The Chinese rose, also known as Chinese hibiscus, is a plant belonging to the mallow family and originates from India.
Characteristics of the Chinese Rose
It is a fast-growing, perennial evergreen plant that can develop into a shrub up to 2-3 meters tall, as it thrives well in our climate. Its flowers are extremely beautiful and can be white, pink, red, yellow, or orange, with slightly wrinkled petals. It blooms abundantly from mid-summer to September. An interesting fact is that each flower only blooms for a day, and its petals are edible.
Care of the Chinese hibiscus
The Chinese hibiscus is a rather delicate plant that does not tolerate direct sunlight, overwatering, and sudden temperature changes well.
It is not sensitive to the soil type, but it is important to ensure that the soil has a loose structure and good drainage. During planting, organic fertilizer should be well incorporated into the soil, and in spring, it is advisable to sprinkle slow-release fertilizer that lasts for 6-8 months around the base of the flowers.
It enjoys warmth and sunlight but should not be exposed to direct sunlight. When placing it, look for a protected, semi-shady spot. However, protect it from rain as excessive moisture can harm its delicate flowers.
It can withstand drought but requires regular watering. It also enjoys humidity, so spraying the leaves with water is recommended. Providing fertilizer during watering every one to one and a half weeks is also recommended. From early summer, it is advisable to protect it against aphids, although it is not sensitive to other pests or diseases.
Pruning the Chinese Rose
After the frost has passed, it should be pruned in March, and it can also be shaped at this time. Regular pruning maintains the plant and promotes flowering. It is worth shortening the previous year’s shoots and making the plant more open if necessary. If you want to create a standard tree form, you need to prune the side branches and leave only the main branch.
Once it has reached the desired height, the tip should be cut off. If the plant has aged and produces few flowers, it is advisable to perform a rejuvenating pruning. For this, all shoots should be pruned back to different heights, but no more than 50 cm, and the crown should be pruned to make it lighter and more open. The flowering may be skipped the following year, but afterwards, the plant will regain its vitality.
Hibiscus sprouts late in spring, only at the end of April or beginning of May. During the flowering period, it should be watered daily, but care should be taken not to let water accumulate beneath it. If the soil is too dry, it will shed its flowers. In spring, during the growing season, it is advisable to provide it with a dose of liquid fertilizer once a week.
If the hibiscus is kept outdoors and the temperature drops below 12 degrees Celsius, its overwintering should not be delayed any further. Before bringing it indoors, it is advisable to remove dry leaves and branches, and if it has grown too large, consider pruning it back. It’s worth checking for pests on the plant to avoid bringing them indoors as well.
If the plant is originally kept indoors, it is still recommended to find a cooler location for it during winter compared to its current placement. For overwintering, choose a slightly cooler (16-18 degrees Celsius), well-lit spot for the hibiscus. During this period, it does not require fertilizer and should be watered moderately, making sure not to let it dry out. It is possible that its leaves may start turning yellow and falling off in its new location. If this is not excessive and its shoots remain healthy, then the plant is fine.
In spring, when the weather is pleasantly warm, place the hibiscus back in its usual spot. This is the time to prune it, resume regular watering, and provide fertilizer. It will reward your care with abundant flowering. If necessary, repotting should also be done during this time.
Potted Chinese rose
Chinese roses can also be kept in pots. However, for this purpose, a large-sized pot or even a container is necessary. When growing the Chinese rose in a pot, it is recommended to mix the medium with sand, as the soil needs to have good drainage. The soil should be slightly dry, but the plant should not be placed in a wet, waterlogged area. When grown in a pot, the Chinese rose requires continuously fresh, nutrient-rich soil. Keep it in a warm, sunny location, but avoid direct rain.
Propagation of the Chinese rose
Propagation can be done through stem cuttings. For this, a strong shoot that developed in the current year, measuring up to 10 cm in length, is needed. This cutting should be inserted about 2-3 cm deep into loose potting soil, and then wait for it to develop roots.
Old Garden Roses – The Chinas:
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