Nina's flat hibiscus


Well-Known Member
I wanted to do something similar like worldgardens or a how everyone grows hibs in his place... with bloom pict and of course including issues and pitfalls.
so before I get distracted more over thinking about what to post here I'll just start -
In late summer (2012) we moved to a bigger flat with a balcony (yey!!!) - its a south-west facing rooftop flat, the balcony gets full sun most of the time. most of the windows are slanted, so there's plenty of light for tropicals
well I thought I'd have plenty of space for plants now, but.. well I guess no matter how much place you have it gets crowded really fast if you're a plant-addict...

here I was in the process of filling out the balcony during the move and build shelves (by that time I was wondering how all those plants had place in my old appartment)

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the living room is like a green-house so the plants almost don't slow down in winter.

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however, good climate for the plants unfortunately also means that pests will like it. during summer 2012 the first white flies appeared..:mad:
I was able to keep them under control during winter/spring 2012/13 and thought that the problem would be solved as soon as they get outdoors (that's what people usually tell you)


I guess I made one significant mistake (along with a few other things that just added up) - I wanted to grow tomatoes and other eadible stuff on the balcony. turns out that they are a magnet for white flies. additionally we had long stretches of extremely hot weather - so not ideal to spray pest repellents (which is not a good idea anyways on a small balcony - neighbors won't like it, also a no go with eadibles). so I tried spraying with water when it was hot - if course you can't use a hose too.. and K-soap solution when it was cooler.
then autumn came, I did a lot of travelling then, but as it was mild I kept the plants outdoors as long as possible. I figured that the flies won't like the colder night temps. at the end of october (thats already quite unusual) I had to get the plants back indoors, another trip was due that extended into November. so I crammed in the plants without washing them (next mistake), then they were basically alone for two weeks- a friend of mine was watering, but nothing done against pests.
guess what happens with heavily whitefly-infested plants, two weeks more or less unattended in a sunny warm appartment... - they multiply (the flies..)!!!
when we came back the entire flat was sticky with mildew, white flies everywhere (imagine a dark brown sofa covered in those things - ugh..)

well.. so I stuffed all the plants into one room under quarantine and started a routine including a mosquito-plug, anti-pest/fertilizing sticks and some more sprays.. the plants didn't like that much, along with much less light, so quite a lot started loosing leaves. as soon as the plant was leaveless I'd wash it and move it out of quarantine, I did that more or less over the entire winter. In the end I manually defoliated the more hardy plants to move them out of quarantine. Its quite radical, but I figured that was the only way to get rid of the flies and their eggs since they resisted all the chemicals (and at some point you don't want to spray anymore..).
I lost most of the seedlings from last year who were not strong enough and unfortunately also a couple of grafted cvs.

the rest of the plants is recovering though and I'm starting to get blooms again... ugh
that winter definitely was a slap in my face...

sorry for that monster-post :D
Sorry?! It's great! I love seeing how people grow their plants and seeing what their set up is. I'm so lucky that we don't have much white fly but there's like a million other pests in its place!
Btw beautiful blooms! I'm not so great at IDing yet unless its something I have myself. What are those two last ones? I'm guessing the red and white one is one of Charles but what's the blue and red one? I must get one!!
Hi Angela and Dean - thanks for the nice comments!:eek:
The dark blue-red one is called Bayou Irene - its a medium sized flower, crazy colours (obviously) and on top of it a nice bush, good pollen, reliable seed setter.... I could go on and ooon...
The flashy red-white one is Rebel Rouser - and - CORRECT! it's an HVH hibiscus (one of the very few I have)
And yes, the balcony is an awesome place to hang out, although quite toasty in summer - but I like that.

for the whitefly story - some positive came out of that too :D I've been having thrips since forever basically and never really got rid of them. I have to say, they just didn't bother me enough, they appeared in winter, I kept them under control and in summer they kept a low profile. but now they are completely gone, I haven't seen one the entire winter.
downside - spidermites are coming up now. no idea where they came from. maybe it was that valentines-day cactus (!! :D) I picked up at our garbage site (yea I know..) poor thing, somebody abandoned it and it still had that happy valentines-heart-sticker attached.
I was planning to post a list of my cv's along with pictures, so here we go:

first all the oldies, gardenvarieties/europeans/commercials

the doubles:
Classic Apricot, Classic Red, Sevilla, Crown of Bohemia

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Casa Grande Lavender, Luna, Pink Dream

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El Capitolito, Psyche, Snow Queen

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a couple more...

Tahitian Golden Boy, Pete's Pink x Ana Lynn (IHS Seedling by Peter Moll)

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in memoriam - the ones I lost this winter :(:(:(

The Path, Acapulco Gold, Moorea Mangy Blue, Ice Fairy and Electric Pizzazz

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Nina, Very nice looking Hibiscus. Thanks for sharing the photos. Just wish Hibiscus liked me.
You should try Scott! (Like you need another plant addiction!!) If they haven't liked you in the past maybe you weren't using the right fertilizer. Many people make that mistake. And you already have the right fertilizer if you are feeding your palms. Hibiscus like a low middle number, like very low.
Hi Scott, I agree with Angela - you should try :D For me it's the opposite from what you said, I've killed a lot of plants over the time and the only ones resistant enough to make it with me were hibiscus..
for example me and orchids???? that's a no go.... don't know, maybe it would work out in the new flat, but so far it didn't. I love them, but at some point when I saw one I rather bought it as present for someone else rather than keeping it :D

now to something completely different - we were talking about animal visitors on FB the other day

so here you are - neighbors' young kittie checking out my plants:

she's really shy, so it's hard to get a good shot of her. but she just enjoys exploring the flat.
and the practical thing - when she's done exploring she neatly tucks herself away in a shelf...
Nina, This Snow Queen hibiscus grows and flowers great for me, but the big flowered exotic hibiscus just dislike me.
You have a really nice collection Nina! It's amazing all those fit! I wish I had white diamonds I'd be crossing it with everything. Have you tried crossing WD and Bayou Irene? I bet that would be great!
Nina, I do not remember the names of the two larger flowering Hibiscus I tried. One was purple with a red edge and the other was gold and ?. They only lived a month for me. Snow Queen grows quick adding around 6 feet a year. I cut it back to about 4.5' every year in Feb. Do you grow Fire and Ice?
Nina - no need for any apologies. We appreciate long posts around here.

Welcome, and please keep sharing with us. :)

Come on Dean. Admit it. That was hard for you. You hate Hibiscus. You told me yourself once :eek: ;)
Scott, if Fire and Ice is the one on your picture - no I don't grow it and - Hell Yea! I'd like to grow it! I also wasn't lucky on HVH's Fire and Ice that was offered this year... maybe next year, who knows. In the meantime I have many nice blooms :) you mentioned that your snow queen is doing seedpods somewhere, was that correct?

My flat-biscus are now (finally) outdoors and after a couple of days with nice weather being rained on - again. at least we do not have hail and heavy rain like in some areas some 50 kilometres (sorry, metric..) from here.
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yes I saw...
duh - and we have heavy rain here now, or at least very consistent (floods predicted - again). when I took the picture from my last post it had just started - and it continues so far. but at least no hail on my balcony (yet!!!). we get hailstorms a couple of times each year, but most of the time the grains are pretty small. a few weeks back it hailed here, but didn't do damage to my plants.

and - thanks for the compliment, angela! Happy