The hibiscus (Rosa Sinensis) is a summer-flowering plant of the Mallow or Malvaceae family, that comes in an array of colors.
In this article, I’m going to specifically be writing about the plant care of the peach hibiscus.
The peach hibiscus plant is typically a variety of either the tropical or hardy hibiscus, both of which originate from the subtropics of Pacific Asia, and require very similar care.
Both species of hibiscus are popular for their trumpet-shaped blooms and their deeply saturated colorings.
These blooms however only appear once a year, so it is pivotal that you give your peach hibiscus the best care possible to ensure that you don’t miss out on their magnificent display.
With summer approaching, this is the perfect plant to brighten up your garden, so read on to find out all about it!
Peach Hibiscus Care
If your peach hibiscus has moist and well-drained soil and gets a minimum of 6 hours of sunlight a day in a humid environment, you can expect it to thrive virtually problem-free. Most problems that hibiscus plants face, such as disease and pests, can be easily fixed using pesticides or fungicides.
When it comes to soil, hibiscus plants prefer something that is well-draining with high-moisture retaining qualities. I would personally suggest using a loam or sandy loam mix or alternatively adding a handful of horticultural gravel to the soil to increase drainage.
Avoid using any sort of heavy compost or clay mixes, as hibiscus plants don’t enjoy water sitting around the roots. Too much excess water harboring in the soil can lead to fungal diseases such as root rot.
The watering schedule for your peach hibiscus all depends on whether it is of a tropical or hardy variety. The tropical hibiscus enjoys continuously moist soil, so they need to be watered multiple times a week to maintain this.
On the other hand, hardy hibiscus plants are a little less fussy, as the soil doesn’t need to hold as much moisture as the tropical variety.
You should water your hardy hibiscus when the topsoil starts to feel dry, but before the rest of the soil has lost its moisture.
A simple touch test is the best way to know when your hibiscus needs to be watered again.
This can be performed by placing a popsicle stick or a finger into the top few inches of soil and feeling the level of moisture in the soil.
All varieties of hibiscus enjoy warm temperatures, due to originating from the tropics of Asia. Anything between 60ºF and 90ºF is ideal, which makes them the perfect summer plant for most gardens.
Hibiscus plants do not enjoy the cooler seasons. I would suggest not exposing your plant to temperatures below 59ºF, and I would also advise that you bring your plant inside if you experience particularly frosty or cold winters.
You can find out the estimated temperate for your location and decide when is the right time to bring your hibiscus inside by regularly checking the Farmers Almanac.
Alongside warm temperatures, hibiscus plants also favor humid conditions. In fact, studies have shown that they thrive better and grow larger flowers if they are kept in humid environments.
This is because the blooms of the hibiscus hold lots of moisture, and the more moisture they receive the better they will grow.
I have found that the best way to imitate these conditions is to mist my hibiscus plant once a week using lukewarm water. It is important to use water that isn’t too hot or too cold, as this can result in plant shock.
Indoor plants should also be misted, but some choose to purchase a humidifier to ensure that environment for their plant is perfectly and easily maintained.
Hibiscus plants are fast growers and can grow to maximum height within just 2-3 years. If your peach hibiscus is of the hardy variety, it will only grow during the spring and summer seasons, due to spending the cooler seasons in dormancy.
Dormancy is where a plant goes into hibernation during undesired climates, to store energy for the upcoming flowering seasons. During this time, the leaves will wilt and fall off, and the branches may look lifeless.
Dormancy is however not a cause for alarm, and as the days eventually warm up again your hibiscus will revive itself once again.
A peach hibiscus of the tropical variety does not enter dormancy, meaning that there will be signs of growth year-round. Growth will however be slower during the fall and winter, but green foliage will remain throughout the year.
Fertilization is another key part of caring for hibiscus plants. Hibiscus plants should only be fertilized during the spring and summer when their growth rate is at its highest.
Fertilize your hibiscus with a fertilizer that has a high amount of both nitrogen and potassium, but a low amount of phosphate.
It is vital that you purchase a fertilizer with these requirements, and that you avoid picking up a common plant food that has a balance of NPK nutrients.
Too much phosphate can be toxic to hibiscus plants and can cause them to become poisoned to the point of death.
Apply fertilizer to your peach hibiscus during the spring and summer, around once every 2 weeks. Hibiscus plants do not need to be fertilized during the winter months, as this is a period when growth will be very minimal.
Propagating a peach hibiscus plant
Propagating a hibiscus plant is a fairly simple process that can leave your garden full of beautiful blooms.
Start by choosing the healthiest branch on your plant, which should be smooth and preferably have very little new growth on it.
Cut the branch at a 45-degree angle, just up above a node (or eye). Next, dip the end of your cutting in a rooting hormone gel. This will increase the chances of the cutting becoming a viable plant.
Finally, the cutting is ready to be planted. I recommend using a high draining soil mix, such as a loam. Water the soil regularly to keep it moist, and it should begin to grow a full root system within as little as 2 weeks.
Common problems with peach hibiscus plants
Whiteflies are very tiny bugs that are almost invisible to the naked eye. They live and feed on the sap from hibiscus plants, eventually killing your plant if left untreated.
It is also quite common for whiteflies to pose other issues to your plants, as they often harbor diseases and viruses that they can spread around.
Because of how minuscule these bugs are, it is likely that you won’t notice an infestation until it has progressed quite far.
Chemical and natural pesticides are the best resort when it comes to these tiny creatures. There are various on the market, and they are one of the quickest ways to kill off any bugs before the infestation spreads too far.
Mealybugs are another pest that can threaten your peach hibiscus. They live in soil and on the undersides of plant leaves and have the appearance of small pieces of scattered white lint.
An infestation of these pests can prove to be fatal to hibiscus plants, especially if left untreated.
Mealybugs feed off of the nutrients and plant debris in the soil, which can eventually mean that the soil will be entirely stripped of nutrients.
If the bugs run out of nutrients in the soil to feed on they may also turn to feed on the plant and its root system, which can cause further damage and issues.
Mealybugs can be treated using an oil and soap mixture. Dilute some oil (such as Neem or vegetable) in water and add a few dashes of liquid soap.
Then, spray the solution over the leaves and soil of your plant weekly until the bugs start to die off and disappear.
Transplant shock affects peach hibiscus plants that have recently been transplanted into a new pot or location.
Although the hibiscus plant itself is quite tolerant to damage and locational changes, the roots are very sensitive, meaning they often go into shock when handled.
A hibiscus affected by transplant shock will experience the sudden death of most of its foliage, and the stems may look dry and withered.
Many gardeners mistake transplant shock for plant death, which is definitely not the case.
If you have recently moved your plant into a new location or new soil, it is highly likely it is experiencing shock, but this isn’t a death sentence at all.
Continue to care for your hibiscus as normal, and within 3-5 weeks it should start to revive itself back to full health.
Leaf fungus is one of the most common diseases that a peach hibiscus will face. Symptoms are very easy to spot, as it portrays itself through black spores of mold on the foliage.
This disease is typically caused by water splashing on the leaves, causing them to become wet and be the perfect breeding ground for fungi.
Leaf fungus can be easily treated, depending on how far the disease has spread and how much damage has been done.
Fungicides specializing in fungus and mold on plants can be purchased from garden centers, and usually require you to spray your hibiscus with a diluted solution every week until symptoms start to clear.
To prevent leaf fungus on your peach hibiscus, I would suggest watering your plant using irrigation or ensuring that you take great care not to splash the leaves during watering.
Drying the leaves of your plant by hand following heavy rainfall can also prevent the disease from occurring.
Ultimately, a peach hibiscus can be a very easy plant to care for if you follow the information above. Although prone to disease and pests, it is still a very forgiving plant, and the marvelous flowers it displays make any hard work more than worth it.
The peach hibiscus is one of the must-have plants of the season; they are perfect no matter your gardening experience level!
Frequently Asked Questions About Peach Hibiscus Care
Can I leave my peach hibiscus outside in winter?
I would advise against leaving your hibiscus outside unless the cooler months where you live are very mild. A hibiscus plant will not survive temperatures under 40F and should be moved inside if the temperature gets as low as 50F.
How long do peach hibiscus blooms last?
The blooms of most hibiscus plants will only last a day. There are however newer varieties that are designed to bloom for longer, but this is usually a maximum of 3 days.
Should I cut back my peach hibiscus?
Cutting back your peach hibiscus is optional, but many choose to prune their plant back at the end of the flowering season to prevent it from growing to undesirable heights. Personally, I choose to cut back my hibiscus either in late fall or early spring, when my plant is out of dormancy but has not yet shown signs of new growth.
Marcel runs the place around here. He has a deep passion for houseplants & gardening and is constantly on the lookout for yet another special plant to add to his arsenal of houseplants, succulents & cacti.
Marcel is also the founder of Iseli International Commerce, a sole proprietorship company that publishes a variety of websites and online magazines.