The cranberry hibiscus which is also known as Hibiscus acetosella is an African native plant that produces deep red to burgundy, maple like leaves that thrive in warm temperatures. Any gardener who actually loves plants with striking color may find himself drawn to the plant. On the cranberry hibiscus plant, reddish-purple, trumpet shaped, 2-inch wide flowers appear in late fall and then last through the winter. The cranberry hibiscus is known also as false roselle, red leaf hibiscus or maroon mallow, the plant actually grows best in full sun and fertile, fast-draining soil. The plant is hardy in USDA plant hardiness zones nine through eleven. The plant also grows quickly and requires spacing of about six to ten feet.


How to Grow Cranberry Hibiscus

Step one: Water the cranberry hibiscus plant when the top two to three inches of soil becomes dry. Also water the surrounding soil to a depth of about eight to ten inches using a garden hose. Don’t ever allow the soil to become soggy. Make sure you check the plant periodically for signs of wilting stems or leaves when temperatures reach ninety degrees Fahrenheit or higher. Make sure you water the cranberry hibiscus plant immediately if you discover drooping foliage.

Step two: You can fertilize the cranberry hibiscus plant in the spring, once after the first flush of new growth appears. You can easily apply a 10-30-10 nitrogen, phosphorous, potassium slow-release fertilizer at a rate of about one tablespoon per square foot of the soil. Make sure you spread the fertilizer in a band just outside the perimeter of the shrub. Mix the granules into the top one to three inches of the soil using a rake. You have to water the area thoroughly. You can fertilize the cranberry hibiscus plant every 4 months during their growing season.

Step three: Spread a one to three inch layer of mulch around the base of the cranberry hibiscus plant using a rake. Make sure you keep the mulch four inches away from the shrub's trunk.

Step four: Prune the cranberry hibiscus plant 2 to 3 times during their growing season in other to keep its size under control. You can easily cut out any dead, damaged or diseased stems of the plant using a pair of pruning shears. Make each cut at a forty-five degree angle, ¼ inch above a leaf bud, growth node or lateral stem. You can cut back any straggly or extremely vigorous stems of the plant in other to shape the plant into a pleasing rounded habit. Also gather all the fallen leaves and the removed branches and then place them in a plastic garbage bag for transport. Collecting the plant material will actually help to prevent the spread of unwanted seeds, which will start growing in your landscape if they come in contact with the soil. You can also discard the removed plant material in a trashcan or on top of a compost heap.

Step five: Always examine the cranberry hibiscus plant's leaves each time you water, you need to look for signs of insect damage such as holes and discoloration. Also watch for miniature webs, a sign of spider mites, or tiny, green to brown aphids. You can easily spray a steady stream of water on the infested leaves to wash away the insects. You can treat large infestations with insecticidal soap or neem oil. Make sure you remove any damaged foliage or stems. 

Post a Comment

Previous Post Next Post