Chinese rose: growing from seeds and care

Table of Contents

Chinese rose or Chinese hibiscus-1 The Chinese rose is a species of hibiscus that was introduced to Europe from Asia and the Pacific Islands. Today it is one of the most beautiful large indoor plants, extremely popular in Europe, despite the many bad superstitions associated with the Chinese hibiscus. And these superstitions were invented by Europeans themselves.

In Argentina it is considered bad form not to have at least one hibiscus in the house. In India they make bridal wreaths out of a Chinese rose, and in Hawaii and Haiti the hibiscus is a national symbol.

In our article you will find the following information:

  • how to care for a Chinese rose;
  • How to trim it;
  • How to transplant;
  • How to rid the plant of the problems it sometimes has.

Planting and caring for the Chinese rose

  • Flowering: from spring to fall.
  • Lighting: bright diffused light, penumbra.
  • Temperature: In summer 18-20 ˚C, in winter at least 15 ˚C.
  • Watering after the drying of the upper layer of substrate to a depth of 2-3 cm.
  • Humidity of the air: Increased. Regular spraying of leaves during the hot season is recommended.
  • Fertilizing: from April to September twice a month with complex mineral fertilizers alternating with organic fertilizers. In winter, if the rose is blooming, apply a quarter dose of potassium-phosphorus fertilizer to the soil.
  • Pruning: in spring, before the buds start to form.
  • Dormancy period: not very pronounced.
  • Repotting: young plants are replanted annually, starting from the age of five years once in 3-4 years.
  • Propagation: by seeds and cuttings.
  • Pests: thrips, aphids, whiteflies, mealybugs, spider mites.
  • Diseases: chlorosis, root rot, bacterial blotch, brown rot, leaf bronze and ring spot viruses.
Read more about growing Chinese rose below

The Chinese rose or hibiscus (lat. Hibiscus rosa-sinensis) is one of the most popular cultivated species of the genus Hibiscus in the Malva family. The genus Hibiscus has about two hundred species, but the most popular in domestic floriculture was the Chinese hibiscus. The Chinese rose flower began its triumphal spreading through the subtropical and tropical regions of the Earth, in which it has long and successfully taken root, from the south of China and the north of Indochina. The popularity of this plant is so great that in Malaysia, for example, the hibiscus Chinese rose, called Bungaraya, is one of the country’s symbols, depicted on coins. In countries where the climate does not permit the cultivation of Chinese rose flowers in gardens, they are cultivated as greenhouse or indoor plants.

Botanical Description

The indoor Chinese rose(indoor hibiscus) is an evergreen shrub or tree up to three meters tall if grown in a greenhouse, and up to two meters in an ordinary dwelling. The leaves of the plant are similar to those of the birch – smooth, shiny, dark green, serrated along the edge, corrugated, elongate-oval in shape. The single flowers are very beautiful: when the narrow buds open, they look like wide cups of 8 to 14 cm in diameter, sometimes simple, sometimes with a ground cover, depending on the variety – white, yellow, red or pink.

Unfortunately, each flower only blooms for a day or two, but if the Chinese rose is cared for properly, the blooming process can last from early spring to late fall.

Sometimes the Chinese rose is grown as a stump tree at home. The Chinese rose is not only a beautiful ornamental plant: in places where it grows naturally, the young shoots of the plant are eaten as a salad, the flowers are used to make hair and food dye, and the dried fruits of hibiscus are part of well-known medicinal teas (Carcade, Sudanese Rose, Hibiscus Tea, etc.).

Growing Chinese rose from seed

How to sow seeds

Amateur gardeners don’t really like to resort to seed propagation of perennials, preferring the more reliable and quicker way – vegetative, but the Chinese rose, which can be easily grown from seeds as well as from cuttings, due to the excellent germination of seeds and the uncomplicated procedure itself makes the seed method of propagation fascinating and quite productive. I must say that Chinese rose seeds can germinate for up to six years.

At the end of February before sowing, soak them for half an hour in a pink manganese solution for disinfection, then rinse them thoroughly and soak for a day in a solution of growth stimulant (Epin, Zircon, Fumar) so that the liquid only slightly covered the seeds, otherwise the lack of oxygen will kill the germ. After that, the seeds are germinated in damp gauze, turning it from time to time to air it out.

Heat and humidity are good for germinating Chinese rose seeds, so put moist gauze with the seeds in a perforated plastic bag to allow the seeds to germinate. When the seedlings emerge – which you can expect in about three days – they should be put in half-litre plastic cups with a mixture of sand, peat and ashes: It is very important that the long main root of the plant grows freely without bending or twisting. On top of the seeds should be slightly covered with soil, and then cover the cups with film or paper.

To prevent black leg disease, you need to drench the seedlings with a weak solution of Fundazole, and then moderate watering. Seedlings for successful growth need bright diffused light, but without direct sunlight.

Flowering Chinese rose-3 In the photo: Blossoming Chinese hibiscus

Care of Chinese rose at home

How to take care of it

Find a bright spot for the Chinese rose near a window but protect it from direct sunlight. If you put it in the shade, it may refuse to bloom. During the warm season it is very nice to take it out into the fresh air where it is protected from draughts and direct sun. In summer the best temperature for the Chinese rose is 18-25ºC or more, and in winter at least 15ºC. Lowering the temperature to 10ºC will cause the plant to lose its leaves.

The Chinese rose needs a lot of humidity in the room, so don’t be lazy to spray its leaves in the heat of summer and even in winter if the temperature in the room is higher than the plant needs at that time of year. Sometimes a warm shower is useful, helping not only to saturate the leaves with moisture, but also to get rid of Chinese rose spider mites, but avoid getting drips on the flowers and buds – they can get covered with spots and crumble. Use to moisten the air around the plant a long-tested method – a pan with wet pebbles or expanded clay, but so that the bottom of the pot with Chinese rose is not touching the water.

Caring for domestic Chinese rose also provides for a responsible attitude to soil moistening and properly organized fertilization. Watering is carried out with water at room temperature, and the frequency is determined by drying the top layer of soil 2-3 cm deep. Chinese rose should be fertilized only in the period from April to September once every two weeks with a fertilizer for flowering plants or alternate complex mineral fertilizer with organic fertilizer. In winter, only a quarter of the above dose of potassium-phosphorus fertilizer should be applied, and only if the rose is blooming.


Many novice fans of growing hibiscus at home ask when to prune the Chinese rose. Pruning is done in the spring before transplanting the plant and before the buds form on it. The purpose of pruning is to increase the number of flowering shoots, bring the plant closer to blooming and form a lush bush.

How to trim a Chinese rose correctly? It is necessary to remove dried, elongated and bare shoots, and to shorten healthy ones by half. The places of cuts are treated with garden varnish, so that the wounds do not leak sap. Cut parts of the shoots can be used as cuttings for rooting.

If you want to rejuvenate an adult plant, cut off all shoots to a height of 15 cm from the base provided that at least one bud remains on the piece. When the young shoots have grown, remove the weak ones so that only the strong, healthy ones remain. Trim again in the summer and finally the flower buds will not appear on the branched out branches until the early autumn and you can enjoy the beautiful hibiscus flowers until spring.

Flowers Chinese rose or hibiscus-5 In the photo: How the Chinese hibiscus blooms

Chinese rose in a pot

The pot for the Chinese rose is not very big, because in a bigger pot the Chinese rose will only intensely put up leaves but will not flower. Each subsequent pot should be larger than the previous one in diameter by 2-3 cm. Young plants are transplanted annually, and reached the age of five years – once every 3-4 years. Old but healthy plants are not transplanted, but every year update the top layer of substrate thickness of 2-3 cm.

Potted Chinese rose plant-6 In the photo: A Chinese rose flower


How to plant a Chinese rose? First prepare a mixture of turf, leaf soil (one part each), humus soil and sand (half part each), and in the mixture for young plants, it is desirable to add one part of peat soil as well. And, of course, at the bottom of the pot should be placed a layer of claydite, broken bricks or clay pebbles so that the moisture does not stagnate in the roots of the plant. How to transplant a Chinese rose so as not to damage the root system of the plant? By transplanting from an old pot into a new one, of course.

Chinese rose after blooming

As such, the Chinese rose has no dormancy period, at least not a pronounced one. But if it becomes necessary to give the plant a rest, it is put to rest by gradually reducing watering to the necessary minimum. Once the leaves have fallen off the plant is cut, leaving 15 cm of shoots from the root, and placed in the penumbra and cool winter in the shade at a temperature of 10-12 º C.

How to grow eustomus at home and in the garden

Occasionally water the Chinese rose, then cover the top of the pot with a mat or paper bag to keep the soil moist for longer. In the spring, the pot with the plant is exposed to bright diffused light and gradually increase watering to the normal rate to stimulate the growth of young shoots.

Chinese rose flower-8 Pictured: Beautiful Chinese rose flower

Propagating the Chinese rose

As we have already found out, the Chinese rose is well propagated by seeds. How to propagate the Chinese rose in a vegetative way, such as by cuttings? Chinese rose cuttings left over from spring pruning are best for rooting. Put the cuttings in a growth promoter such as Kornive or Geteroauxin and either place the cuttings to take roots in water or in a mixture of sand and peat and cover them with a glass jar.

Rooting will occur within three to four weeks, after which the cuttings are planted in Chinese rose soil and pricked to stimulate tillering. If cuttings are well lit and rooted in the spring, they will even flower in a couple of months. Also apical cuttings with two to three internodes cut in July or August can be used.

Chinese rose blooms-9 In the photo: Pink hibiscus

Pests and diseases

Thrips, aphids and spider mites are the most dangerous pests of the Chinese rose and infestations are usually caused by you not taking care of the plant and usually the main reason is that the air is too dry. Put the plant on a wet stone tray, start spraying the leaves with tempered water at room temperature in order to remove the living environment for these insects; treat it twice within two weeks with bitter pepper infusion with soap, which kills insects, and if the infestation is too heavy, apply the same treatment with Actellic solution at the rate of 15 drops per liter of water.

Sometimes flower growers complain that Chinese rose leaves turn yellow. This can be caused by a disease called chlorosis, which occurs due to the high content of calcium and chlorine in the water used for watering. Water should always be defended and before watering add to it iron chelate in the amount specified in the instructions.

Chinese rose or Chinese hibiscus-10 In the photo: How hibiscus blooms

The Chinese rose is turning yellow.

If you water with water at the right temperature, but for some reason the Chinese rose still has yellow leaves, the reason may be too much moisture in the soil for a long time. If there are few yellow leaves, simply reduce the watering, you can even replace it for a while by spraying the leaves. But if the leaves are yellowing en masse, you will have to transplant the plant into new soil, inspect the root system and remove rotten roots.

How to grow hibiscus in the garden – tips from experienced florists

Another reason why the Chinese rose turns yellow, can be in insufficient light for the normal growth of the plant – in this case, you can observe a real leaf fall. There are other reasons why the hibiscus turns yellow.

The Chinese rose falls off

The leaves of the Chinese rose also fall from draughts and drastic changes in temperature. If you want to save the plant, immediately eliminate the shortcomings in the care, because it is not difficult at all. But don’t be alarmed if it loses only a few leaves – this is quite normal for a deciduous plant.

The Chinese rose is drying out

If you water a plant correctly but its leaves are still drying out, this may be the plant’s reaction to a change of location. A plant that has been left with frost leaves is also drying out. Give it time to come to its senses and warm up.

Yellow Chinese rose-11 Pictured: Yellow hibiscus

Chinese rose wilting.

This can be due to lack of watering. Or it has not yet recovered from transplanting. But worst of all, if the problem is in the roots: carefully clean the roots from the soil, soak for half an hour in a weak solution of manganese and transplant into a small pot with light soil (add vermiculite to the usual soil for hibiscuses) – maybe these measures will save your plant.

Why the rose does not bloom

There are also several reasons why a Chinese rose does not bloom, but most often it is due to an excess of nitrogen fertilizer in the soil, especially if the plant has a healthy appearance and is abundantly covered with foliage.

The plant does not flower either:

  • When it doesn’t get enough light;
  • if you don’t keep it wet enough during its active growing season;
  • When it is overwintering in a place that is too warm.

In order for the Chinese rose to bloom, you need to eliminate the listed causes and correct other possible mistakes in the care of the plant.

Chinese rose – signs

The popularity of the hibiscus sometimes serves him poorly: about this flower they tell various tall tales, and often mutually exclusive.

For example, some sources say that the Chinese rose attracts a lot of fans in the house where the woman lives, and others as strongly warn against the destructive influence of hibiscus on the relationship between the spouses, and called the Chinese rose “muzhegonom.

Some say that the Chinese rose is the flower of death, because its untimely blooming heralds the imminent demise of a person close to the owners of the plant. And if the Chinese rose leaves are falling off, it is a prognosis for the imminent serious illness of someone in the household.

It’s interesting that all these negative opinions are limited to our country, while the rest of the world just thinks of the Chinese rose as an attractive and unassuming houseplant.

Chinese rose in the garden-12 Pictured: Rose hibiscus flowers

Where you can keep a Chinese rose in the house

According to Feng Shui, the only rose that should not be kept at home is the Chinese rose because it has the ability to absorb energy. Believe it or not, it is up to you, but if you do not believe in omens and want to grow Chinese rose in your house no matter what, who can you forbid it? Instead of keeping it in the bedroom or nursery, place this big plant in the living room, where it will not be a nuisance, but will be a nice decoration element and will purify the air in your house, absorbing impurities and filling it with oxygen.


  1. Read about the subject on Wikipedia
  2. Features and other plants of the Malva family
  3. All Species List at The Plant List
  4. More information at World Flora Online