Hibiscus schizopetalus: the spider hibiscus
One of the most colorful and beautiful flowers to embellish and decorate your terrace or garden is the hibiscus. There are numerous species of this beautiful flower, including Hibiscus schizopetalus, a delicate and particular species.
Let’s find out in detail everything there is to know about this peculiar plant..
Native to East Africa, this plant has a unique delicacy. It is characterized by a shrubby habit and its branches are so thin and fragile that they need a guardian, in order to avoid breaking them. The Hibiscus schizopetalus is also known as “Spider hibiscus” or “Japanese Lantern”, for its pendulous flowers. Its leaves are small and the flowers are about 8 cm wide in general. The color can vary from a dark pink to an orange-red and thanks to its frayed and backward curved petals, it is possible to distinguish its red stamens. Unlike other species of hibiscus that grow up to 1.5 meters, such as Hibiscus moscheutos, Hibiscus schizopetalus grows up to 3 meters high, for a width of about 2.5 meters wide.
To cultivate this plant the recommended method is by cuttings, which makes it possible to obtain specimens equal to the mother plant. To do this, you must remove woody cuttings from the branches of the previous year and have them rooted in a vase. It is advisable to carry out this technique in the warmer months, as it is a very fragile species of hibiscus. To stimulate the process, rooting hormones can be used.
For growth, it is good to choose a very sunny place, as the shadow brings the buds not to open, even though they are formed. Furthermore, the air is very important, to prevent the plant from being damaged by humidity. The important thing is that the area is not excessively ventilated.
The Hibiscus schizopetalus, as already mentioned, is extremely sensitive to cold climates, therefore it is necessary to prefer exposure in the summer months or with a mild climate and to shelter it when the first frost arises.
As far as watering is concerned, it is necessary to dedicate constant and frequent care to young plants. The most developed plants, on the other hand, do not need constant watering and, in winter, remain healthy even with frequent rains.
Pruning proves indispensable for this type of plant, as indeed in almost all species of hibiscus, given its constant and abundant development. Pruning it constantly will stimulate the growth of buds for the following year’s flowering. However, this operation should be carried out only after the third year of age, in some cases even after the fourth.
Diseases and treatment
The parasites that most frequently attack this plant are mites and aphids, which weaken the plant, sucking its sap. In this case, it is good to use insecticides for specific use.
Among the most widespread fungal diseases, however, is oidium. If you see white spots on the branches and buds, this will certainly be the case. To cure it, an antifungal is enough.
If you want to give it to a person we consider particularly beautiful, the hibiscus is perfect. In fact, in the language of flowers it symbolizes beauty. In eastern cultures, however, it is used on the occasion of a marriage proposal.