Hibiscus Care

Mahalo for choosing a hybrid from Sweetwater Hibiscus!

Our collection of exotic tropical hibiscus are hybridized and cultivated on Hawaii Island. They come well-rooted and ready to be added to your landscape.

Your new hibiscus will be happiest planted in the ground, but if container gardening is preferred, they will flourish in a 3-gallon or larger pot.

We hope the guidance provided will help to keep your new hibiscus happy and healthy for years to come.

Hibiscus thrive in full sun. Ensure your new hybrid receives at least 6-hours of direct sunlight daily.

Water your hibiscus daily. Hibiscus love a lot of water but require good drainage to avoid root rot. Spraying the tops and bottoms of the leaves when watering is good for both hydration and pest control.

Consistent feeding with medium nitrogen (N), low phosphorus (P), and high potassium (K) fertilizer will ensure healthy growth and vibrant blooms. Think 2-1-3 ratio.

Timed-release fertilizer:
Choose the lowest phosphorus (P) content with the longest timed-release and add to soil as needed.

Water-soluble fertilizer:
Choose a low phosphorus (P) and high potassium (K) nutrient and root and foliar feed often.

Regular pruning encourages new growth, better flowering, and desired shape. All cuts should be done with sharp clean sheers cutting at a 45° angle about ¼” above a node. Tip pruning can be done by making a small cut at the tip or by taking the apical leaf.

Regularly inspect your hibiscus for signs of stress, disease, or pests, as early intervention maintains a healthy plant. Common pests like aphids, spider mites and mealy bugs can be treated topically with Neem Oil and systemically with BioAdvanced. Removing yellow leaves and spent flowers daily are also beneficial to plant health.

Use a well-draining slightly acidic soil with a minimum of 30% perlite or cinder if you live in a dry area, to 50% if you live in a wet area. A good ready to use medium is Promix HP which contains 30% perlite, and you adjust for your growing conditions.

Preparing the ground:
Choose a spot that gets optimal sunlight, and dig a hole at least 2 feet wide and 2 feet deep. Test the drainage by pouring about a gallon of water and observing
how it drains. If it drains quickly you’re fine, but if the water is standing for over an hour, do what is necessary to allow the water to flow away from the plant. Dig deeper and add drainage rocks or drill relief holes, so the roots are
not sitting in water. Root rot often goes unnoticed until it’s too late.

Preparing the container:
Choose a 3-gallon or larger pot
with 5 or more drain holes, add more if needed.

Add timed-release nutrients into your soil in the ratio of 1-teaspoon of fertilizer to 1-gallon of soil, and mix well. Fully saturate the soil, gently loosen a few roots from the root ball, and tip prune to encourage new growth and branching below.