What Soil is used for Hibiscus Plants?: With an Easy DIY Soil Guide
Hibiscus is a flowering shrub that lights up the garden in summer with its vivid flowers. To know what soil is used for hibiscus plants, read the article. Hibiscus are easy to maintain with multiple uses of the flowers from making tea to decoratives. They are easy to grow both indoors and outdoors with the right selection of soil.
The right soil for Hibiscus is sandy loam which will help plants to retain moisture, full of nutrients, and thrive. Treating this plant well will give you blooms throughout the spring. Today, we will walk you through all about the Hibiscus and soil for better and healthy growth.
What are Hibiscus Plants?
Hibiscus is a flowering shrub grown in tropical, sub-tropical, and warm climates. They can grow to 5 feet tall to form a fully grown plant. They belong to the genus of flowering plants in the mallow family, Malvaceae. The plant is also named hardy hibiscus and rose of Sharon.
The Hibiscus flowers can be in white, pink, red, orange, blue, or yellow color with four or five petals formed in a triumphant shape. There are more than 100 recognized species of this plant. Hibiscus thrive in damp soil with direct sunlight.. The Soil for this plant should be rich and filled with organic matter in it.
What are the types of Hibiscus Plants?
Hibiscus Plants can be grown both indoors and outdoors depending on the variety of the plant. Let us discuss some of them below,
Hibiscus Acetosell or cranberry Hibiscus originated from Africa and belongs to hardy hibiscus which can be grown outdoors. They can grow up to 4 feet tall and demand full sun to thrive.
Hibiscus Moscheutos or Rose mallow Hibiscus originated from the US and belongs to cold-hardy hibiscus which can be grown outdoors. They can grow up to 5 feet tall and demand partial to full sun to thrive.
Hibiscus Rosa Sinensis or Chinese Hibiscus originated from Asia and belongs to hibiscus which can be grown indoors. They can grow up to 12 inches tall and demand full sun to thrive. This variety of flowers is edible and can be used for cooking.
What is the Good Soil pH for Hibiscus Plants?
The Good soil pH for Hibiscus plants is 6.5 which can range from 6.0 to 7.0. Hibiscus plants can grow best in slightly acidic to neutral soil depending on the variety of plants. If the soil is too alkaline, it may affect the plant. To make your soil acidic, add peat moss to it.
pH is tested to find the potential of hydrogen and uses a chemical scale to identify the nature of the soil. Testing for soil pH is the first step in getting to know the soil. Ph can range from 0 to 14. Any soil with a pH higher than 7 is alkaline and less than 7 is acidic. Do a pH test to find the soil pH level.
Testing the Soil before Planting Hibiscus Plants
If you want to grow Hibiscus plants, the first thing you should do is test your soil. Testing the soil for Hibiscus plants will make sure the soil is acidic enough for the plant. Starting from before planting the plant to every period, keeping a regular check on soil pH is a must. To do the soil pH test,
Litmus Paper Test– Litmus is a traditional paper test that is used to find if the soil is acidic or not. Mix the water and soil in a container and dip the paper. If the Litmus paper turns red, then the soil is acidic.
Digital Tester– The Digital Tester is used in the soil to find the soil pH. This electronic device is made of metal which also shows the mineral levels that are present in the soil.
Lab Soil Test– Send your soil sample to a nearby soil lab or extension office to know about the soil. They also give more information to grow the plant along with the soil pH and contents in soil.
What soil is used for Hibiscus Plants?
The Best soil for Hibiscus plants is Sandy Loam soil. Loamy soil has a mix of sand, silt, and clay content in it. It will give the right amount of drainage, retention, and texture as well as nutrients in the soil for the plant. Sand will give the extra sandy content for good drainage.
In the case of indoor plants, Select a soil that does have all the best drainage components mentioned below for Hibiscus plant soil. Buying a soilless potting mix and making amendments could do the work.
In the case of outdoor plants, buying organic garden soil does do the work. But with the required amendments it will be made for the Hibiscus plant.
Components of the Perfect Hibiscus Plants soil
The Three main components which should be present in the soil to make it the Perfect soil for Hibiscus plants are,
Proper Drainage- Proper draining soil is essential for Hibiscus plants. If grown in a pot, it doesn’t need a special drainage hole for drainage. Water sitting in the pot is not acceptable. If grown on land, add Peat to nourish the soil and improve drainage.
Water retention– Water retention should be enough for the need for water for the plant. Hibiscus plants ask for moist soil with a well-draining capacity to have potential; growth. Adding a combination of ingredients that have equal water retention and drainage will help in Hibiscus growth.
Good aeration- Hibiscus plants like damp soil but they should have good aeration too. As some types love dry and light soil to get the proper aeration, giving that will help them grow. Providing extra aeration for potted plant soil will boost the growth of the plant.
How to Prepare Soil for Hibiscus Plants?
To prepare the soil for Hibiscus plants, add One part of the Organic matter to one Part of the inorganic matter. Organic matter includes soil, compost, bark, coir, moss, and plant waste such as lawn clipping, leaves, stems, and branches. Inorganic or mineral matters are rocks, sand, gravel, marbles, and charcoal.
Depending on the texture of the mix, add one or two parts of coco coir to it to improve the aeration. You can also add perlite to increase the drainage of the soil.
The preparation of a potting mix for the Hibiscus plant is cost-efficient. Potted Hibiscus plants need a soil-less potting mix as it provides more drainage than regular potting soil. Adding a potting mix directly for the Hibiscus plants is not good. But after mending the soil to improve drainage and aeration will make the potting mix doable for Hibiscus plants.
DIY Tips to make soil for Hibiscus Plants at Home (Complete guide)
Soil is an important element for the growth of plants. Soil for plants can be made from minerals and organic matter such as sand, compost, and peat. Hibiscus plants need soil that is suitable for it. Even though Hibiscus plants are not very picky about their choices to grow, they need soil that helps them thrive. So, making a Do-it-yourself soil will be best for your Hibiscus plant. To make your own DIY soil for your Hibiscus Plant,
- Collect all the ingredients before making the soil.
- Take time to mix the ingredients.
- Learn to read a pH tester, types of nutrients, and their uses.
Now you can start making the DIY with the below-given ingredients and follow up,
- Gear up with gloves to avoid the dirt on your hand from the soil.
- Measuring cup or instrument to measure the ingredients.
- Bucket or vessel to make space to mix the soil.
- A small shovel/ Trowel to mix the soil.
- Dust mask.
- Coarse sand– Coarse sand is added to give a loose texture to the soil. The sand is added to reduce the clay content in the soil.
- Volcanic rocks– These are rocks from volcanic lava. The rock contains many minerals which help in plant growth.
- Gravel– Gravel is rock fragments that are formed from the breakdown of rock. They are used in decorative and to provide aeration to the soil.
- Vermiculite– Vermiculite is added in the soil to aerate it and also to retain moisture and nutrient in it.
- Perlite– Perlite is formed from volcanic emission. They make the best aeration for the potted plant.
- Pumice– Formed from volcanoes when they erupted explosively. The liquid explosion is formed to pumice rock making the aeration for the soil.
- Potting Mix– The potting mix with the soil makes the potting soil. Potting mix has peat moss, perlite, vermiculite, and many others.
- Coconut Coir– The coconut fiber is an all-rounder made from coconut husk used for many purposes. They are used in soil to improve soil texture, drainage, and aeration.
- Compost– Compost is a mixture of organic waste formed and added to soil to enrich it.
- Manure– Manure is a natural source of nutrients to the soil. It is made from decomposed plant and animal waste.
- Peat moss– This soil amendment is made from peat bogs. This active decomposing peat moss is used to hold water in the soil.
My best recipe for the Potted Hibiscus plant is,
- 2 Parts of Potting soil
- 2 Parts of Compost or Vermiculite
- 2 Parts of Coconut Coir
My best recipe for Outdoor Hibiscus plants is,
- 1 Part Organic matters
- 1 Part inorganic matters
After collecting all the required ingredients and tools add the measured ingredients to the bucket with the help of a trowel and add One part of organic matter to one part of inorganic soil and mix it well so both are mixed. This will give the best soil for your outdoor plant. For indoor plants add two parts of each Compost or vermiculite and coconut coir to 2 parts of potting soil and mix all well to make the best soil for your Hibiscus plant. When using potting soil add the required amount of sand to it and other nutrients to reach the pH requirement of the plant.
Where to Buy Soil for Hibiscus Plants?
Soil for Hibiscus plants can be bought in a nearby commercial store or online. Store-bought soil is ready-made to use but may contain fertilisers or is not suitable for your pot. Online, you can make your choice based on your research with the review, rating, and the right mix mentioned in the label. With whatever way of buying the soil, adding some soil conditioner will help for the betterment of the plant as well the soil.
Recommended Commercial to buy Soil for Hibiscus Plants
The miracle-gro Garden soil for flowers is best for all flowering plants. They are very light and drain fast with moisture control which prevents over and under-watering. The mix contains peat moss, fertilisers, and other products. The product is certified by the mulch and soil council for the standard.
Adding perlite and decoratives to the soil with this mix will help for fast growth. Miracle-gro gives value-for-money products at a reasonable rate with premium quality. The soil comes in a bag of 1.5 cu. ft capacity and can feed plants for up to 3 months in the garden. They also provide various other types of potting mixes, all-purpose soil, and fertilisers at affordable prices.
Can I use Garden soil for Hibiscus Plants?
Yes, you can use garden soil for Hibiscus plants. Garden soil will be damp and moisture pretended with lots of organic, and inorganic matter in it. Hibiscus plants that are outdoors can thrive in garden soil with the right drainage. Garden soil will be loamy, and perfect drainage and nutrients will make it suitable for Hibiscus plants to grow. But add some more drainage amendments to make it perfect. Potted Hibiscus plants will need different types of soil.
Do Hibiscus Plants grow in Clay Soil?
Hibiscus plants can’t grow in Clay soil. Clay soil may look fine for Hibiscus plants but using it directly for the plant is not good. Clay content in the soil will increase the alkaline nature of the soil. Since hibiscus needs soil that is acidic in nature. Planting it in clay soil will lead to blocking the nutrients from the plant root. Even though there are some varieties of hibiscus that can grow in clay soil, it is better to avoid them. Clay pots as well as the soil should be avoided in planting a Hibiscus Plant.
Selecting the Right Place and Pot for Hibiscus Plants
The right place to grow a Hibiscus is in full sun. Some types can grow in partial shade and indoors. But to get the plant in full growth and blooming give them direct sunlight. Hibiscus plants are temperature tolerant as long as they have moist soil.
Picking the right pot is essential for every houseplant. The right pot for a Hibiscus plant is categorised with the size and material of the pot.
The pot for the plant can be plastic, ceramic, or wood. But the best one for Hibiscus is plastic because of its draining nature. This will help to keep the plant moist even at high temperatures.
The Size of the pot for the Hibiscus plant can not be fixed. There is no perfect size pot for plants. Giving the plant a pot that is two sizes bigger than the plant will be good.
Potting and Repotting for Hibiscus Plants
Potting should be done, when the store-bought plant is in a small pot disregarding its size. Repotting a Hibiscus plant every two years once during spring will enrich the plant with nutrients in the new soil. Repotting can be done at certain times,
- When the plant has outgrown the pot or container in which it grows.
- When its plant is externally damaged due to any cause like animal accidents and many such.
- Fungal or bacterial infection can damage the soil during such times there is a need to repot the Plant.
- Root rot is not a major problem and the plant can recover on its own. But at times, when it gets severe repotting should be done to save the plant and root.
Repotting should not be done in yellow leaves, dropping leaves, dryness, sunburn, and insect-invaded soil. To repot the Hibiscus plant, selecting a container or pot regarding the size of the plant is the first step. The two factors which determine the pot size are: Water requirement and growth space.
- Loosen the plant from the pot with a shovel and dug it out.
- Remove the soil rock and remove any debris from the root to add it to the new soil.
- Place the plant in a new pot with a ⅔ new soil and fill in the sides to make the plant straight.
- Add water and potting mix to make up for the lost nutrients.
- Finish off by adding mulch to the soil.
Common Problems in Growing Hibiscus Plants
Hibiscus doesn’t have a serious problem to deal with. But look out for watering, this may rot the root which leads to death. Soil amendments are vital for both soil and plant but also are a threat. Any plant waste such as compost, shredded leaves, pine bark, and twigs or animal waste such as compost, and manure are also the best soil amendments for the Hibiscus plants. Since all amendments added to soil are organic, it may invite insects, pests, and diseases to plants. Though pests are unavoidable, they can be prevented.
There are chances they are affected by spider mites, scales, mealybugs, aphids, and bacterial or fungal diseases. Aphids and white flies are commonly found in Hibiscus plants which can distort the plant and misshapen the leaves. The pest-affected leaves will show changes and signs. If they are left unnoticed, they may lose strength and die. The immediate remedy is to spray high pressured water in the plant as they wash off and then eliminate the infected leaf. Use an insecticide to remove the pests or natural neem oil.
With the right care, the hibiscus plant will grow to give this vibrant bloom once a month. Making the best soil for the Hibiscus plant will help your plant for full and healthy growth which can also aid the plant to have good aeration, drainage, and nutrients. You make your own DIY soil for the Hibiscus plant with proper guidance. Follow the above-mentioned steps to grow a healthy blooming Hibiscus plant. Also, keep checking the plant and soil to avoid pest problems. If there is any problem with the plant, follow the repotting steps and swap it for healthy soil.
What kind of Potting soil does Hibiscus need?
Hibiscus plants need lightweight and well-draining soil.
How often should Hibiscus be watered?
Hibiscus should be watered on alternate days if the soil is dry.
Is Vinegar good for Hibiscus plants?
Yes, vinegar is good for Hibiscus plants as it helps the soil to reveal its nutrients to the plant.