Today in the gardens you can find ornamental shrubs and flowers, not only familiar in the middle lane, but not so long ago, who came from Europe or hot countries. For example, a representative of the Malvaceae family - Hibiscus, attracting the attention of bright scarlet large flowers, has long been loved by all gardeners who prefer to decorate the site with perennial plants that do not require special care.
Swamp hibiscus: photos and characteristics of the plant
In the middle lane, 2 species of hibiscus caught on well: northern and marsh. It should be noted that the northern, in spite of its name, is not very stable to frosts, and is capable of enduring only a very mild winter of the European type without loss. The swamp hibiscus, with all its thermophilicity, is much more enduring, which determined its fate. Today, this species of representative Malvows is actively grown even in Siberian gardens. What is the reason for its popularity?
The swamp hibiscus is a typical member of its family: the shape and color of its flowers resemble mallow - large, up to 12 cm in diameter, with petals in a pink-red gamma and dark spots at the corolla, with a double perianth and a podchashy inherent in the entire rose. In beauty, these bushes are able to compete even with roses, and for their unpretentiousness in comparison with the latter, gardeners are much loved by them. Despite the fact that hibiscus needs to create the right conditions, and it is picky about soil moisture, in general, even a novice gardener will be happy with this perennial. It is noteworthy that the swamp hibiscus can even be grown in an apartment, on a loggia, in a big tub. Although in essence, this bush is focused on open ground.
An important point for those who wish to decorate their gardens with hibiscus, is that the plant very well retains the shape given during pruning. Usually this procedure is carried out before the beginning of spring, getting rid of old, dead branches, at the same time preventing the overgrowth of the bush. Even taking into account the constant control over it, the adult swamp hibiscus in height reaches 2.5-3 m, the width varies from 1 to 1.8 m. Several bushes planted in a row form a dense hedge, as a result of which the main purpose of hibiscus in the garden becomes the division of the area into zones.
Even in the conditions of the harsh Siberian winters, when the air temperature drops below -30 degrees, the roots of the marsh hibiscus, in the presence of snow on the ground, do not freeze through. As a result, the bush retains its title perennial and can live to 20 years. If he has the right conditions, up to molding, in the southern regions flowering will be year-round, and in the north - from mid-spring to late autumn.
Peculiarities of growing of seed seed husk
- Reproduction of hibiscus marsh is carried out in 2 ways, traditional for most colors: grafting and sowing. Growing hibiscus from seeds is much easier due to the fact that they can be purchased for future use, and their availability is much higher than that of individual seedlings. Sowing hibiscus seeds with its further planting in the middle of spring is made in January or closer to the beginning of February. Previously, to select viable seeds and stimulate sprouting, they are pierced with a pin and soaked in epine or a solution of weak potassium permanganate for 10-12 hours. After that, they need to be given 1-2 hours to "rest" by sprinkling on a paper napkin or a piece of cloth.
- Peat and sand are used as the soil, combined in a 2: 1 ratio. It is not necessary to line the bottom of the tank with draining material - you should create the usual humidity of hibiscus at the stage of its landing. Seeds are distributed over the surface without storing large gaps between them and are slightly pressed into the substrate without overlapping. Glass is applied to the container, or it is tightened with a film to create the effect of a small greenhouse. Capacity with seedlings must be removed in the heat, maintaining a temperature of 25 degrees inside it, and provide it with lower heating for at least several hours a day. The easiest way to do this is to place the container above the heater at a height of 30-50 cm.
- Airing of the seedlings is carried out 1-2 times a day, every other day, the ground should be sprayed with water at room temperature in order to maintain the humidity, which is important for hibiscus, inside its greenhouse. After the 21st day, the seedlings can be opened for a long time: start from 1 h., Gradually bringing this gap to 5-6 h. Picks in individual containers are made not earlier than the third leaf appears on the shoots, and in the open ground recommended to land when the ground warms up a little. Feeding hibiscus at the stage of growing seedlings is almost not practiced: when transplanting into separate pots, humus is added to the soil components, which is enough to get the necessary trace elements in the flower.
Planting and care: gardeners advice
Before taking out a marsh hibiscus in an open ground, it is necessary to pick up to it a comfortable site. Because the plant comes from subtropics, it values moisture, which also extends to the soil. The ideal hibiscus planting areas are those that are close to the water or swamped. At the same time, it is impossible to allow constant shading of this area. The bush should receive a lot of light, otherwise its flowering will be scarce and short-lived, but the amount of foliage will increase. It is also desirable to shift the pH of the soil in the direction of acidity, but this factor is not one of the decisive ones: hibiscus can also grow at neutral pH.
Nutrients are especially needed by the plant before and during the growing season (if it is not year-round), so before moving the seedling to the dug hole 2 times higher than the clod around the roots, you need to throw compost or humus on its bottom, or enter the store floor fertilizer to saturate the soil. The richer it will be nutrients, the more sprawling and high as it grows up will be a bush.
This is especially important until the plant reaches 3 years old, that is, the age of the onset of flowering. After feeding with nitrogenous fertilizers will be carried out monthly in spring and summer with a rest in the fall. In winter, the substrate is enriched with only potassium phosphate mixtures. In this case, the scheme is always observed: watering, feeding. And besides the main portion of water under the roots of the bush during the flowering period, it is necessary to constantly spray the foliage with separated water, which, in addition to maintaining the moisture it needs, will serve as prevention against the spider mite.
How to propagate hibiscus garden?
Hibiscus pruning begins at a time when the bush reaches a height of 60 cm: it is shortened exactly by half. Such a move will not allow a bush that has just entered the phase of preparation for flowering to go into growth and the formation of new foliage. The main pruning of hibiscus is done in the middle of winter, when old shoots are destroyed, and only the woody part of the bush remains.
If you ignore pruning and pinching, the hibiscus will continue to drag upwards, but it will not gain the necessary thickness, and the decorative fence will be rare and thin. Also, dead flower heads are surely destroyed, which will not only contribute to the emergence of new flowers, but also prevent the formation of seeds and the subsequent self-seeding of the plant.
Hibiscus reproduces independently when the pods in the place of flowers turn brown and begin to fall to the ground. Not all gardeners like this moment, because if you don’t control this process, next year the whole garden will be in young hibiscus bushes, and its intended design will be broken. However, if you just want to collect seeds for further reproduction of the plant, do not destroy a few dry flower heads, wait until the pods appear and darken their surface. Hibiscus can also be propagated through cutting, taking several young shoots from it in the spring and rooting them to the ground.
In December, it is recommended to cover the soil around the bush with foliage or tree branches, if there is a likelihood of lack of snow: the roots often dry out from freezing of the ground. Other factors, according to experts, do not play a special role in the care of swamp hibiscus. Like other shrubs, it is attacked by aphids, from which only frequent processing with natural remedies can be protected, or rarely with chemical preparations.
The main problems inherent in this plant - the lack of flowers, leaf fall in its lower part, yellowing of foliage and its lethargy - are directly related to the lack of moisture and light, as well as an excess of nitrogenous fertilizers. Therefore, if you want the marsh hibiscus to delight you throughout the year with its healthy appearance, focus your attention on the light and constant moistening of the area where it grows.