Care of Bare Root Hardy Hibiscus

rokal(LongIsland/z6b)April 6, 2007

I just purchased and received a hardy hibiscus 'Moy Grande'. The plant is currently bare root with a rootball about the size of a large fist.

I potted the rootball in a 6" azalea pot with moist potting mix and put it under my florescent light setup. The room temp is approx. 60-65F.

Since there were no growing instructions with the order, I'm wondering if my approach was okay? How soon should I start to see new growth?

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watergal(z6/7 Westminster, MD)

That should work OK. Not sure how long it will take to get new growth - days, weeks, a month? They are very slow to emerge outdoors - mine don't usually show up until late May, so be patient. I expect you'll have shoots by then, and it can be planted outside then. It could probably be planted outside now and be OK, but since you're already doing the inside thing, I'd just stick with it.

    Bookmark   April 7, 2007 at 11:48AM
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rokal(LongIsland/z6b)

Thanks watergal! I checked this morning and I already have some green growth. That was really fast!

    Bookmark   April 7, 2007 at 4:18PM
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rokal(LongIsland/z6b)

UPDATE: After about 1 month under lights, my hardy hibiscus has one healthy stem that is about a foot tall. The roots are starting to grow through the bottom of the 6" azalea pot.

QUESTION: If I want to grow this in a container this year, what size container should I use? Would 14" be large enough? Is this plant going to explode once the warm weather hits?

Also, should this plant be cut back? If so, at what height and by how much?

Thanks,

Rokal

    Bookmark   April 30, 2007 at 11:34AM
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hitexplanter(8 a)

I have grown Moy Grande in a 12 inch but would consider that too small for the hot summers here in Texas. I think a 14 or 16 inch should be reasonble if you can keep it watered well. Yes, when it gets growing it REALLY gets growing. Cutting back by a third will help overall shape. This is best done while the main shoot is just getting started but can be done later, but will slow flowering some what. I would still consider doing it because the more branches yopu have, the more prolific the blooms will be. Here in Texas the blooms don't really get going til it gets hot. Late June or so. It then blooms on and off thru September. I would guess August for up in New York but maybe a few in the first half of September. They are heavy feeders in a container so keep a good 3-1-2 ratio fertilizer going throughout the warm grwoing season. Extra epsom salt(magnesium sulphate) at a tblspoon per gal once a month will also help if the fert you use doesn't have 1/2 to 1 % already in it.
Good Luck and Happy Growing David

    Bookmark   May 7, 2007 at 9:06AM
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rokal(LongIsland/z6b)

David,

Thank you very much for the detailed response.

I am really looking forward to seeing these large blooms!

Regards,

Rokal

    Bookmark   May 7, 2007 at 11:27AM
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hitexplanter(8 a)

Rokal,
Are you in New Zealand not New York? If so a great book I got years ago was published in Australia called, Growing Hibiscus ISBN # 0-86417-045-9 by Kangaroo Press. Very useful and covers grafting as well as other things about tropical and hardy types of Hibiscus. It doesn't cover Moy Grande however since Dr. Moy from San Antonio Botanical Gardens didn't introduce it until the 90's and this book was published in 1985 and reprinted in 87. You might consider getting a few seed from Burpee's of the Luna Blush hibiscus a real beauty as well. 5 for $4
Good Luck and Happy Growing

    Bookmark   May 7, 2007 at 1:10PM
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rokal(LongIsland/z6b)

Thanks David. I am in New York. I checked out Luna Blush and will add it to my list to try for next year. I am already up-to-my-ears in plants right now ;-)

Regards,

Rokal

    Bookmark   May 8, 2007 at 1:47PM
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hitexplanter(8 a)

Rokal,
After I posted my first reply I was looking at your locale and thought I saw NZ6b and that where I started thinking you might be in New Zealand not New York. I posted originally thinking you were in New York and then started second guessing myself.
Happy Growing David

    Bookmark   May 9, 2007 at 12:03AM
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rokal(LongIsland/z6b)

Sorry...One more questions ;-)

I have read on this forum that new hibiscus growth needs three months time before flowering. Does this only apply to tropical hibiscus?

I'm slightly confused because I saw another post that said a hardy hibiscus started flowering one month after emerging from the ground.

Is there a downside to pruning my hardy hibiscus in June?

Thanks,

Rokal

    Bookmark   May 9, 2007 at 9:03AM
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hitexplanter(8 a)

They are different animals (or plants in this case:). I suggest the pinch prune early in the growth cycle so as to not interfere with later blooming cycles. I would not do severe pruning (aka 1/3 or more of all growth in June because you are getting into the main blooming time. 3 months from pruning is based on tropical types of hibiscus not hardy types such as Moy Grande. This is why people bringing them back outside from the winter months should do any serious pruning early so as to allow ample time for new blooming wood to develop.
Happy Growing David

    Bookmark   May 9, 2007 at 10:20PM
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rokal(LongIsland/z6b)

Thanks David. You Da Man :-)

    Bookmark   May 10, 2007 at 1:36PM
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lovemoreira

I am so glad I found all this useful information. I have one question maybe someone could help me with. I planted 4 perennial hibiscus (Lord & Lady Baltimore, Blue River, & Sweet Caroline) about 3 1/2 weeks ago. I was starting to think they were dying because they have not grown at all. However they are green. When they were shipped to me they were in a 2"-3" pot. I decided to plant them in a 6" pot. My question is should I plant them in a larger pot? Thanks in advance.

    Bookmark   May 16, 2007 at 11:48AM
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hitexplanter(8 a)

If you don't plan on planting them in the ground, Yes I would pot them all up to a larger size container as earlier in this post. All these type get big 4 to 6 feet in the ground maybe more. In a pot they will be limited to pot size, watering and feeding routine.
Good Luck and Happy Growing David

    Bookmark   May 21, 2007 at 8:18PM
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