What better way to truly dramatise a tropical garden than with big, bold and magnificently coloured hibiscus flowers? Hibiscus hails from Africa, Australia, China and the Pacific and has become the horticultural highlight of warm-climate gardens all over the world.

Their flowers can either be single, semi-double or double or come in all shades of the spectrum from yellow, orange, scarlet, burgundy, rose and white, to mauve, plum, cerise and peach. Some varieties sport contrasting throats, while others have distinctive veins or ruffled petals. One of their most attractive features is the prominent pistil and stamens, which burst from the center of each flower. Generally their leaves are a glossy, dark green but some varieties produce variegated or multi-coloured foliage.

There are many different species of hibiscus, ranging from dwarf shrubs to large trees but all have basically the same cultural requirements so here are some easy tips for growing healthy plants.

Hibiscuses thrive in Australia's subtropical and tropical regions, growing and flowering best in full sun. Most species are sturdy enough to tolerate moderate wind and cool, but not severely frosty weather.

Hibiscuses like to be planted into fertile, slightly acid, well-drained soil. Heavy clay or light sandy soils must be improved with generous quantities of compost and animal manures and even reasonably good soils will require the addition of organic material. 5 in 1® contains a rich mix of carefully blended ingredients to give your soil a boost and kick start your plants into good growth and optimum floral performance.

One of the real tricks for healthy hibiscus is to mulch generously and water regularly. They are thirsty plants, and respond well to a constant supply of moisture in the soil. Give them a deep watering once a week, and conserve the moisture by covering their roots with a thick layer of Searles® Premium Garden Mulch.

Well-maintained plants produce masses of flowers over many months of the year. To promote a succession of beautiful flowers hibiscus should be fed regularly from spring right through to winter. For best results, fertilise about once a month with Searles® Hibiscus Plant Food. Lift the mulch around each plant, sprinkle the fertiliser evenly on the soil beneath the canopy, water well in, and replace the mulch.

Hibiscuses respond well to regular shaping and pruning, and because they bear their flowers at the tips of their branches, it's important not to let your plants become overgrown and straggly. After each flush of flowers, just prune each branch back into the desired shape, and then wait for the next flush of glorious blooms to appear.
So remember, for stunning hibiscus:

• Choose a site in full sun
• Prepare soil with 5 in 1®
• Mulch with Searles® Premium Garden Mulch and water at least once a week
• Fertilise with Searles® Hibiscus Plant Food.
If you do this, you're guaranteed healthy hibiscus with brilliant blooms - it's as easy as that.


Happy Gardening with Searles from the Searle family.

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