Hibiscus can flourish for years with proper care. To care for your hibiscus, you need pruning shears, insecticidal soap or oil, a garden hose, fertilizer, stakes and a sheet or burlap.
- Prune the hibiscus
Early spring is the best time to prune a hibiscus. Cut away any branches that are not producing flowers or that detract from the shape of the plant. You may remove up to one-third of the growth. As the plant begins to bloom, clip off the growth tips 1/4 inch above the bud to create a fuller plant with more flowers.
- Treat the plant for pests
Hibiscus is vulnerable to aphids and scale. Inspect the plant regularly in the spring. Spray the plant with water to dislodge the pests. If you notice leaf and bud drop, or wilting and discoloration, take more aggressive action to remove the pests by treating the plant with an insecticidal soap or oil.
- Apply water and fertilizer
Though a hibiscus only needs watering about once a week during dry spells, young plants require more moisture. Water the plant's roots one or two times a week during the first year. Fertilize around the roots of the plant using a 10-10-10 fertilizer following the manufacturer's directions. Water well after application.
- Prepare the plant for cold temperatures
If temperatures fall below 30 F, bring container plants inside. If plants are rooted in the ground, insert stakes around the plant. Drape them with a flannel sheet or burlap, and avoid touching the hibiscus leaves.