My mom has an uncanny ability to grow hibiscus year round. It amazes me. Especially since she lives in the high desert of Colorado, and texts me pics of blooms even when it’s a blizzard outside. And here I am, unable to keep anything alive, even in warm and humid Florida. My neighbor in Minnesota did the same thing and had a massive hibiscus that she kept inside and it bloomed year round.
I’m in awe.
So, when we were talking on the phone last night, I had my mom list out for me her tips on keeping her hibiscus happy year round. Since, well, this is the kind of stuff I want to get better at in life. Especially with our upcoming move to Seattle. I really really really am going to try and have some year-round hibiscus up there too, because they just make me oh so happy. ( and are fun to photograph)
Ok, on to the tips.
Teach me your green thumb ways, mom. Enlighten us all…
Tips from my Mom for growing a happy hibiscus year round: (When you live somewhere that gets cold.)
• Put the hibiscus in terra cotta pot. They hold moisture better and keeps the roots cooler (when you are outside in the summer), and you can use them for years and years and years. You can use any size you’d like.
• I read somewhere that you’re supposed to pretend you’re the plant in its natural environment and try to recreate that. So I think “Well if I was a plant in Hawaii what would I like?” So I try and do that. It jsut helps me a lot.
• So, when the night temperature starts getting in the 40’s. I bring my pots in for the fall/winter, or until the temps are above 40 at night again. So they’re usually inside September – May.
• Always make sure the soil at the top of the plant is dug up/turned up so it will absorb everything.
• Also turn the pot every week or so so the leaves all get equal sun.
• To give the plant a little extra pick me up I put a little SuperThrive in it once a week or once a month. It’s a vitamin for plants. It comes in a little brown bottle and won 1st prize at the 1942 World’s Fair. It just makes it healthier, not necessarily grow faster or anything.
• Sprinkle some Epson Salt in your watering can. Marth Stewart says she gets a big 5 lb bag and uses it in her garden every year.
• They like sun so put them in a room that gets a lot of sun. Usually, a southwest facing window.
• The leaves will tell you when it’s thirsty. If the leaves look wilted, they’re thirsty.
• And don’t forget to pinch off the dead and yellow leaves.
…and last but not least,
• I like to top them off with a misting of water – use a spray bottle or a plant mister to quote my mom “It’s like a gentle Hawaiian Blessing rain.” All of my plants really like that (she even has a plumeria tree that started as one of those sticks you get at the airport, and now it’s as tall as I am).
…oh wait, one more.
• I asked if she talked or sang to her hibiscus and she said, “Of course I do. They like to be noticed also. I say oh good morning my hibiscus, it’s a sunny day! And if there’s a blossom I say thank you for the beautiful blossom today.”
…she had 4 hibiscus blossoms this week, along with four inches of snow. So I’ll take her word for it.
Thanks, mom. Love you, and your green thumb.
I’ll be printing this out and using it in Seattle. I also might try singing some Bob Marley to mine too, just for extra points.
Cheers to flowers, and keeping the vibe alive, wherever you might be, year round. Or at least giving it a shot.
Pictured above: My mom had a gorgeous red bloom when we were back visiting over Christmas, and told me I should use it for an Instagram pic. Which I did, and quite a few people asked for her hibiscus tips…which led to this post. A few months later.