Whether you want beautiful flowers or a nice cup of tea, Hibiscus (hi-BIS-kus) is an excellent alternative to roses.
While a handful of species are commonplace, the genus consists of more than 300 species found in tropical and subtropical regions worldwide.
These plants are often grouped into smaller categories, the two most common being are:
- Hardy Hibiscus
- Tropical Hibiscus
One of the best aspects of Hibiscus is that it’s relatively easy to grow both indoors and outdoors.
However, tropical Hibiscus is less tolerant of environmental conditions than hardy Hibiscus.
Several basic needs for this plant, such as:
And these can be confusing for first-time growers.
However, it’s really easy to maintain these beautiful bloomers once you know the basics.
What Are Hibiscus Light Requirements Growing Indoors And Outdoors?
Ideally, your hibiscus will need at least 6 total hours of sun but can tolerate partial shade.
However, in particularly hot areas, full sun can be harmful at midday.
As mentioned, your hibiscus will grow best when it gets at least 6 hours of full sun per day.
In southern areas where the midday sun is particularly harsh, you will want the full sun in the morning or evening, with the plant getting partial shade at midday.
Conversely, it will fare well in dappled sunlight at midday but should have total exposure before or after to ensure plenty of flowers.
Growing a sun-loving plant indoors can be a bit more complicated. It’s best to put it in a sunroom or at a southern facing window so it can get the most light possible.
As with outdoor plants, you may wish to protect it at midday with a sheer curtain if in a southern climate where the sun beats down on the window since glass can amplify the intensity of the sun’s rays.
You can also augment their natural light with artificial lighting, such as grow lamps.
Growing Hibiscus In Partial Shade
You may grow hibiscus in light to partial shade both indoors and out.
However, there is a tradeoff: your hibiscus will produce fewer blooms or fail to bloom altogether if it doesn’t get enough sun.
You can remedy this by augmenting an indoor plant with artificial light, but outdoor plants may need to be moved to a sunnier spot before they’ll flower.
Signs Of Poor Lighting
Hibiscus plants will show some symptoms beyond poor blooming in inhospitable lighting conditions.
While all hibiscus will have the same symptoms, the tropical hibiscus will begin showing signs before their hardier kin.
Too Much Light
Too much of a good thing is never good, despite the old adage.
It also applies to sunlight.
In regions where the sun gets particularly harsh, the plant can suffer sunburn, just like humans.
This damage will show up as yellow to white splotches on the leaves for the hibiscus.
The leaves of indoor plants may turn yellow completely.
Too Little Light
On the other side of the coin, insufficient light can also lead to severe problems.
As mentioned before, the primary issue is that the plant won’t produce as many blooms, if at all.
However, the foliage will also suffer due to too much shade.
At first, the Hibiscus leaves turn yellow and eventually die and fall off if the situation isn’t remedied.
This yellowing can also affect photosynthesis, which means the plant won’t be getting as much food as it needs.
Malnourished plants become a magnet for pests and disease, so it’s best to tackle the problem as soon as possible.