Hibiscus cannabinus L.
Kenaf, Deccan Hemp, Brown Indian Hemp, Java Jute
Abelmoschus congener, Abelmoschus verrucosus, Furcaria cannabina, Furcaria cavanillesii, Hibiscus asper, Hibiscus congener, Hibiscus cordofanus, Hibiscus malangensis, Hibiscus obtusatus, Hibiscus sabdariffa subsp. cannabinus, Hibiscus vanderystii, Hibiscus verrucosus, Hibiscus vitifolius, Hibiscus wightianus, Ketmia glandulosa, Kosteletzkya vitifolia
Color: White, yellow, or purple
Bloom Time: Late summer or fall
Hibiscus cannabinus is an annual or biennial (rarely a short-lived perennial) herbaceous plant with a woody base. It grows up to 11.5 feet (3.5 m) tall. Stems are often, but not always, branched and up to 0.4 inches (2 cm) in diameter. Leaves are variable in shape and up to 6 inches (15 cm) long. The leaves near the base of the stems are deeply lobed with 3 to 7 lobes, while leaves near the top are shallowly lobed or unlobed lanceolate. Flowers are white or yellow with a dark purple center, or purple, and up to 6 inches (15 cm) in diameter. Fruits are capsules up to 0.4 inches (2 cm) in diameter, containing several seeds.
USDA hardiness zone 6a to 11b: from −10 °F (−23.3 °C to 50 °F (+10 °C).
How to Grow and Care
Hibiscus should be moved outside in the summer, then back inside during the winter. Tips for a successful transition include: Trim the plant hard before moving it inside for the winter. It will go into near dormancy until late winter; After you trim it, but before you bring it in, treat it thoroughly for insects. Neem oil and liquid detergent work well, or use a hose to blast off insects; Once inside, don't overwater, but provide as much humidity as possible, including daily mistings. Don't expose to blowing air from vents; When the weather warms above 50ºF (10ºC) at night, move it back outside and acclimate slowly.
Repot as necessary, yearly or biannually. Hibiscus will grow into trees in their native habitats, but this may be unwieldy in a home setting. There's also some benefit to keeping the Hibiscus in a relatively smaller pot, as it will make for easier pruning and moving. Failure to repot these plants often can leave them in soil without adequate nutrients for their survival, and repotting will often spur on growth if you're finding that your Hibiscus plants seem to have stalled out. Watch out for falling leaves or other signs of stress. See more at How to Grow and Care for Hibiscus.
It is native to southern Asia.
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