Updated at: 20-09-2022 - By: Sienna Lewis

Planters now understand that beginning with field-grown bare root is the best way to produce high-margin, fast-turn perennials. When you follow some of these tips, growing hibiscus will be a breeze.

Potting and Timing

When you get a bare-root Hibiscus plant, pot it right away. Plant one bare-root specimen per three-gallon pot into a soil mixture of peat and bark with a pH of 6.0 to 6.5. After the last date of frost, move the dormant plants outside and set up drip irrigation, making sure to leave at least 18 inches between the pots. Plants typically take 12–14 weeks to mature.

Cultural Recommendations


Hibiscus plants need a lot of fertilizer to keep up with their rapid rate of growth. Apply a liquid fertilizer with 150–200 ppm nitrogen at each irrigation or mix in a moderate amount of controlled release fertilizer when you pot the plants. With the pour-through technique, the ideal EC range is between 2.5 and 3.5.


It is crucial that Hibiscus not be allowed to dry out at any time. If the leaves and buds on your plants begin to turn yellow and fall off, it’s a sign that they are suffering from drought. We advise using drip watering as much as possible.


In order for hibiscus to begin flowering and develop its desired level of leaf pigmentation, intense light of a specific wavelength is required. If grown indoors beneath UV inhibitor material, ‘Berry Awesome’ will produce a lighter green leaf, but when planted outside, it will mature into a deep olive green. If you can’t get your hands on enough direct sunlight, a greenhouse with extremely bright lighting will do. Flowers can only bloom when the days are long.

Succeeding with Bare Root Hibiscus | Walters Gardens, Inc.


Temperatures of 68 degrees Fahrenheit or higher are excellent for growing hibiscus, a tropical plant that requires warm conditions to flourish. Vegetation growth will be extremely sluggish in cold weather, and it may even turn chlorotic. The summer is the best time to grow plants outside, provided they can be kept moist.

Hibiscus plants, once mature, steal the show at the nursery or the store with their massive, exotic flowers.

Pests and Diseases

Japanese beetles, sawflies, spider mites, and whiteflies are the most prevalent pests that damage Hibiscus. Check for pests on a regular basis. This crop has a low incidence of plant diseases.

Finishing Tips

Pinching & PGR’s

Pinching back the top growth to 3-5 nodes after potting is recommended. One week after pinching, water the entire plant thoroughly with 1ppm uniconazole (Sumagic). It will take 6 weeks after the final pinch before the plants will begin to bloom. Plants need much room to grow into healthy, full specimens.


Because of their high cost and the fact that they need long days to flower, forcing Hibiscus is not recommended. In order to maximize profit, farmers should let these plants go into natural flowering around midsummer.

Succeeding with Bare Root Hibiscus

The recurrent popularity of hardy Hibiscus for summer sales has persisted. Walters Gardens, Inc. first started providing bare root Hibiscus starting materials to the trade a few years ago. The benefits of growing Hibiscus from bare roots are well-documented, yet many gardeners still have little experience with this method.

When compared to the considerably tiny liners generally used in the past, the bare root Hibiscus provided by growers is a much larger, more vigorous beginning plant because it is field grown. As a result, turnaround times are reduced, containers are filled more quickly, and a much higher quality impression is made.

Flowering Characteristics

Because not all Hibiscus cultivars produce the same kind of flowers, growers need think about more than only the advantages of using bare root plants. Determinate and indeterminate flowering patterns are the two main categories. In contrast to the ‘determinate’ flowering cultivars, the ‘indeterminate’ cultivars produce flower buds at the nodes along much of the stem as well as near the terminal branches. This is why ‘indeterminate’ cultivars are superior than ‘determinate’ ones because they bloom for much longer and produce more flowers.

Most of the older varieties available are ‘determinate’ bloomers, meaning that their flowers only survive for a single summer month. All of the recent additions to Walters Gardens are ‘indeterminate’ bloomers, meaning they will continue to produce flowers for at least three months.

Production Guidelines

Upon receipt, bare root Planting a hibiscus may require a larger container than the plant’s root system would otherwise be able to grow in. Bare-root hibiscus does best when grown in containers that are at least two gallons in size. Roots can be cut to a 3-4 inch radius or 6-8 inches in total width if they are too wide to fit into the container they will be planted in. When repotting, the plant’s crown should be set at a depth of no more than a few millimeters below the surface of the media.

Arrival, bare-root It’s important to consider the size of the container before attempting to grow a hibiscus, as their massive root systems may prevent them from doing so. Bare root hibiscus does best in pots that are at least two gallons in size. Roots can be trimmed to a radius of 3-4 inches or a total width of 6-8 inches if they are too wide to fit into the intended growing container. While potting, the plant’s crown should be set at a depth that is just below the surface of the media.

How to plant bare-root perennials | Garden Gate

Despite the fact that the abundant shoots that develop from the crown are a benefit of using bare root Hibiscus, the best quality and most abundant final product is achieved by pinching the shoots at the beginning of the growth cycle. After the emerging stems have developed at least 5 nodes, soft pinch them by removing the terminal growing point from every stem in each container, leaving 3 to 5 nodes on each stem. You can use your fingers or scissors to create a pinch. Additional pinches can occur a few weeks later if more branching is desired, to shape the plants, or when growing in very large container sizes.

Pinching the shoots early in the growth cycle results in a fuller and higher quality final product, despite the fact that this is one of the benefits of utilizing bare root Hibiscus because of the multiple shoots which sprout from the crown. When the budding stems in each container have established at least 5 nodes, gentle pinch them by cutting off the terminal growth point and leaving 3 to 5 nodes. Pinch by hand or with a pair of scissors. If additional branching is required, additional pinches can be performed a few weeks later to shape the plants or when growing in extremely large container sizes.

Growing Hibiscus in a warm environment is essential for a good harvest. Cool temperatures are detrimental to their growth. Temperatures below 60 to 65 degrees Fahrenheit cause plants to grow slowly and possibly seem chlorotic. Temperatures over 70 degrees Fahrenheit during the day and 68 degrees Fahrenheit at night are optimal for development. To bloom, hibiscus plants need lots of daylight.

In late summer and early fall, hardy hibiscus is the garden’s shining star. The Hibiscus ‘Mars Madness’ is shown here.

When grown in the conditions mentioned above, two-gallon plants that have been clipped once early in their development and are kept at these temps will bloom 12 to 14 weeks after planting. Allow around 6 weeks from the time of the final pinch till the crops reach flowering if they have been pinched many times.

Plant growth regulators could be used during manufacturing to keep plant height under control. Spray treatments of 5 ppm uniconazole (Concise, Sumagic), 45 ppm paclobutrazol (Bonzi, Paczol, Piccolo), or the tank mixture of 3750 ppm daminozide (B-Nine, Dazide), and chlormequat chloride (Cycocel, Citadel) might be applied if height control is required. PGR treatments should ideally begin 3–5 days after a pinch, with subsequent applications every 7 days.

Japanese beetles, spider mites, and whiteflies are the most prevalent pests that damage hardy Hibiscus. Plant infections are quite uncommon. The presence of pests and diseases can be detected early with the use of routine scouting programs, which growers should implement.

16 Ways To Plant Bare Root Hibiscus

Bare-root hibiscus may be difficult to plant, but the end result will be well worth the effort. So, take your time, do as instructed, and have fun. To help you get started planting your bare-root hibiscus, we’ve included some instructions below.

#1 Timing and potting

Once you have your bare-root hibiscus, the first thing you should do is to put it in a pot. Soil with a pH of 6.0 to 6.5, like a combination of peat and bark, is what you should use. Plants can be placed in a drip irrigation system outside after potting.

#2 Pinching

Immediately following repotting your plants, you must perform this step. To encourage new development, pinch off the top 3–5 nodes of your plant. After a week, soak it in 1 ppm of uniconazole, a chemical typically employed as a retardant because of its ability to promote growth.

#3 Spacing

The proper spacing of plants is essential for their health and growth. Overcrowding in a container may not be an issue at first, but it will eventually occur as the plants begin to expand.

When hibiscus are crammed together like this, they look terrible. Make sure to provide enough room between each plant to ensure a full bushy appearance later on.

#4 Temperature

In terms of temperature, hibiscus plants thrive at around 68 degrees Fahrenheit or higher. Lower temperatures cause chlorotic foliage and stunted growth. For this reason, summer is an ideal time to plant them, provided that the soil is kept moist and the plants are not subjected to too much direct sunlight.

#5 Moisture

The care of a bare root hibiscus is complicated by the fact that it does well in hot weather but requires constant moisture. If you want to save time and effort when watering your plants, drip irrigation is the way to go. When the leaves and buds of your hibiscus begin to turn yellow, it’s a sign that the soil is too dry.

#6 Look out for pests and diseases

Bare root hibiscus rarely suffer from diseases since they are so uncommon. Fungus and leaf wilt are two examples of such uncommon diseases. Pests such as sawflies, whiteflies, spiders, mites, and Japanese beetles should be monitored on a regular basis.

#7 Use of fertilizer

Fertilizers play a crucial role in a plant’s development because they supply the extra nutrients necessary for rapid expansion. Provide your bare-root hibiscus with 150–200 ppm of nitrogen with each watering, or use a controlled-release fertilizer to help the plant thrive in its new container.

#8 Do not force the plant

It usually takes hibiscuses a long time to begin blooming. Although it is possible to force this plant to bloom, doing so is both expensive and detrimental. The best time for flowering is at the start of July, when it occurs naturally.

#9 Trim roots to fit container

Many bare-root hibiscus plants arrive with root systems that are too huge for a 2-gallon pot. The problem can be fixed by cutting the roots to a diameter of between 6 and 8 inches at the most.

As the plant is being potted, the crown should be planted deep enough so that it sinks below the media.

#10 Look out for weeds

Weeds are a common problem while your bare root hibiscus is in its growth phase. You should keep weeds at bay since they compete with your hibiscus for water and nutrients, as is common information. Soil cultivation at regular intervals and mulching to minimize weed germination are two approaches of avoiding this problem.

How to Plant Bare Root Perennials

#11 Protect plants against intense weather conditions

If you’ve just repotted your plants and they haven’t yet established themselves, shield them from strong winds and direct sunlight until they’re ready. The plant benefits from some air movement, but not too much. The same holds true for illumination; the plant needs plenty of sun but not so much that it shrivels.

#12 Apply additional mulch for colder seasons

Those who reside in colder climates but yet want to plant a bare-root hibiscus should not be forgotten. That’s why you’ll find this guidance here waiting for you.

When the weather turns cold in the fall, protecting your plant from the elements with a mulch covering of 1 to 2 inches is a good idea. When spring arrives, just take away the mulch and continue growing as normal.

#13 The flowers only last one day

Hibiscus blossoms only last a day before they wither and die, a fact that may come as a surprise to many of you. But have no fear; quickly enough, many more will sprout up to take their place. If the flowers start to wilt after a day, don’t fret and assume you’ve done something wrong while growing them.

#14 Discard foliage

Your bare root hibiscus may be damaged by the harsh frost that occurs frequently in the fall. It’s important to remove and dispose of plant leaf after a frost.

#15 Pruning

Pruning is not necessary for bare-root hibiscus, although you can certainly do it if you want to give your plant a specific form. Pruning should be done in the early summer, when your hibiscus is just beginning to show new growth. The plant can generate new branches and flower stalks after being pruned.

#16 Divide plants when they become overcrowded

Your plants have a tendency to become too close together as they expand, even if you initially gave them plenty room. The ideal time to deal with this is in the early spring, when you can divide your plant. You can replant your hibiscus cuttings in a new container after you’ve divided them.


Beautiful and robust Hibiscus flowers are a staple of summer flower displays and garden stores everywhere. They have continued to add value to their genetic stock through breeding activities at Walters Gardens, which have resulted in plants with enhanced look and increased flowering properties. Hardy Hibiscus is an inexpensive choice for summer programs due to its many advantages, such as enhanced final plant quality and shorter production time utilizing Walters Gardens bareroot Hibiscus.