Growing Texas Star Hibiscus, named after its stunning four inch white or crimson blossoms, could seem as big of a challenge as the state it is named after. The Texas Star Hibiscus, also known by its botanical name of Hibiscus coccineus, boasts big, beautiful blooms. Oddly, the serrated, star shaped leaves cause frequent identity problems as the Texas Star Hibiscus is mistaken for the marijuana plant. Its lengthy bloom season, from June through October, provides lush summer and fall color for gardens across the southern states. As the Texas Star Hibiscus can reach heights of seven feet tall at maturity, they can serve as a mid or high level accent point in garden beds, along borders, or as low cover beneath larger ornamental trees. The Texas Star Hibiscus enjoys moist soil and can be planted successfully in rock gardens, bogs, streams, and ponds in USDA Plant Hardiness Zones 5 through 10. Follow these tips from garden experts to successfully grow the Texas Star Hibiscus in your own home garden or landscape setting.
The Texas Star Hibiscus can be grown from seeds or cuttings, indoors or outdoors, in free soil or in pots as long as growing preferences can be met. The Texas Star Hibiscus prefers moist, well draining soil that is moderately nutrient rich and is located in an area that receives indirect sunlight or partial shade. It does not do well in full sunlight conditions. To plant from seeds, install the seeds in pots in a warm location with minimal light, and moisten soil. Keep soil moist with frequent misting and plants should begin to show signs of germination within two weeks' time. After germination occurs wait until soil feels dry to the touch before re-watering. After young seedlings have grown their third set of true leaves, they can be repotted or planted in their permanent location. The Texas Star Hibiscus attracts hummingbirds and butterflies as well as other avian garden visitors, so planting it in a location where visitors will not disturb humans can be advantageous.
The Texas Star Hibiscus may not produce blossoms in the first season, as it can take two seasons before the plant becomes established. Ensuring the soil drains well is a factor in Texas Star Hibiscus health, even though they can tolerate soggy soil. Texas Star Hibiscus will die back nearly completely for dormancy in the winter season, so at this time plants can be pruned back nearly to the ground in preparation for winter's cold. Adding an extra layer of protective mulch above dormant Texas Star Hibiscus can further insulate plants and keep them healthy during the winter season. The most frequent pests to the Texas Star Hibiscus are grasshoppers, and the only real effective treatment is removal by hand, although preventative pesticide sprays can also be applied. Otherwise, the Texas Star Hibiscus is remarkably disease and pest resistant and easy to care for, and even novice gardeners can experience immediate success with this plant.