Hibiscus – Rose de Chine: maintenance, repotting, pruning and flowering


The Hibiscus nicknamed Rose of China is a shrub with sumptuous flowering, assimilated to a houseplant in our latitudes where it is frequently cultivated in pots. This species is frost, its indoor cultivation is therefore preferable in our regions with harsh winters. This does not prevent it from being installed on the terrace in summer, provided it is well sheltered. Let’s review the care the Hibiscus or Chinese Rose needs to bloom each year. Let’s also see when to repot it and how to prune it.

Maintain your Hibiscus (Chinese Rose)

There are different varieties ofHibiscus x rosa-sinensis obtained after countless crosses between different species of Hibiscus. And for the record, it is in no way related to roses although it is nicknamed Rose de Chine. This shrub can reach between 2 and 4 meters in height after a few years. But for that, it is still necessary to offer him a very bright and devote some time to its maintenance.

Take out your Hibiscus in summer

This shrub pot can be placed outside to enjoy sunny days, on the terrace or balcony, provided it is sheltered from the wind and that he has a very sunny situation. It is therefore taken out at the beginning of June but it must imperatively be put back in the greenhouse, on the veranda or at home at the end of September.

Be careful, however, not to expose it to direct sunlight. We start by installing it in the shade, then in partial shade and finally in a sunny area. In this way, the shrub will perfectly acclimatize to outdoor conditions.

We note that the scorching temperatures may not suit him. Above 32 to 33 ° C, it is reasonable to move the pot to a semi-shaded area that keeps a certain freshness. Under these exceptionally hot conditions, a misting of the Hibiscus can prove to be saving, in the evening or in the very early morning.

Water the indoor hibiscus

The drying out of the earth being much faster in pots than in a bed, it is essential to be attentive to the water needs of Hibiscus grown in a tank, and moreover indoors. It should be watered more frequently during the growing and flowering period. The correct frequency is watering every four days, the soil having to dry out slightly between two sessions. We must also ensure have a light hand because its roots must not bathe in water.

Watering is reduced throughout the period of vegetative rest and common sense must be used, irrigation must be adapted depending on the ambient temperature. The hotter and drier it is, the more water the shrub needs and vice versa.

But when the ambient air is too dry, the flowers fall very quickly, sometimes even before they are fully bloomed. This is the case when the shrub placed inside is located in the immediate vicinity of a window. If it is not possible to move it, it must be protected by a sheer curtain but also install the pot on a bed made of clay balls or even small pebbles that we cover with water. The Rose of China will thus benefit from a slight ambient humidity, which will do him the greatest good.

Fertilize Hibiscus in pots

Under such conditions, the substrate is quickly depleted, requiring a regular fertilizer application. It is recommended to add a liquid fertilizer for flowering plants and shrubs to the irrigation water about twice a month during the entire flowering period.

Repot a Hibiscus – Rose de Chine

This chilly little tree likes temperatures above 10 ° C. he fear the frost and it is even dangerous for him since it is not resistant to negative temperatures. But in a mild climate, the Hibiscus is quite vigorous when it receives good care. Grown as a houseplant, therefore in a pot, it needs a repotting every two or three years.

Ideally, this Hibiscus should be repotted between November and March, outside the flowering period and before the resumption of vegetation. The diameter of the new pot (imperatively fully drilled) should be slightly larger than the previous container because the shrub still likes to feel a bit cramped. Choosing a bin that is too large is therefore not a good idea.

We start by placing at the bottom of the pot a drainage layer like clay balls or gravel. You can also recover pieces from a terracotta pot that you can crush. This has the effect of promote water flow, the roots of this shrub must not be drowned.

A suitable mixture is then prepared consisting of:

  • 1/3 of good garden soil,
  • 1/3 of heather earth,
  • 1/3 of horticultural soil.

Finally, it remains to position the shrub in the center of the pot and fill the container with the soil that is well packed all around the foot without damaging the roots. The repotting session ends with a reasonable watering and not excessive.

Pests of Hibiscus grown indoors

It is mainly during the winter that this shrub may suffer from hot and dry atmosphere due to our heating devices, favoring infestation by parasites such as cochineal, red spider or aphid. Do not hesitate to mist it regularly to protect it from attacks. This also helps prevent the fall of flower buds and leaves. However, you should know that parasites are less common outdoors than indoors.

As for excess moisture, it is responsible for rotting the shrub.

Size and flowering of an indoor Hibiscus

Pruning a Chinese Hibiscus Rose is not absolutely essential. You can completely avoid it if you want the shrub to develop freely and show a more or less bushy shape, knowing however that after some time, it will end up losing its hair.

We therefore size it for control its growth or for shape its shape thanks to a so-called stem size which gives a certain elegance to this small tree. Stem pruning consists of keeping a single upright branch that will become a trunk and removing all the leaves and stems that develop at its base. To obtain a good density of branches, it should also be trimmed from time to time.

Small pruning of two or three branches that are reduced by a third of their length with pruning shears stimulates the growth of new stems. Thus, the shrub consists of young branches and mature branches, which allows to enjoy abundant flowering.

If Hibiscus grown indoors vegetates, which is frequent in homes where the insufficient light, pruning must be more severe in February. Thus, in a few months, new branches will develop and a large number of flower buds will form before summer. The hibiscus flowers have a very ephemeral lifespan but are constantly renewed from April until the end of October.

It is only in the southernmost regions rarely exposed to frost as the Hibiscus – Rose de Chine can be planted outside in the ground. Elsewhere, it is much wiser to keep it in a pot so that it can be sheltered as soon as negative temperatures are announced. If you want to grow hibiscus in the garden, it is better to opt for Althéa – Mallow tree (Hibiscus syriacus) which acclimatizes very well north of the Loire and even in the most eastern regions, since it is able to withstand temperatures of around -15 ° C. In the event of exceptional cold, a wintering veil is however essential.

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