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Texas Star Hibiscus | How to Grow and Care for Them?

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Texas Star Hibiscus or Wild red mallow, another popular name among the lot, is a hardy Hibiscus species from the mallow family, Malvaceae.

This pointed five-petal flower is a summer baby. And although summer is not a very good time to see beautiful blooms, you can plant Texas Star Hibiscus in your garden to breadth a new life to it.

Here, it is interesting to note that although Texas Star Hibiscus has Texas in its name, it is not native to that place. Instead, this flowering plant is native to the Southeastern United States, where you can find them from southeastern Virginia through Florida and west Louisiana.

This slender-looking plant is excellent when it comes to attracting butterflies and hummingbirds. So, if you are looking for something similar, you can go with this variety of hibiscus. Moreover, this plant thrives in moist environments and is ideal for growing streams, bogs, rain gardens, and ponds. Also, you can place it towards the rear or middle of beds so that its stunning blooms may peep out from behind them.

Furthermore, Texas Star Hibiscus is a low-maintenance plant and is ideal even for those who are not a pro in gardening. And in this article, we will discuss the basic information about Texas Star Hibiscus and how you can grow and care for them.

General Information

Before proceeding further, let us check out some of the basic facts about Texas Star Hibiscus.

General InformationTexas Star Hibiscus, Scarlet Hibiscus,
Red Hibiscus, Swamp Hibiscus, Wild red mallow, Brilliant Hibiscus
Botanic nameHibiscus coccineus
FamilyMalvaceae
DurationPerennial
TypeDeciduous shrub
Hardiness zones6-10
Soil requirementMoist and well-drained soil
Soil pH levelBetween 6.8 and 7.2
Maximum height3 – 6 feet tall
Width4- 4 feet wide
Blooming timeBlooming time June to September (late spring to early summer)
Native to Southern United States

Growing Condition for Texas Star Hibiscus

Growing condition for Texas Star Hibiscus
Image Credit: Texas Star Hibiscus from Pxhere


It is not a challenging task to grow Texas Star Hibiscus in your garden. All you would need is just to take care of certain primary growing conditions for this plant.


To make it even easier for you, we have listed below the optimal growing condition for this plant, which you can follow yourself.

The Right Place

The foremost thing to consider while thinking of growing Texas Star Hibiscus is the right place to plant it.

That being said, you should select an area in your garden that is free from any debris and has moist and well-drained soil. This plant absolutely doesn’t mind growing in constant wet soil.

Sunlight


The next thing that comes on the list is the sunlight. Make sure to plant this perennial plant in an area that receives a minimum of six hours of full daylight each day.

Bonus Read: Althea Plant: How to Grow and Care?

Soil

A great thing about this red blossom-producing plant is that although it grows in swampy areas, you can plant them in almost all kinds of soil. However, make sure to water the plant regularly to keep the soil moist and measure the ground’s pH balance before planting it.

pH level

The ideal pH level of the soil to grow Texas Star Hibiscus is somewhere between 6.8 and 7.2.

Temperature

As far as the temperature is concerned, this plant is a hardy survivor and can thrive in full sunlight if grown in enriched soil. Also, you can plant them in the areas that receive full to partial shade. That being said, this plant starts dying once the winter months hit and goes completely dormant in freezing temperatures.

When to Plant Texas Star Hibiscus?

When to Plant Texas Star Hibiscus

Image Credit: Growing Texas Star Hibiscus by peganum (CC BY- SA 2.0) from Flickr

The best time to plant Texas Star Hibiscus is during the spring months. However, these plants thrive and flourish all through the spring and summer season before going dormant once the temperature starts to fall.

Growing Texas Star Hibiscus

As we have mentioned, Texas Star Hibiscus is easy to grow and manage the plant, and you won’t have to invest much of your time in it. Keeping this in mind, let us begin the journey of exploring the steps involved in growing this plant in your backyard or garden.

  1. Prepare the soil before planting the hibiscus seeds or stem cutting. To do so, make sure to choose an area that has moistened the soil with a pH level between 6.8 and 7.2.
  2. You can also use Garden Soil sold in the market and mix it with the natural soil to prepare an optimum soil condition for your plant. Or else, you can choose to mix in 2″ of natural compost before planting.
  3. Also, dig a hole twice as wide and just as deep as the plant’s root system if you plan to grow your hibiscus from stem cutting.
  4. If growing from a stem cutting, take 5” – 6” inch-long cutting and dip it into root hormone. Then, plant the cutting’s 3” into the soil amended with peat moss or vermiculite. Place the container in a partially shaded area. And once cutting starts producing new leaves, you can transplant it.
     
  5. If you want to grow your plant from seeds, you should sow the seeds thinly in a starter tray, about 1/4″ deep, using standard potting soil. Then, gently water the seeds and press the soil. Be cautious not to suffocate the seeds. Once the seeds grow their third set of leaves, you can transfer them to your garden.
  6. When growing Texas Star Hibiscus in your garden, it would be better to maintain a 3-4′ spacing. Doing so would eliminate the chance of overcrowdedness.
  7. Make sure to water your plant throughout the growing months. You must water your newly grown hibiscus every couple of days for the first few weeks after planting.
  8. It is also advisable to use fertilizer during the spring and summer seasons- mix in about 1”. However, avoid this step once autumn months hit, as Texas Star is a deciduous plant and would start shedding leaves post-summer months.

Caring for Texas Star Hibiscus

Watering

It is almost impossible to over-water Texas Star Hibiscus because this hibiscus variety loves moisture. Also, it doesn’t bother them if their roots remain constantly wet. You can water your plant once a week to keep the soil moist throughout the root zone. Also, make sure to your plant with around 1 to 3 inches of moisture a week.

That being said, during dry seasons, hibiscus may demand more frequent watering.

Fertilizing

As we have mentioned above, fertilizing these plants is essential. When the plant is actively growing during the spring and summer months, fertilize it once a month. Use the lowest monthly rate advised on the package label, and remember to use a balanced fertilizer blend.

Pruning

Pruning
Image Credit: Yellow leaves of hibiscus coccineus from Growplants.org

Pruning your hibiscus plants is essential if you want to keep them in proper shape. You can snap off the flowers once they fade away in the autumn. Doing so would encourage plants to continue producing blooms. You can cut it back to within 4-6 inches of the ground once all the leaves have fallen off.

Deadheading

Deadheading is not a necessary step in caring for most hibiscus plants. However, you can pinch off blooms that have faded away or are growing sickly.

Mulching

Apply a 2” to 3” layer of mulch to the soil bed to keep moisture in and weeds out. In the fall and spring, reapply the mulch to maintain its level.

Pests & Diseases

Although growing and caring for hibiscus plants won’t give you a headache, you should check if your plant has been affected by pests or diseases. Most importantly, you must check your plants to see if Aphids have infested them.

You should check the undersides of hibiscus leaves regularly. If you face an aphid infestation, water your plant thoroughly. After two hours, use an insecticide that is safe for hibiscus plants.

Other than aphids, Texas Star Hibiscus can also get affected by

  • Whiteflies
  • Mealybugs
  • Thrips
  • Scale

You can treat Mealybugs, Thrips, and Scale by spraying a refined oil on the plant and the underside of the leaves.

Also Read: 5 Best Mars Hydro Grow Lights

FAQ’s

Q1. How to ensure to grow my hibiscus well?

Ans. The foremost thing you can do is water your hibiscus plant at a regular interval. Texas Star Hibiscus is a perennial plant that loves moisture-laden soil. So, make sure your plant gets enough water and its surrounding soil is never overtly dry.
 
To learn more about watering, refer to the above section(s).

Q2.  What is the blooming time?

Ans. This perennial plant produces flowers between early spring and late summer, i.e., between June and September, roughly.

Q3. Is Texas Star Hibiscus edible?

Ans. In some places, you would find people eating Scarlet rose mallow’s fruits.

Q4. Is Texas Star Hibiscus toxic for pets?

Ans. Most of the time, hibiscus flowers do not pose a threat. But for safety purposes, you should prefer to keep your furry friends away from any species of these flowers.

Q5. What to do with my Hibiscus coccineus plant during winter?

Ans. Perennial hibiscus plants rest during the winter months as they go dormant. Therefore, if your plant is growing in the garden (on the ground), you don’t need to do anything. Just let it rest and do not fertilize it. However, if it is planted in a pot, you bring the pot indoors and keep it at room temperature.  

Summary

So, you see, growing Hibiscus coccineus or Texas Star Hibiscus is not at all challenging work to do. These plants are almost maintenance-free and produce beautiful star-shaped bright red flowers that would give a dramatic look to your garden.

You can surely try your hands in planting these plants, especially if you are a newcomer in the gardening field and not entirely sure about your capabilities. Just remember to follow the caring steps we have mentioned above. And at any point, if you feel stuck, you can revisit our article for reference.

Happy planting!

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