Hibiscus is a popular indoor and greenhouse plant from the extensive Malvov family. This flower has several names: Chinese rose, Sudanese rose, Egyptian rose, hibiscus. In Europe, the first hibiscus, according to legend, appeared thanks to Charlemagne, who was allegedly a big fan of hibiscus tea. In Russia, the shrub form of the plant has been known since the 19th century, the plant quickly gained popularity and began to be called an unusual name - rose tree. He fell in love with many, and his name even stuck in folklore.
When growing hibiscus, first of all, you need to attend to a sufficiently spacious container for a flower. In Russian villages, as a rule, a medium-sized tub was selected for a rose tree. Needing light, this plant, however, does not like direct sunlight. Caring for hibiscus is quite simple, which earned him such wide popularity. One of the prerequisites is frequent, but not very plentiful watering.
If all conditions are met, the rose will bloom in early spring. A feature of hibiscus is its long flowering (from March to November). It should be mentioned that hibiscus remains a rather attractive plant in winter. Providing satisfactory growing conditions can allow it to grow at home for a very long time. In botanical gardens, the plant can exist for at least 100 years.
Pruning is one of the prerequisites for growing a Chinese rose indoors. In the open field, and even more so in natural conditions, this need practically does not arise. However, sometimes in parks, hibiscus is cut off, this allows you to form the crown of the shrub, to give it the required shape.
In an apartment, it is very rarely possible to create optimal lighting, this causes curvature and deformation of the hibiscus shoots.
And since decorativeness is the main property of this cultivated plant, twisted and unaesthetic shoots have to be removed. This procedure is not at all dangerous for the plant; the Chinese rose easily forms new shoots.
Pruning can also rejuvenate the plant . Removing old shoots activates the growth of new ones, which gives the plant an updated look, increasing its decorative effect. In some cases, pruning allows you to get rid of diseased shoots, this is one of the most effective ways to control pests.
Shoot pruning can be done with simple household scissors.
One of the procedures that stimulate the flowering of the Chinese rose is the image of "extra" roots. This is necessary when the planting capacity becomes small for the root system.
There are several types of trimming.
- Formative . It is produced almost immediately after planting (transplanting) hibiscus. It is necessary for the formation of the crown of a growing bush. The main task of such pruning is to remove all deformed and damaged branches and shoots. It takes years to form and maintain the shape of the crown.
- Formation of the trunk. This type of pruning is done when the plant has gained strength. It is also part of the crown formation process. With this type of pruning, all branched side shoots are removed. The main trunk is not pruned during this. This is necessary in order to develop a trunk of sufficient height. The strongest shoots remain for crown formation.
- Supportive . This pruning occurs when the crown is formed. If such an operation is not periodically carried out, the plant may lose any decorative effect. If errors occurred during the formation of the crown, they can be corrected by completely removing unnecessary branches.
- Anti-aging pruning. This type of pruning, as the name implies, is essential for plant rejuvenation. Its essence is to remove old branches and shorten younger ones. Such pruning stimulates the formation of new shoots, but which are always more likely to set buds. This pruning is total in nature and, unlike shaping procedures, affects absolutely all shoots.
- Hygienic . This type of pruning aims to remove all unhealthy, dry and old shoots. It is most reasonable to spend it before the new flowering cycle, in February-March. This pruning makes room for future flowers, similar to thinning.
All the listed types of trimming can be carried out simultaneously in one operation. Most often, flower growers do just that, this can significantly reduce stress on the plant. Early spring is the best time to prune. Often, formative pruning is carried out in the fall after the end of the flowering of hibiscus, this allows you to correct all the flaws of past pruning. Also at this time, sick or dried up shoots are detected.
When is the best time to prune?
Spring and autumn are considered optimal pruning periods. In autumn, you can do this after flowering stops. In the spring, it is very important not to miss the moment, to carry out the procedure before the flower buds open. If you prune at the wrong time and subject the young shoots to it, flowering may not occur. New buds are formed only on young shoots. The time of active growth and flowering (from April to September) is absolutely not acceptable for pruning.
The beginning of winter (December) - the transition of the plant to the dormant stage, pruning at this time can provoke the formation of shoots, which is undesirable, since it will weaken the plant preparing for a new flowering. Pruning during flowering is also undesirable. This is an extreme measure, the need for which can be justified by saving the plant from any pests.
Correct crown formation
Forming a beautiful hibiscus crown is a long and painstaking process. Although due to the fact that the plant tolerates pruning quite easily, this measure is not as critical as for some other indoor plants. It should not be forgotten that hibiscus is still an indoor flower and leaving it in the wild, when it can arbitrarily shape the crown in accordance with natural factors, is completely wrong. In a room environment, the living conditions of a plant are already radically different from natural ones.
And, of course, pruning is necessary for the Chinese rose to bloom. Without it, the plant takes on a rather sloppy appearance, trying to adapt to not always ideal lighting conditions.
There are two ways to form a Chinese rose bush: lush or horizontal.
To make the crown lush (the most popular type), the plant is often trimmed arbitrarily, depending on the design of the room or the wishes of the grower. The peculiarity of this type of pruning is the creation of a low, overgrown bush. The main task is to prevent the shoots from stretching up. Pruning of regrown shoots is carried out in early spring. The twigs should be pruned 1/3 of the leaf outward.
To form a stem (tree) will have to be somewhat different. First of all, the main axial shoot stands out. Pruning it shouldn't affect it. The skeletal branch is left the longest, the remaining branches are shortened according to their order, by a third, half, two-thirds. To form a crown of this shape is justified in sufficiently high and bright rooms, it is often just such hibiscus that grow in the greenhouses of botanical gardens . Not in all houses, and even more so in apartments, conditions can be suitable for the growth of a Chinese rose upwards.
How to pinch?
Pinching can be considered a pruning option. Pinch young plants in early spring until new leaves form. The procedure is necessary for the formation of a crown from young shoots. It is desirable to tie the main (central) shoot to the support. Finding it for a young plant is quite simple. A pencil will play this role perfectly.
Lateral shoots should be cut off, but so that at least 5 leaves remain on the plant. To activate the growth of new shoots, nitrogen fertilizers must be added to the soil. After the shoots grow about 5 cm, their tops are pinched off. All side branches growing parallel to the main shoot must be removed. So gradually it will be possible to form the necessary crown shape.
After pruning the hibiscus, the plant should try to create optimal conditions. Watering should be such that the soil dries out only at the very top. Even in winter, watering a Chinese rose cannot be stopped, although it should be reduced to 1 time per week.
A wonderful result can be obtained with an air humidity of at least 50%, which is actually quite difficult to observe in an apartment with heating.
To increase humidity, a vessel with water or a decorative fountain can be placed near the plant. Hibiscus leaves must be periodically washed from dust under the shower.
The plant is very responsive to feeding, during the period of activation of the growth of shoots, nitrogen must be added, and when flowers begin to set, complex fertilizers must be added at least once a week. Temperature conditions are also very important. During the period of active growth and flowering, it is undesirable for the room temperature to drop below 20 ° C. In winter, during the dormant period, you can lower it to 16 ° C. When airing, it is better not to expose the hibiscus to a stream of cold air, it will not be possible to harden the plant, but it is quite possible to destroy the buds.
At any stage of development, the Chinese rose does not like direct sunlight.
It is better to place a container with a plant in a room with windows facing west or east. If the room is lit by the midday sun, the flower will have to be shaded from direct rays. In the summer, it is not bad to take out the plant or even plant it under the open sky, subject to all the above conditions. True, in Russia, far from everywhere it will be possible to grow hibiscus in the ground for a long enough time, both late and early frosts can be the reason.
For more information on hibiscus formation, see below.