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Question re pot size when repotting hibiscus.

Posted by glen3a Wpg MB 3A (My Page) on
Mon, May 14, 07 at 17:11

Hi there,

I usually frequent the 'far north' and other forums, but have a question relating to hibiscus. For the past couple of summers I have kept a small hibiscus on my north deck where it gets 4 hours of morning sun. It's done fairly well. Even the occasional cool night in summer doesn't faze it. One question though, if I gave it full sun in theory would it produce even more blossoms? I assume they prefer sheltered warm spots as opposed to wide open and windy? I did notice that even in the low light of winter (when indoors) it would throw out the occassional bloom).

For Mother's day I purchased a hibiscus 'standard' for my Mom. After keeping it on my back deck for a few days, I fell in love and loved the tropical look (it's about 5 feet tall) so I bought one for myself. After researching on this forum, someone mentioned that a common type sold at big box stores (home depot) was one called 'brilliant' with the single red flowers so I feel good that at least I have something to go by.

It's very pot bound so I need to transplant it for both increased root space and to help anchor it. For this reason I chose a heavy sturdy pot. One question about pot sizes: is it true that you shouldn't go up by more than one or two pot sizes when transplanting because they prefer to be slightly potbound? One site mentioned that they bloom better as a result. I would hate to transplant it into a pot that is too big and then it spends all summer producing new growth but no blossoms.

Regards and Thanks,

Follow-Up Postings:

RE: Question re pot size when repotting hibiscus.

I think that in most cases the reasons for 1or 2 size up rlue of thumb is based more on watering issues than too much grwoth without blooms ( I won't swear by it but I have done so many other plants that bloom in over sized pots and had not loss of blooming action:). I continue to here this about bougainvillas but have never heard it said about hibiscus. Hibiscus do resent wet feet but do love to be moist and not water stressed. Aborted blooms are frequent in these situations. I don't give my containered hibiscus all day sun in the summer because drying and bloom aborting happens too much at 100 degrees in July and August. I am potting up some one gallon hibs today and doing them in 3 to 4 gallon size plastic containers and then will double pot them in some cool mexican pottery for cooling, weight and display reasons. I look to grow my hibs in a pot size that allows for me working full time and not wanting to set up auto drips to keep them moist in summer and still small enough to not take too much room in the house for the winter. It can get to be a jungle in my living room as is and I am trying to not have so much clutter (plants good clutter:) over the winter months. SO this is my style to accomplish my goals and still have the hibs happy. All container growing is a balance of what the plant and person tending to it wants out of the relationship and making reasonable compromises to attain those goals. Sounds a little like marriage doesn't it and maybe it is more than we realize. I love my plants and I love my wife and I seek that compromise that keeps them both happy and me not feeling like growing them is a chore but a joy to behold just like I feel about life with my wife. Hope some of this makes sense and helps you decide what you will do. One more thought is that windy and conditions are tough on blooms and we are back to wateing and keeping your hibs happy so whatever you feel will do this is what you should do. Better a few less but spectacular blooms than more blooms but constantly seeing them shredded before you really enjoy them.
Happy Growing whatever you decide. David

RE: Question re pot size when repotting hibiscus.

Thank you David. You seem to have a very good outlook on both life and growing hibiscus and I enjoyed reading your post.

I decided to go with a pot thats just a bit larger than the black nursery pot its currently in. This makes it a bit easier to carry in and out. It will stay on the deck for summer but if an early frost threatens or severe thunderstorms (things have a way of blowing off the deck) I will be able to take it in. Actually the next few days look unseasonably cool. Usually people start planting their annuals this weekend but maybe not this year.

Though I havent transplanted it yet, but the first thing I did was put a small layer of soil over the roots. It was pretty potbound and has a lot of roots exposed near the surface (those from what I read surface roots are sort of the norm).

Its funny, when I bought the plant I rationalized that people pay $30 for a bouquet of flowers (that lasts a week), so even if I just keep the plant for the summer I am ahead of the game. Now I am thinking I will bring it indoors for winter so hopefully I can enjoy for many years. I also have a small house but will try to make room.

Thanks again,

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