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With its bright and large flowers, hibiscus has long been one of the most popular office and indoor plants. This flower began to be grown in various botanical gardens in Europe back in the 18th century. Today, hibiscus is a frequent visitor to apartments, offices and gardens due to its ease of care, beneficial properties and beautiful flowers.
In this article, you will learn about the botanical characteristics of hibiscus, the history of the flower, the popular types of hibiscus, how to care for the plant at home, how to propagate and what pests can threaten the plant.
Brief characteristics and description of Hibiscus
The Latin name Hibiscus (popularly Chinese rose, Sudanese rose) belongs to the Malvaceae family. In nature, there are a huge number of species of this plant. The Latin name for the flower is Hibiscus.
What kind of plant is this - a bush or a tree?
There are wild and cultivated species in the form of shrubs, semi-shrubs and trees, and herbaceous plants are also common. To date, about five hundred species and varieties of garden hibiscus have been bred.
The leaves of the Chinese rose are incised, petiolar. The flowers are bright, large (sometimes the size of a saucer). The fruits are in the form of a five-leaf box, inside which seeds ripen (smooth or pubescent).
The color gamut of hibiscus is very wide and has many combinations of shades.other than black and blue. The sizes of the flowers are also very different: from 5 cm to 30 cm in diameter.
Why a second name with a mention of death?
Despite the fact that the plant is a frequent guest in apartments, it is called the "flower of death", for some reason attributing magical properties to hibiscus. Superstitious people believe that during the flowering period, the Chinese rose takes health and strength from the owners, attracting death to them.
These signs are believed only in Eastern Europe, calling the plant a burnet. In other countries, hibiscus is treated with care and appreciated for its beneficial properties.
Is it an annual or a perennial edible variety?
The life span of some plant species (shrub or tree type) is more than twenty years... Herbaceous plants are most often annuals, among which there is an edible variety called okra. This species not only blooms beautifully, but also forms edible fruits that are added to salads, boiled, and canned. Unripe fruits are used as green peas, and ripe fruits are fried and used as a coffee substitute.
The history of the origin and birthplace of the shrub
Hibiscus was known to the ancient Greeks. They used some types of plants in perfumery, while others were used in food.
There was widespread interest in hibiscus in the early 20th century in Hawaii. And in 1950, the American Society of Hibiscus Lovers was created, whose members carefully noted down all the data about it. Later, the plant appeared in the Pacific Islands and Asia, becoming the national flower of Malaysia.
In nature, the plant is common in the subtropics and tropics. (South and West Asia, China, Polynesian islands).
On the territory of the CIS, the most common are the Syrian and triple hibiscus (northern). Syrian hibiscus is found in the southeast of Transcaucasia, and trifoliate in the south of Ukraine and the Far East. On the open ground, the Chinese rose feels comfortable only in areas with mild winters (Crimea, southern regions of Germany, southeastern Kazakhstan).
Reference! On the Fiji island in the city of Suva, a week-long Hibiscus festival is held every year, the program of which consists of various shows, concerts, circus performances, and parades.
What do popular species of the family look like in the photo?
In nature, there are up to three hundred species of this genus, widespread in subtropical and tropical regions, among which there are the most popular.
Chinese rose (Rosa-sinensis)
In greenhouses, offices and apartments, the most common type of hibiscus is the Chinese rose.... This is a bush-shaped plant with a variety of inflorescences and many shades of petals (most often red). This species is also called red terry hibiscus. In nature, it grows in the subtropics.
Another common species that has large flowers of various shades up to 12 cm in diameter with purple spots at the base of the corolla. Feels great outdoors near water bodies. In a snowy winter, it can withstand frosts up to 25 degrees. Suitable for growing in temperate latitudes.
This species is common in Western Asia, China and Korea. In the south of Russia, in the Crimea, in Moldova, in the south of Ukraine and in Central Asia, it is grown in the open field. It is a deciduous, frost-hardy shrub that grows up to 5-6 m in height. It has a tree-like, thick, bare stem. The flowers are single, double or simple, the shade of which varies from white to crimson.
Should you grow at home?
Any plant is a living being with its own energy, both positive and negative. The Chinese rose has a powerful force and fills the atmosphere in the room where it grows with active energy..
Help! It is believed that lethargic and passive people, as well as those who have problems with the heart and blood vessels, certainly need to have a hibiscus in the house.
Read more about whether you can keep hibiscus at home here.
Useful and medicinal properties
The healing qualities of hibiscus were known to the ancient Egyptians, where an infusion of Sudanese rose petals was called the drink of the gods. It can be consumed both cold and hot. The petals of the plant contain vitamins C, P, fruit acids, flavonoids. Rubbed hibiscus petals treat wounds and boils.
You can find out more about the medicinal properties of hibiscus here.
There is a variety of hibiscus sabdariffa (Hibiscus sabdariffa). It is from the dried petals of this type of Sudanese rose that a tea called hibiscus is made, which in Arab countries is considered a cure for all diseases (what is the difference between hibiscus and hibiscus, read here). A whole list of positive effects on the human body attaches particular importance to the drink.:
- has antioxidant and antipyretic properties;
- strengthens the immune system;
- strengthens the walls of blood vessels;
- normalizes blood pressure;
- calms the nervous system and improves sleep;
- improves metabolism;
- cleanses the liver and helps to remove toxins;
- has a positive effect on the digestive system;
- fights cholesterol;
- has a choleretic and diuretic effect.
We suggest you watch a video about the benefits of hibiscus tea:
All about hibiscus tea can be read in this article.
The Chinese rose loves a lot of sunlight and moisture, so it is advisable to place it on a sunny window, water it regularly and spray the leaves with a spray bottle. However, in the shade, hibiscus also grows quite well, where it can only form fewer buds.
When the plant is two years old, pruning will be useful for it., which will have a beneficial effect on health and its appearance. Pruning helps to form a beautiful crown, and also promotes the emergence of young shoots on which buds will appear. First of all, you should cut off weak, crooked and diseased branches, departing from the bud with leaves 2 cm.
Before pruning, you should check for pests on the plant that can destroy new young shoots. If necessary, the hibiscus bush must be treated with special preparations.
We invite you to watch a video about caring for hibiscus:
For more information on how to care for hibiscus, read this article.
Hibiscus propagates by cuttings, less often by layers or seeds... Twigs left over after pruning are suitable for grafting. You can root the cutting in water or in a mixture of sand and peat (1: 1). When rooting in the ground, a mini-greenhouse is created for the cutting. After root formation, the hibiscus is transplanted into a permanent pot of soil.
We suggest you watch a video about the propagation of hibiscus by cuttings:
You can find out more about breeding hibiscus here.
Hibiscus is grown mainly for its beautiful flowers. Indoors or in greenhouses, with proper care, the plant can bloom all year round. In nature, the Chinese rose blooms from April to October. Sudanese rose buds appear exclusively on young shoots, which is why pruning is so important.
If the plant does not form buds, then the temperature regime may be violated.... From November to February, hibiscus should be placed in a cool place (15-17 degrees) and watering should be reduced so that it rests. And correct, timely corrective pruning will stimulate growth and help new buds appear.
We suggest reading more nuances about hibiscus flowering in this article.
Diseases and pests
Improper care, waterlogging or drying out of the soil, dry air can provoke the appearance of diseases and pests.
The Sudanese rose is sometimes attacked by the following pests:
- spider mite;
- gall midge.
To combat pests and fungal diseases, preparations are used "Fitoverm", "Biotlin", "Akarin", as well as a soap solution.
Read more about hibiscus diseases and pests here.
Names of other similar species
In nature, there are plants that bloom with similar flowers. Among such competitors, the most important is the rose. Worthy contenders for hibiscus are:
- flowering begonias;
- new varieties of pelargonium;
- adenium is terry.
They differ from the Chinese rose in the size of the inflorescences and in the variety of shades.
Hibiscus is a great choice for those who want to transform their site or decorate the room... A correctly chosen type of plant will make the garden unique, and the room more lively and vibrant.