8 Practical Tips For Caring Hibiscus During Rainy Season

Hibiscus locally called as Gumamela is one of the top 10 all time favorite flowering shrub in the country. Growers can encounter some problems during rainy or wet season in the Philippines.

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The most common colors are red, pink, yellow,magenta and intermediate colors. There are some native hibiscus in the country, While hundreds of hybrids origin being cultivated in many homes, public parks, cemeteries, schools, resorts and estates. The flowers does not last long, most of the hybrid cultivars only last for a day or so.

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Hibiscus rosa-sinensis hybrid or Gumamelang Pula planted as hedge plant within Manila Memorial Park

Some Feng Shui practitioners recommend planting reddish color, bright yellow color gumamela. Depending on the position of one’s property to create harmony in colors and balance within the household.

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double petal pink Gumamela  ( photo courtesy of King Louis Farm and Sir Lebon Ong)

8 Practical Tips for Caring Hibiscus /Gumamela

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yellow color 

8.) One can grow their gumamela / hibiscus directly on garden plot or in potted terracotta/ plastic containers. This allows growers to move the containers in ideal location or focal point in one’s home or office when the plant is in bloom. Providing at between 6 to 8 hours of sunlight.

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Hibiscus Taiwan Cloud Cotton

7.) Gumamela requires 50% loam/garden/brown soil with combination of 20% sandy mix, 30% compost, aged cow or carabao manure, aged rice hull, coco coir and vermicast for the rest of the potting mixture. Mulching is recommended for gumamela planted outdoors because it not only provides a lot of protection for the roots, but it also helps the plant retain the moisture, especially if grown in garden type setting.

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peach color

6.) Fertilize weekly using a variety of water soluble fertilizer 20N, 20P, 20K or 10N-10P-10K, (whichever is available) diluted into 1/2 or 1/4 strength during its growing season or flowering season. One may add few teaspoon of slow release fertilizer or compost mixture as fertilizer for the plant. For blooming gumamela plants, a ratio of 20N-30P-30K water soluble fertilizer, trace elements, calcium nitrate, epson salt can also be applied alternately.

Another good brand is Naturamin which enables hibiscus or gumamela to absorb the nutrients. This is also good in other plants like Syngonium podophyllum, flowering plants, orchids, crops and fruits trees.

Avoid using skim milk, beer, Monosodium glutamate (MSG), urine or any home base fertilizer mixture as these can eventually kill your Gumamela or Hibiscus in no time.

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tangerine color

5.) Regular pruning is also required when the shrub grow lush during rainy season. One can schedule a monthly pruning period. Try to sterilize your pruning shears, knife or cutter before using them.

4.) Try to regular check for pest such as aphids, white flies, scale insects, mealybugs, caterpillars, thrips or even spider mites. These insects can eat parts of the flowers, leaves or stems of gumamela.

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3.) Potted hibiscus / gumamela plant with flowers can be enjoyed for a limited time period. Interior decorator suggest that one can put them inside their homes between 1 to 3 days. Near windows where there is bright light.

a humidity tray if you have dry air conditions inside of your house to ensure the plant is getting all of the moisture it needs to thrive.

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single petal yellow variety

2.) Propagation is quite easy. One can propagate via cuttings, air layering or seeds during the onset of the rainy season, or when one prunes their gumamela shrub. Find a node and cut about six-inches below that and then remove everything except the very top leaves. Another way is to graft different colored gumamela.

1.) Avoid over watering, Especially during this rainy season. This can cause a lot of problems like root rotting and fungal problems. When in doubt, one can forgo watering for at least a day or so. Gumamela needed well- drained soil if planted in garden type setting.

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pale pink form

Economic Importance and Ethno Botanical Uses

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Hibiscus Red Double

Hibiscus syriacus is the national flower of South Korea while Hibiscus rosa-sinensis is the national flower of Malaysia. Hibiscus brackenridgei is the state flower of Hawaii, While it is a national symbol in Haiti, Solomon and Niue.

Hibiscus, Gumamela, Rose Mallow or Rose of Sharon and hybrids are commonly use to beautify the landscape.  Blooming gumamela can also serves as focal point in one’s office or public area.

The flowers is used by children in many parts of the country as part of a bubble-making pastime. The flowers and leaves are crushed until the sticky juices come out, adding 1 tablespoon detergent to make bubble.

Some would use the flowers to make edible flower salad. Flowers and young leaves are also use by some for their medicinal properties. In some parts of the country, flowers are use for offering in home altars and as lei for welcoming guests.

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Hibiscus manihot or Abelmoschus manihot

Abelmoschus manihot formerly known as Hibiscus manihot is eaten in ( Quezon / Tayabas area) called Sapinit, Lagikuway. Bicol region and some parts of Ilocos region. Some Visayan provinces also use the flowers for souring agent in soup. In Surigao provinces it is called Lagikway, Lagikuway,Baniwayun. It is called Malaguhon / Malaguhun ( Han.) and Linikway/ Barakue ( Bng) Glikway/ Gikugguse (Sub) in other Philippine languages.

The flower is used as souring ingredient or add on for local vegetables, soup or meat dishes. The dish had a slippery texture like okra.

Although not so common within Metro Manila region. This species grow in semi-wild state in open grassland,cultivated fields and in rural areas all throughout the country.

University of the Philippines Los Baños had been active in breeding hibiscus and came up with several series which pay tributes to great women of the country.

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Php 8.00 block of 4, Gumamela flowers issued by Philippine Postal Corporation in 1991

Philippine Postal Corporation released several definitive and special stamps in 1991, 2015 and 2018. This is a proof that gumamela or hibiscus is popular among thematic stamp collectors. Some mural painters also painted on the long perimeter wall of Manila North Cemetery last October 2019 dubbed as ” Flores para Los Muertos“.

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yellow with red center

Hibiscus tea is an herbal tea made as an infusion from crimson or deep magenta-colored calyces (sepals) of the roselle or Hibiscus sabdariffa flower. Sometimes called Karkade tea or Jamaica tea.

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Hibiscus sabdariffa popularly known as Roselle- grown by the author from seeds

There are also several Fb groups which specializes in Hibiscus or Gumamela.

Gumamela plants and hybrids are commonly available in many garden centers like in Tabang, Guiguinto,Bulacan Garden,Bay,Calamba,Los Baños in Laguna, Silang, Cavite province, Mindanao Avenue Garden Center, Araneta Farmer’s Garden, Quezon City Memorial Circle,White Plains garden center,Neopolitan, Fairview, Rona’s Garden in Visayas Avenue,Cartimar Garden Center in Pasay, Centris Sunday Market, neighborhood homes and backyard nationwide.

Some big time propagators includes Pagsolingan Garden, Arids and Aroid, Bulacan Garden, Mr. Rey Tester among others.

References, Sources, Bibliography:

Interview and photo courtesy of the following: King Louis, Mr. Rodrigo Joseph Bautista, Mr.Lebon Ong, Arids Aroid, Mac Pagsolingan,Mr. Rey Tester, Ms. Naida Delma and the author

Personal interview with backyard growers, hobbyists and farm owners.

Wonning, Paul R. (March 3, 2014) Gardener’s Guide To The Hibiscus: Perennial Hibiscus Flower Care ( ( Gardener”s Guide to the Full Sun Perennial Flower Garden Book 12) Mossy Feet Books.

V. M. Jadhav et al. / Journal of Pharmacy Research 2009, 2(8),1220-1222

University of the Philippines Los Baños : https://ovcre.uplb.edu.ph/

Sunset Western Garden Book, 1995:606–607

Steiner, Mona Lisa, PHD;Care, M &L Licudine Enterprises, First Edition 1952, Second Edition 1960, Third Edition 1986, Atlag, Malolos , Bulacan. Gumamela Family (Malvaceae) pages 173 to 174, Philippine Ornamental Plants And Their Care.

Madulid, Domingo; Winner, National Book Award, Science, 1995. Revised Edition, 2000 with 388 pages. Malvaceae pages 240 to 244 Bookmark, Makati, A Pictorial Cyclopedia of Philippine Ornamental Plants.

Lawton, Barbara Perry (2004). Hibiscus: Hardy and Tropical Plants for the Garden. Timber Press. p. 36. ISBN 978-0-88192-65-45.

International Hibiscus Society

C Les Beers & Jim Howie: Growing Hibiscus (1985 and 1990), Reprinted 1986, 1987
Second edition published 1990, First published in 1985 by Kangaroo Press Pty Ltd
3 Whitehall Road (P. 0. Box 75) Kenthurst 2156, Typeset by G. T Setters Pty Limited
Printed in Hong Kong by Colorcraft Ltd, ISBN 0 86417 278 8

Brickell, Christopher, ed. (2008). The Royal Horticultural Society A-Z Encyclopedia of Garden Plants. United Kingdom: Dorling Kindersley. p. 534. ISBN 978-14053329-65

Bulacan Garden Corporation

American Hibiscus Society

Flores Para Los Muertos Mural Paintings at Manila North Cemetery

Flores Para Los Muertos (Flowers for the Dead) was a joint project between of Pino Art Museum, Davies Paints, Boysen and the Manila city government last October 6, 2019.

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butterflies and birds

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Caesalpinia pulcherrima is a flowering shrub introduced to the country during the Spanish colonial regime.

Locally called peacock flower, caballero, bulaklak ng paraiso or paradise flower.

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heliconia

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hibiscus or gumamela

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bougainvillea

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lilium hybrid or commonly called star gazer

Collective Art

There were at least 300 creative artists from Ilocos Sur, Tarlac, Bulacan and Rizal provinces volunteered to come together and paint this mural.

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sunflowers

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 hydrangeas or milflores

Mr. Ferdie Montemayor ( artist) spearheaded in organizing the volunteers, together with other artists from the Pinto Art Museum.

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 looked like santan or ixora

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The team managed to paint the whole mural in just 10 hours which included 3rd district Congressman John Marvin ” Yul Servo” Nieto.

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bird of the paradise

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Managed to visit the wall few days after they painted the perimeter walls of the Manila North Cemetery.

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chrysanthemum

This also gives more time for the paint to age and the art work to mature.

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toucan and butterflies

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tulips

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roses

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Project

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 The project hoped to brighten the bare white wash walls of the cemetery which borders Manila and Quezon City.

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Zanthedeschia hybrid and Rapidophora leaves

The wall paintings is located along the 500 meters perimeter wall along Andres Bonifacio Avenue.

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Vanda hybrids

According to a long time resident of the area, The local government should also improve on the street lighting along the stretch of the avenue.

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Vanda sanderiana and hybrids

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Phalaenopsis hybrid aka moth orchids

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anthurium

The most popular flowers which the artists painted were orchids, hibiscus ( gumamela), tulips, anthuriums and bougainvilleas.

The public is also advise not to put graffiti or destroy the wall painting.

Philippine Hibiscus Hybrids Featured on Stamps by PHLPOST Authorities

Manila Central Post Office, Liwasang Bonifacio, Ermita, Manila, Philippines

Philippine hibiscus sheetlet

Philippine Postal Corporation issued a series of Philippine hibiscus ( gumamela) which were developed by plant horticulturists from the University of the Philippines Los Baños in Laguna province.

First Day Cover with Blocks of Four:

Hibiscus rosa-sinensis – ‘Goria’.     Has medium flowers, regular single, deep rose petals with white eye zone and prominent white vein markings. Plants are bushy, medium height, and a good bloomer.     This plant is attractive to bees, butterflies and/or birds.     Suitable for growing indoors and in containers.

Hibiscus rosa-sinensis – ‘Nay Isa’. Has medium to large flowers, fully overlapped single, brilliant yellow petals with splashes of orange on the eye and zone. Plants are tall, bushy with upright habit, and prolific bloomer.

Hibiscus rosa-sinensis – ‘Tandang Sora’.     Has a single medium regular flower, and creamy white petals with prominent red eye zone. Plants are very prolific bloomer, upright with average height.

Hibiscus rosa-sinensis – ‘Nazaria’. Has medium flowers, cartwheel overlapped single, cerise pink petals with deep red eye zone. Plants are bushy with medium height, and good bloomer.

 Souvenir Sheet:

First Day Cover -Philippine Hibiscus souvenir sheet

Hibiscus rosa – sinensis “Emerita V. De Guzman”.     Named after Dr. Emerita V. de Guzman, Filipino scientist who researched the propagation of pure makapuno trees. In particular, she studied the growth and development, in vitro, of the makapuno coconut embryo. Emerita De Guzman research led to the faster propagation of pure macapuno trees and increased makapuno nut production from 3-5 makapuno nuts to 14-19 nuts. Emerita De Guzman also invented tissue culture techniques for the rapid propagation of abaca and banana plants.

Hibiscus rosa – sinensis “Helen L. Valmayor”.     Named after Helen L. Villamayor, Philippine Orchids propagator and author of several books on Philippine orchids.     Hibiscus rosa-sinensis ‘Helen Valmayor’ has bright orange petals with yellow edging and pronounced red eye zone. Flowers are medium to large, single, and have overlapped blooms that bloom for two days. Plants have good blooming habit and upright with leggy bush habit. It is part of the UPLB Millennium Hibiscus Hybrids Series.

Hibiscus rosa – sinensis “Gelia T. Castillo”. Named after Gelia T. Castillo, noted for being an outstanding Filipino rural sociologist. Dr. Castillo is a figure recognized internationally for her contributions as a social scientist. Her publications are major and definitive works on Philippine agricultural and rural development. Dr. Castillo and was elected as Academician in 1983, and was later conferred as National Scientist in 1999.

Hibiscus rosa – sinensis  ” Dolores A. Ramirez”.     Named after Dolores A. Ramirez, a Filipino national scientist known for her research in biochemical genetics and cytogenetics of plants. After her doctorate Dolores went back to University of Philippines as a professor and researcher. She focused on the cytogenetics of various important Philippine crops, including rice, coconut, banana, sugarcane, ornamentals, legumes, fruits like durian, lanzones, santol and balimbing.  In 1976 she received the Gregorio Y. Zara award in basic research. In 1981 she was the recipient of a Rizal Pro-Patria award for outstanding achievement in biochemical genetics, and in 1985, a UP Professorial Achievement award in agriculture. She was conferred as a National Scientist in 1997.

Technical Description of the STAMPS

Se-tenant Blocks of Four  (30,000)

10p  Hibiscus rosa – sinensis “Gloria”

10p  Hibiscus rosa – sinensis “Nay – isa”

10p  Hibiscus rosa – sinensis “Tandang Sora”

10p  Hibiscus rosa – sinensis “Nazaria”

 Miniature Sheets of 16   (7,500)

 40p Souvenir Sheets 4  (5,000)

10p  Hibiscus rosa – sinensis “Emerita V. De Guzman”

10p  Hibiscus rosa – sinensis “Helen L. Valmayor”

10p  Hibiscus rosa – sinensis “Gelia T. Castillo”

10p  Hibiscus rosa – sinensis  ” Dolores A. Ramirez”

 Layout Artist:  Rodine Teodoro

 Litho Offset, Amstar Company, Inc.,  Perf 14

Stamp size : 30x 40mm

Se-tenant Blocks of 4, Miniature Sheets of  16;  Souvenir Sheets of 4 First Day Cover

Designs:  The design of the stamps came from the University of the Philippines Los Banos (UPLB) Hibiscus Hybrid “Centennial Series”, dedicated to Filipino women who unselfishly served the cause of the Philippine revolution during the Spanish and American regimes, hence named after them.

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