mist the marshmallow with stale water daily or get a humidifier that will automatically increase the humidity.
Avoid mistakes when fertilizing
One of the most important elements in getting hibiscus flowers to bloom is feeding before and during flowering. The first signs of a nutrient deficiency are the following.
- withered leaves
- discolored leaves
- weak growth
If any of these occur, you can be assured that the hibiscus needs fertilizing. Use either nutrient-rich flower fertilizer, pond water or plant manure every two weeks during the growth and flowering phase. You can also sprinkle some compost on the substrate every four weeks and carefully work it into the soil. You can easily add the liquid preparations to the irrigation water when the hibiscus is starving.
Notice: Hibiscus species can do without fertilizer for a long time, but then they will definitely not flower. When you spot a nutrient deficiency, take immediate action using the tips above.
Don't forget to cut
Hibiscus loves being cut. If you want to see lots of flowers on the shoots every year, you should carry out a care cut in January.
- use a disinfected, sharp secateurs for the cut
- remove any dried, dead or weak shoots near the larger branches or trunk - this will keep the hibiscus from improper nutrient distribution
- it's best to remove 25 percent of the total length - you'll want to do this evenly as you cut
Frost damage can occur on young plants between November and March. They are not necessarily harmful to the young hibiscus, but they can lead to a loss of flowering power in the following season. Protect potted plants in winter with a roost that is at least above 10°C. Young garden specimens should be protected from the cold with mulch and garden fleece from the wind.
The buds and flowers of the hibiscus are extremely sensitive to impact. Whether you accidentally bump your pant leg into the buds or your pet bumps into the plant, many buds suffer and don't show up again in the summer. So place your hibiscus in a way that neither you nor your family or pets can cause any major damage. In the garden, it can be worth fencing off the hibiscus, which also provides a decorative aspect.