Sunday, June 7, 2009

If I Could Be A Flowering Plant...

I’d want to be a Hibiscus. Outdoors. In a tropical area. I wouldn’t mind having big, bold, beautiful flowers that command attention and attract cute little critters like hummingbirds. And I think I’d want my flowers to be yellow. Not red, despite the fact Hummingbirds are very attracted to red. I guess they’d just have to settle for yellow. The nectar is free, you know, so they shouldn’t be picky about flower colours anyway.

 

And Hummingbirds are not the only small creatures I wouldn’t mind attracting if I was a flowering plant. I’d be okay with butterflies. And bees. Even though I have an irrational bug phobia, butterflies don’t really bother me. Neither do bees. Bees are kind of cool-looking, actually. At a safe distance.

Yup, a Hibiscus with yellow flowers. That would be my choice. Oh, but wait. There’s also the stunning Lilium longiflorum (Easter lily) that I adore. Oh my, that complicates things. Okay, maybe I’d be that. The Lilium longiflorum. But with orange flowers. Maybe. It’s awfully hard giving up the Hibiscus option.

Anyway. Let’s just say it would be a toss up between the Hibiscus and the Easter lily.

And since I’m more of an indoor gardener – for now – than outdoors, below is some care information for growing a Hibiscus inside your home.

Okay, time to get serious...

Caring For A Hibiscus As A Houseplant

What could be more magnificent than the brilliant blooms of this exotic specimen? With a variety of flower colours to choose from - including red, white, yellow, orange and pink – a Hibiscus plant is sure to satisfy every palette. Remarkably easy to grow, and one of the most reliable flowering houseplants, this tropical beauty requires only a few basic needs to be met to keep it thriving and blooming.

Provide this sun lover with as much light as possible but make sure you protect it from the direct rays of the sizzling midday sun during the summer season. All through the active growing season, keep the fast-draining soil moist (not soggy) at all times, especially while it’s blooming. Keep your Hibiscus away from drafts and place it in a room where the temperature is warm and humidity is high.

 

Sooner or later a Hibiscus will become straggly and long-limbed, producing fewer and smaller flowers, so at the beginning of the growing season – late February or early March – give your plant a haircut. Able to withstand heavy pruning, don’t be afraid to remove about 1/3 of the plant with very sharp shears. Cutting back your Hibiscus will stimulate new growth – more branches and more flowers.

With proper warmth and enough sunlight, your lovely plant will adorn your sunny windowsill for years to come. And although each papery flower will last for only a day or two, a Hibiscus is capable of producing dramatic blooms continuously from spring to autumn, with the greatest profusion in the summertime – just in time for passersby to catch a glimpse of it.



You know, come to think of it, there’s also the Adenium Obesum (Desert Rose)... Oh boy...

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