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Originating in Asia and the Pacific Islands, Hibiscus rosa sinensis is the national flower of Malaysia. It is closely associated with Hawaii. It is widely grown as an ornamental plant throughout the tropics and subtropics. The flowers are large, generally red in the original varieties, and firm, but generally lack any scent. Numerous varieties, cultivars, and hybrids are available, with flower colors ranging from white through yellow and orange to scarlet and shades of pink, with both single and double sets of petals.
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PLACEMENT SPRING & SUMMER
The Flowering Hibiscus will thrive indoors in high light and appreciates being kept outdoors in either full or partial sunlight during the spring and summer. When night time temperatures drop below 50 degrees we suggest that you place the tree on a windowsill or on a table in front of one.
Once nightly lows begin approaching the freezing mark, it is time to bring your bonsai inside. During the winter months, the tree should be moved to a northern windowsill where it should be allowed to go semi-dormant. It should not receive any sunlight and should be kept cool (perhaps 50-55 degrees). Water approximately every 7-10 days. After this resting period, it should be placed outdoors; however, once the tree is moved to a location with more light, the watering and feeding schedule should increase accordingly.
The watering of your bonsai must never be neglected. Apply water before the soil appears dry -- never allow the soil to become completely dry. It is a good idea to use a moisture meter until you get to know the requirements of your bonsai tree. Water should be applied until it begins running out of the holes in the bottom of your pot. It doesn’t really matter “how” you water your tree, but rather that when you are finished the tree has been well watered.
During the cold months, when your bonsai is inside, we recommend placing it in a shallow tray filled with a layer of gravel with water added. This provides extra moisture around the tree as the water evaporates and reduces the amount of moisture lost to modern heating systems.
Fertilizing is also necessary if your bonsai is to remain healthy and beautiful. Since your bonsai is growing in such a small amount of soil it is necessary to replenish the soil's supply of nutrients periodically. Any general-purpose liquid fertilizer will do fine and is available at most garden centers. We suggest that fertilizers be used at half their recommended strength. Fertilizer should be applied at least once a month except during winter. Your bonsai will also respond well to foliar feeding, with a water-soluble fertilizer applied every other month as a spray.