In a climate like ours, they flower more in summer than winter. It does not prefer extreme temperatures, but needs light and warmth to thrive. They grow best in well drained loamy soil, rich in organic matter is ideal. Water stagnant or soggy soil will adversely affect the flowering and growth of the plant. Once assured of a well-draining soil, it is safe to water the plant regularly.
Pruning is done to shape the plant, keep it bushy and full of blooms and and is normally done in late summer or early monsoon. Use a sharp cutter and cut just 1/4th of an inch above about an eye that is pointing in the direction you want the new growth to appear. Alternatively, pinch off the tips of branches to encourage multiple growth tips further down the stem.
Don’t feed your plant after pruning. Watch for new shoots to appear and then start feeding. Hibiscus like organic feed, so feed your plant with bone meal or once in every two months. Remember winter is the resting period for your hibiscus, so do not fertilize in winter. In summer, fortnightly feed it with a balanced fertilizer mix. The health of the plant may be gauged from its foliage that should be a deep glossy green.
At a time when you observe roots coming out of the bottom of the pot through the drainage holes or the soil is compact and difficult to break through due to the roots, this is a good time to re-pot, but only in early autumn. When the root ball has been carefully loosened and lifted out of the pot, completely cut away any dark brown and soft roots and re-pot. Never prune off more than 1/3 of the root mass. Propagation is by layering, cutting, and grafting. Green semi-woody tip cuttings, treated with rooting hormone, does well.
Other names for hibiscus are Jaba Kusum (Bengali), Gudhal (Hindi); Shoe flower is another common name in a reference to the use of the crushed flowers as a black shoe polish.