Hibiscus coccineus

The Hibiscus

Hibiscus is a genus of plants belonging to the Malvaceae that groups about 300 species between small trees, shrubs and herbaceous plants, both annual and perennial (predominantly). Hibiscus is a plant native to the temperate areas of Asia, but it is able to grow and develop optimally also in Europe, North America and tropical areas. The Hibiscus prefer to grow in sunny and warm, adequately humid locations, with a type of fertile and fresh soil without necessarily having particular needs for the characteristics of the soil and growth. Some species of Hibiscus resist well to very short periods of drought and cold, while others require abundant pruning to be able to keep the shape of the bush adequately compact.

Hibiscus coccineus

Hibiscus coccineus is a medium-sized shrub native to North America that produces thin stems that widen at the base becoming woody. It has palmate leaves with a dark green color. The flowers, produced in the summer, appear large with 5 dark red petals. Flowering lasts from June until early autumn. The plants, reached maturity, reach heights of 180 cm. In areas that can have a harsh climate, the plants completely lose the aerial part that will be able to germinate when the following spring arrives. Growing the plant in mild areas it is advisable to shorten the stems to 40 cm from the ground, in November, in order to avoid that it is no longer able to produce leaves in the lower part.

Cultivation of Hibiscus coccineus

The best exposure of Hibiscus coccineus is in sunny or semi-shady places, in fact if the cultivation area showed excessive shade, the plant would tend to produce very few flowers. The species absolutely fears the cold, but is able to resist, without particular problems, to periods of drought, but also to damp soils or constantly soaked in water. Adequate watering, to produce abundant flowering, should be guaranteed especially in the months from March to October, checking that the soil is dry before the intervention, in fact in the presence of little water the plant would produce very few inflorescences. The best soil should be of medium texture, but fairly rich in organic matter. Pot cultivation is possible.

Hibiscus coccineus care

The multiplication of Hibiscus coccineus must necessarily take place in autumn by dividing the tufts of the roots. In spring, alternatively, it is possible to sow, to facilitate this operation it would be advisable to pierce the seed with a pin. Hibiscus coccineus could be attacked by parasites such as whiteflies and aphids. The whitefly is mainly capable of producing extensive damage to the plant due to feeding bites, in the production of honeydew (which becomes an ideal substrate for the proliferation of fungi such as fumaggine) and in the transmission of viruses. The feeding bites are able to steal lymph from the leaves, minimizing the activity of the plant, and to produce such alterations as to cause their progressive desiccation.

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