What Is a Dwarf Hibiscus?

A dwarf hibiscus is a variety of hibiscus plant that has been cultivated to be used as an indoor flowering plant, it grows between 2 to 3 feet instead of 6 to 8 feet (or more) as with traditional hibiscus. Dwarf hibiscus are not genetically distinct but are dwarfed using a growth regulator or retardant, such as Cycocel. This dwarfing is not a permanent change though, and the plants will eventually reach normal hibiscus heights within a few years.

Several varieties of dwarfed hibiscus are available, with clusters of buds in shades of red, pink, deep red, orange, apricot, orange-bronze and white. Spraying the hibiscus with Cycocel results in stunted growth immediately, which manifests as the growth of smaller new leaves and stems. However, the size of the flowers remains the same as those of the untreated hibiscus. The dwarfing process also promotes the growth of deeper green leaves and the production of five buds instead of just one.

To grow dwarf hibiscus, cuttings are planted in pots. On the 10th and 15th week of rooting and growth, the plants are pinched so that they grow more branches. On the 15th or 16th week, the plants are sprayed with Cycocel to dwarf them. Follow-up sprays may be necessary, depending on the variety. On the 24th week, the plants gain beautiful blooms and have them for 10 to 12 months.