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Ultimate Guide to Growing Hibiscus in Pots

Have you propagated the Hibiscus plant and lacked the space in the garden to grow it?

Do not wail. You can still plant it in a container or pot, which can be more manageable!

To grow Hibiscus in pots, prepare a ceramic, plastic, or clay pot 10 inches wide and use a two-inch wider container every time you repot. Also, prepare potting mix having 6.5-6.8 pH, maintain 50% humidity, 64.4°F temperature, and offer 8 hours of light to grow Hibiscus.

Spring is the best season to plant Hibiscus in pots. However, other crucial requirements exist for successfully blooming Hibiscus in pots.

Continue reading this article for more information.

Does Hibiscus Grow Well in the Pots?

Hibiscus prefers slightly cozy conditions around their roots for optimum growth.

Generally, Hibiscus needs no special requirement about pots as it can grow in ceramic, clay, or plastic pots with wide bases and drainage holes.

Pink Hibiscus flower.
Long stamen and colorful petals are the distinguishing features of the Hibiscus flower.

Moreover, lighter plastic pots are great for moving the plant from one place to another, while ceramic or clay pots provide additional drainage.

Lighter pots are preferable if you live in zones other than 9 to 12, as you can easily move the plants indoors when there is extremely cold outside.

Hibiscus, a tropical plant, hates getting “cold feet” and prefers full sun. So bring the plants inside as soon as the temperature drops below 39.2°F.

Besides, there are other advantages that you can leverage by growing Hibiscus in pots.

  • Hibiscus that grows in pots blooms better due to the slight root-bound conditions.
  • Potted Hibiscus produces blooms earlier than garden-grown ones.
  • It’s always easy to check potted Hibiscus’s watering and drainage conditions.
  • Pot with drainage holes shall make the plant less susceptible to root rot.

What are the Best Hibiscus Varieties for Pots?

If you wish to own a potted flowering plant, there is no better option than Hibiscus.

These plants produce elegant and colorful flowers ranging from red, yellow, white, pink, orange, and lavender.

The most contrasting feature is their trumpet-shaped flowers with broad petals and a long stamen sticking out from the center.

Rose Mallow produces the biggest flowers among the hardy Hibiscus varieties.

If you want to grow these Hibiscus varieties, take help from the table below.

Hibiscus VarietiesFeaturesRequirements
Berry AwesomeBlooms Pink in early summer to fall.
Dark green leaves and grows in 4-5 feet height.
Full sun and medium to wet soil.
Tolerates light shade.
Shield from strong winds.
Cranberry CrushBlooms bright red from early summer to fall.
Bright green leaves and grows in 4 feet height.
Full sun and average, medium to wet soil.
Tolerates some light shade.
Protect from wind burn.
Luna Pink SwirlBlooms pink and creamy white from midsummer to fall.
Dark green leaves and grows in 2 to 3 feet height.
Full sun and average, medium to wet soil.
Shade, heat and humidity tolerant.
Protect from strong winds.
Mars MadnessBlooms blood red from mid to late summer.
Dark, olive-green leaves and grows in 4 to 5 feet in height.
Full sun and average, medium to wet soil.
Tolerates light shade.
Protect from strong winds to prevent wind burn.
Starry Starry NightBlooms pale from midsummer to early fall.
Purple to black leaves and grows in 4 feet height.
Full sun and average, medium to moist soil.
Tolerates light shade.
Protect from strong winds.
Roselle HibiscusBlooms gold, yellow or white from fall to summer. Green leaves
with red or pink petioles that grows 3-6 inches in size.
Full sun and well-draining and organic matter rich soil. Ensure 3-6 inches of spacing between the seeds while sowing.

And the easiest Hibiscus variety to grow is the Tropical Hibiscus which makes excellent container plants during the summer.

How to Plant Hibiscus in Pots?

Although Hibiscus grows more efficiently in pots than in garden soil, first decide when to plant them.

And you can plant both the hardy and tropical Hibiscus during the Spring.

Image represents Hibiscus growing in pots
Growing Hibiscus in pots requires warm weather.

Generally, Hibiscus can be kept in pots forever once planted in spring, but not all types prefer the outdoor air.

Grow Hibiscus outdoors in pots safe from winds, with well-draining soil, and use loamy, peat-free compost. Keep it in a warm spot that receives plenty of sunlight.

Tropical Hibiscus must be kept inside during the winter as they hate cold, while Hardy Hibiscus can be kept outside all year round.

Pot is the most important as it is the deciding factor, and you must choose the right one to make things go on thoroughly.

Best Pots for Hibiscus

I have listed a few helpful pots along with their specifications that you can use for planting Hibiscus in the table below.

Pot TypePot DimensionSpecifications
Large Outdoor Tall PlanterDiameter - 13.3 inches
Height - 20 inches
Shape - Cylindrical and narrow at the bottom.
Material - Recycled plastic.
Drainage Hole - Present with built-in tray for preventing root rot conditions.
Bloem SP1400 Saturn PlanterDiameter - 14.5 inches
Height - 12.75 inches
Shape - Rectangular and narrow at the bottom
Material - Plastic (durable, U.V, and rust resistant)
Drainage Hole - Present with plastic tray at the bottom
Suncast Willow Decorative Wicker PatioDiameter - 18 inches
Height - 18 inches
Shape - Round and slightly narrow at the bottom.
Material - Plastic.
Drainage Hole - Absent but retains water for long period of time during summer and is light weight for easy handling.
Rolled Rim Garden PotDiameter - 24.5 inches
Height - 19 inches
Shape - Round but narrow at the bottom.
Material - Earthenware Plastic.
Drainage Hole - Present with easy to access rock fill line at the bottom.

Tips for Preparing Pots for Planting

Once you have grabbed the right pot, prepare it so the plant can experience less shock.

First, take a pot at least 10 inches in diameter and depth.

Now, you can modify the pot so it’s easy to transplant your Hibiscus later.

1. Choose a Location

Before you add any potting mix, select a location that receives plenty of sunlight.

Hibiscus grows well in full sun, so based on that, identify a location on your balcony or indoors that receives sunlight all day.

2. Check for Drainage Holes

This is very important because Hibiscus have delicate roots that don’t like soggy conditions.

If the pots don’t have drainage holes, drill 3-4 at the side of the pot’s base or the bottom.

Alternatively, you can also place a layer of pebbles at the bottom of the pot. Ensure that it is at least an inch thick.

Following this, place coffee filters on the inner side of the pots covering the drainage holes, and place a tray at the bottom of the pot.

Image represents the use of coffee filters for to prevent soil leakage
Placing coffee filters over draining holes prevents the leakage of soil.

This helps prevent soil and fertilizer from washing off during watering sessions.

Place old newspapers or fabric at the bottom of the pot to avoid the seepage of soil and nutrients.

3. Fill with Potting Mix

Instead of filling the pots with garden soil that has a high risk of weed and pest growth later, you can prepare your potting mix.

You can also use an all-purpose potting mix and add vermiculite or pumice to increase drainage.

A good mix is an equal ratio of coco coir or composted bark with added worm casting that contains beneficial microbial life.

You can also use composted organic materials that can slightly increase the acidity.

Remember, Hibiscus thrives well in pH between 6.5 and 6.8, so use a soil pH meter to determine this.

After this, place two inches thick layer of soil at the bottom of the pot.

Now, you are ready to transplant your Hibiscus.

Uprooting and Transplanting in the New Pot

  • Remove the plant using a trowel by loosening the soil along the container’s brim.
  • Once the soil is loose enough, gently twist the plant by grabbing it from the base of the stem and pulling it out.
  • Untangle and free the roots from the attached soil by breaking the soil up.
  • Place the Hibiscus in a new container and add the prepared potting mix.
  • Cover the roots and work your way up to the base of the plant’s stem.
  • Generally, this needs to be about two-thirds of the height of the pot.

If you decide to take cuttings and transplant, feel free to use newly sprouted growth or the soft wood that is green in color.

  • Make a 45° cut using sterilized pruners on the green part of the stem and take a 4-6 inches long cutting.
  • Remove all but 2-3 leaves at the top of the cutting to reduce the growth pressure. 
  • Alternatively, dip the cut end in rooting hormone powder and place it in the potting mix about 2-3 inches deep.
  • New roots shall emerge after four weeks. Check this by giving the cutting a gentle tug.
  • If it’s firm and stays in place, sigh in relaxation!

Watch this video to learn more about transplanting Hibiscus into a new pot.

How Do You Take Care of Potted Hibiscus Plants?

Your job is still overdue even if you have completed planting Hibiscus.

Though growing Hibiscus in pots is handy, give your newly planted Hibiscus all the primary care!

If you do not have any idea, make a checklist considering the following tips. 

  • Provide at least 8 hours of direct daily sunlight to ensure vigorous blooms later by placing it in a sunny spot.
  • Water thoroughly using distilled or rainwater after planting, and continue watering once a week during active growth.
  • During heat waves, water twice weekly when the top 2 inches of soil are dry to the touch.
  • You can also use slow-releasing fertilizer once in early spring, midsummer, and early winter when the annual cycle after the first planting completes.
Care calender for Hibiscus
Focus on fertilizing Hibiscus during growing seasons while pruning the plant occasionally will help to maintain its shape.
  • Use water-soluble fertilizer high in nitrogen and potassium every other week for container-grown Hibiscus.
  • Aim for a temperature between 64.4°F and 73.4°F for blooming. A temperature lower than 50°F is fatal for Hibiscus.
  • Sustain a humidity level between 50% and 70%, and mist the plant during heat waves.

If you own cats, do not miss learning the toxicity of Hibiscus.

  • The common pests disturbing the growth of Hibiscus are Spider Mites and Mealybugs.
  • Prune the plant once in spring by cutting the dead or weak branches and diseased leaves. Avoid pruning more than one-third of the plant’s foliage at once.
  • Repot when the roots protrude from the drainage holes. Use 2 inches wider container whenever you repot again, once every 2-3 years.
Image represents pest infestation in Hibiscus
Newly planted Hibiscus are susceptible to frequent pest attacks.
  • Use insecticidal soaps to remove aphids, mites, and whiteflies in case of evident infestation, and apply fungicides after the watering sessions.

Ensure to keep tropical Hibiscus under grow lights for 12 hours in winter. Additionally, you can also use frost blankets to cover the outdoor Hibiscus to shield from strong winds.

From Editorial Team


Be mindful while choosing the right pot with at least one drainage hole.

Moreover, overexposure to bright, direct sunlight may cause leaf burn.

So, with all the care, you can have a story like mine to tell about growing Hibiscus once it blooms.

Happy Gardening!

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