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Re: red heart plant

Message from Jo

In forum: Hibiscus syriacus 'Red Heart'

I grew two Hibiscus syriacus 'Red Heart' in planters for years. I can offer some some suggestions, but without seeing the plant they are only suggestions.... Apologies if I'm telling you the obvious, but I don't know how much you know!

First, if they flowered last year, and you're worried about this year, it's too early for them to be flowering outside anyway. So long as it's coming into leaf now, I wouldn't worry about flowers for a couple of months yet.

Secondly, although they will gow in planters, they don't really thrive. Although ours did live in them, and flower every year, they stayed quite small (about two feet tall). As soon as we put them in the ground (after about 6 or 7 years) they started to grow; five year later they were over 6 feet tall! So one thought is - maybe the planter you have it in is too small. Minimum size is probably 18 inches across and a similar depth. Are the roots coming out of the bottom of the planter? If you gently ease it out of the planter, is it a solid mass of roots? If so, it's time to move it into something a bit bigger, with fresh compost, or into the ground.

If you want to keep it in the current planter I'd definitely take the moss off the compost. I'd also see if I can gently scrape some of the compost off the top (without damaging the roots) and replace it with fresh compost. You could also feed it. If it's living in a planter permanently, I'd definitely feed it! With flowering shrubs, I tend to use a rose feed.

But above all, don't panic! Go back to the first thing I said; if it flowered last year and you're just worried that it isn't flowering this year, you're worrying too soon!

  • Posted: Tue. 26th April 2011 06:49