Tropical Hibiscus 'Seminole Pink' - Planting and Cuttings Qs

love_the_yard(z9A Jax FL)May 20, 2013

I just bought a tropical hibiscus 'Seminole Pink'. I know it is an oldie-but-goodie; plain pink with single blooms, but I love it. Believe it or not, even though I have lived in Florida all of my life, this is my first hibiscus! I have a couple of questions if someone can help me:

1) How should it be planted? Some of the info I read said that the soil should be amended. Do you recommend that? What amendment(s) would you suggest?

2) Also, it said that in extremely hot zones, a hibiscus might appreciate some shade in the late afternoon ("appreciate", LOL!). I know that this cultivar can grow to 8-10 feet high. Should I try to find it some shade for late afternoon? Or should I go ahead and put it in full, all-day sun? I didn't know that any tropical hibiscus wanted shade.

3) I started cuttings right away (of course! ) I started six cuttings in two clear plastic community cups of perlite, three cuttings per cup. Powdered rooting hormone used. A clear cup inverted over each set of cuttings for humidity. Parked in shade. We are having 70 degree nights, 85 degree days. How long will they take to root?

Thanks for all of your wisdom and experience!
Carol in Jacksonville

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tropicgal(9b CA)

When I first fell in love with and started planting hibiscus, this site was tremendously helpful:

    Bookmark   May 20, 2013 at 5:55PM
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love_the_yard(z9A Jax FL)

Tropicgal, Hey wow! Thanks for the fast reply and juicy info!


    Bookmark   May 20, 2013 at 6:01PM
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love_the_yard(z9A Jax FL)

I appreciate the link. Lots of good info but I didn't find answers to any of my questions.

Regarding planting, most of the emphasis was on soil drainage. I'd appreciate any suggestions or info on amending.

Didn't find anything at the site on shade. Do you find that your tropical hibiscus need shade at midday or late afternoon?

Nothing either on cuttings. Anyone rooted cuttings? How long does it take at 70 degree nights and 85 degree days?

Thanks for your help! It is greatly appreciated.


    Bookmark   May 21, 2013 at 9:48AM
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love_the_yard(z9A Jax FL)


    Bookmark   June 18, 2013 at 10:26PM
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Carol, I started some Hibiscus cutting approx 3 weeks ago and they started to grow new leaves at around week 2. I haven't potted them on yet but I assume they've rooted. I have one Hibiscus planted in the yard that get's sun all morning and then shade for the rest of the day and it does great. The two I have in pot's are the same , getting morning sun and dappled shade in the afternoon and they're doing good too. As for soil, well I have quite sandy, free draining soil and the Hibiscus that's planted in the yard is quite happy. The potted ones, I re-potted in a mixture of potting compost and Perlite, approx half and half, and they appear to be quite happy too. I'm in the Tampa Bay area by the way.

Hope that helps

    Bookmark   June 19, 2013 at 6:47PM
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love_the_yard(z9A Jax FL)

Linda, thank you so much for the follow-up. Very helpful. I lost 100% of the cuttings I started in pure Perlite. I'm not nearly as gung-ho on Perlite as I was a couple months ago. I'm going to try a vermiculite or mix next time.

I would still love to know if hibiscus need or "appreciate" afternoon shade, or if they "appreciate" sun just as much, LOL! I always thought they were a full-sun-all-day plant.

I would still also love to know, if anyone amends their hibiscus soil, exactly what they use? What is "potting compost"? Who makes it or what does it say on the bag? What does the bag look like - what am I looking for? I'm very familiar with compost in general but sometimes these mixed terms get me. Are we talking Black Kow? Mushroom compost? Chicken manure? Worm casings? Fish fertilizer? Or something else?

I sure do appreciate your time and response. Thanks!

This post was edited by love_the_yard on Fri, Jun 21, 13 at 17:05

    Bookmark   June 21, 2013 at 10:03AM
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Hi Carol, Sorry, potting compost is what we cal it back in the UK, potting mix or potting soil is what it's called here. I started my cuttings in potting soil, no rooting powder, and just put them out on the back patio where they got morning sun but shade in the afternoon. I'm going to pot them on this weekend and I'll put them in a 50/50 mix of potting mix and Purlite.

I think that Hibiscus prefer some shade in the afternoon, heat is what they need more than all day sun. As long as they get at least 6 hours of sun, they seem to do ok. Apparently Hibiscus need a fertilizer that is higher in potash than nitrogen. I brought some from a specialist nursery, but with the shipping it was quite pricey, so I'll shop around next time and see if I can find something similar at my local nursery.


    Bookmark   June 22, 2013 at 8:45AM
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love_the_yard(z9A Jax FL)

Linda, thanks once again for sharing your tips! I think I am overthinking or overdoing some of these rooting attempts. The cuttings looked absolutely beautiful when I potted them up - and then all six just went downhill. I had used hormone, perlite, bags for humidity, had them in the shade - all the right stuff, I thought. I am going to try your method next.

Thanks also for the other explanations. I am going to adjust! :)


    Bookmark   June 22, 2013 at 8:12PM
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