Hibiscus schizopetalus is a shrub that will reach about 6 to 8 feet with a spread of 5 to 6 feet. It is a very fast grower and needs to be pruned often. Most usually these plants are sold as hanging basket plants and are treated as annuals. Hibiscus schizopetalus is native to tropical east Africa.
Blooming Time: In the greenhouse, ours blooms sporadically all year long. Flowers are delicate, pendent on slender pedicels. Petals are 2-1/2 inches long, recurved and deeply lobed.
Culture: Hibiscus schizopetalus need part shade and intermediate to warm temperatures. In the greenhouse, we grow ours under 52% shade all year long. We use a soil mix consisting of 2 parts peat moss to 2 parts loam to 1 part sand or perlite. The plant cannot stand much drought and should be kept moist at all times. Fertilize monthly using a balanced fertilizer diluted to ½ the strength recommended on the label. The plant can get very large in pots, so one needs to prune it often to keep a desired form. Pruning also helps to keep a abundance of flowers, since flower are formed on new wood.
Propagation: Hibiscus schizopetalus is propagated by cuttings of half-ripe wood or by layers. Cutting are slow to root and should be treated with a rooting hormone.
Hibiscus schizopetalus was featured as Plant of the Week August 18-24, 2000.
Guide to Past Plants-of-the-Week:
Cal's Plant of the Week was provided as a service by the University of Oklahoma Department of Microbiology & Plant Biology and specifically Cal Lemke, who used to be OU's botany greenhouse grower and an avid gardener at home as well. If the above links don't work, then try the overview site. You may also like to look at the thumbnail index. ©1998-2012 All rights reserved.