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Hibiscus Plant Care: The Essential Guide for Gorgeous Flowers All Year Round

hibiscus plant care

If you're looking for a stunning and vibrant flowering plant to add to your garden, look no further than the Hibiscus.

This tropical beauty boasts bright, bold blooms that come in an array of colors, from deep reds to bright pinks and yellows. But with such striking flowers, comes the responsibility of proper care.

In this article, we'll cover all you need to know about Hibiscus plant care, from planting to pruning and everything in between.

All About Hibiscus Plant Care

Hibiscus plants are native to warm climates and prefer full sun to partial shade. They come in both perennial and annual varieties, with the perennial species being more commonly grown in warm regions.

The plant's flowers come in various shapes and sizes, ranging from large, plate-like blooms to smaller, delicate flowers. The plant's leaves can be green or variegated, with some species having a glossy appearance.

When To Plant Hibiscus

The best time to plant Hibiscus is in the spring or summer when the temperatures are warm and the days are long.

Planting during the cooler months can stress the plant and cause it to grow slowly or even die. Make sure to plant your Hibiscus in well-draining soil, as the plant does not like to be in standing water.

Hibiscus Plant Care

Light and Temperature

hibiscus plant care

Hibiscus plants require plenty of sunlight, so it's best to place them in an area that receives full sun to partial shade. They thrive in warm temperatures, and during the summer months, they need to be kept hydrated and protected from the scorching sun.

If you live in an area with intense heat, it's important to monitor your Hibiscus plant for signs of sunburn, such as yellow or brown leaves. Consider placing your plant in partial shade during the hottest parts of the day or providing some shade using a light shade cloth. This will protect the plant from the harsh sun and prevent sun damage.

Water and Humidity

hibiscus plant care

Hibiscus plants need regular watering to thrive, especially during hot and dry weather conditions. You should aim to keep the soil evenly moist, but not waterlogged. Overwatering can lead to root rot and other plant diseases.

To keep the soil moist, you can add a layer of organic mulch around the base of the plant. This will help to retain moisture in the soil, prevent weed growth, and regulate soil temperature. Alternatively, you can use a drip irrigation system that will deliver water directly to the plant's roots.

It's also essential to maintain moderate humidity levels around the plant. High humidity can increase the risk of fungal diseases, so it's important to provide adequate air circulation and avoid overwatering or overcrowding the plant.

RELATED: Top 10 Watering Cans to Keep Your Garden Thriving


hibiscus plant care

Hibiscus plants grow best in soil that drains well, which means water can flow freely through it without getting stuck. If the soil doesn't drain well, it can cause root rot, a fungal disease that can damage or kill the plant.

It's important to maintain the pH level of the soil between 6.0 and 7.0, which is slightly acidic to neutral. If the soil is too acidic or alkaline, it can affect the plant's ability to absorb nutrients, leading to yellowing of the leaves.

To improve the quality of your soil, you can add organic matter such as compost or peat moss. These materials help to improve soil structure, increase water-holding capacity, and provide essential nutrients for plant growth.

RELATED: Dirt Matters: A Guide to Choosing the Right Soil for Your Plants


hibiscus plant care

Hibiscus plants need nutrients to grow and produce beautiful blooms. A balanced fertilizer with equal amounts of nitrogen, phosphorus, and potassium is recommended, with an NPK ratio of either 10-10-10 or 20-20-20.

The growing season for hibiscus is from March to October, during which time you should fertilize your plant every two weeks to ensure it has enough nutrients. During the winter months, you can reduce the frequency of fertilization to once a month. It's important not to over-fertilize, as this can lead to salt buildup in the soil, causing damage to the plant.

RELATED: 10 Organic Fertilizers for Optimal Plant Health


Hibiscus plants need to be repotted every two to three years to ensure they have enough space for root growth. If the plant is outgrowing its container or showing signs of stress, it may also be time to repot.

When repotting, choose a pot that is one size larger than the current one, and use fresh potting soil. Gently loosen the roots and prune any that are dead or damaged. This will encourage new root growth and help the plant establish itself in its new container.

After repotting, water the plant thoroughly and place it in a location with bright, indirect light to help it recover.


Hibiscus plants can be easily propagated through stem cuttings or air layering. Stem cuttings should be taken from the plant's woody stems, and it's best to choose a healthy stem that is at least six inches long.

Remove the lower leaves and dip the cut end into rooting hormone to improve the success rate. Plant the cutting in a well-draining potting mix and keep it moist until it develops roots and new leaves.

Another way to propagate a hibiscus plant is through air layering, which involves wounding the stem and wrapping it with sphagnum moss and plastic wrap until roots form.

This method works best on mature plants and takes a bit longer than stem cuttings. Once roots have formed, the new plant can be separated from the parent plant and transplanted into its own pot.


hibiscus plant care

Hibiscus plants need regular pruning to keep them healthy and maintain their shape. The best time to prune the plant is during the winter months when it's dormant. During this time, you can remove any dead, diseased, or damaged branches, as well as any branches that are crossing or rubbing against each other.

Pruning also encourages new growth and stimulates the production of flowers. Be sure to use clean and sharp pruning shears to avoid injuring the plant. Remember not to over-prune, as this can cause stress and affect the plant's growth.

RELATED: 10 Pruning Sheers that will Give your Garden a Professional Touch

Troubleshooting Hibiscus Plant Problems

Growing Problems

Hibiscus plants can be prone to growing problems such as leaf yellowing or dropping, lack of blooming, and stunted growth. These issues can be caused by a variety of factors, including over or under-watering, insufficient light or nutrients, and pests or diseases.


Common pests that can affect Hibiscus plants include aphids, spider mites, mealybugs, and whiteflies. These pests can cause leaf distortion, yellowing, and even death if left untreated. You can use insecticidal soap or neem oil to control these pests.

RELATED: 9 Organic Pest Control Methods For a Healthy Garden


Hibiscus plants can be susceptible to diseases such as leaf spot, root rot, and powdery mildew. These diseases can be caused by over-watering, poor drainage, and high humidity levels. To prevent these diseases, make sure to keep the plant's soil moist but not overly wet and ensure proper drainage.

Frequently Asked Questions

Why are the leaves on my hibiscus turning yellow and falling off?

There are several reasons why the leaves on your Hibiscus plant may be turning yellow and falling off. One of the most common causes is overwatering. When a Hibiscus plant is overwatered, it can cause the roots to become waterlogged, which can lead to root rot. Root rot can cause the leaves to turn yellow and fall off.

Another reason why the leaves on your Hibiscus plant may be turning yellow and falling off is due to a lack of nutrients. Hibiscus plants require regular fertilization to ensure healthy growth and blooming. If your plant is not receiving enough nutrients, the leaves may begin to yellow and fall off.

Pests can also be a culprit in causing yellowing and dropping leaves on your Hibiscus plant. Common pests that can affect Hibiscus plants include aphids, spider mites, mealybugs, and whiteflies. These pests can cause leaf distortion, yellowing, and even death if left untreated.

Lastly, environmental stress factors such as insufficient light, cold temperatures, or sudden changes in temperature can also cause yellowing and dropping leaves on your Hibiscus plant.

To remedy the issue, it's important to identify the cause of the yellowing and dropping leaves. If the cause is overwatering, reduce the frequency of watering and make sure the soil is well-draining. If the cause is nutrient deficiency, fertilize the plant with a balanced fertilizer. If pests are the cause, treat the plant with insecticidal soap or neem oil.

If environmental stress factors are the issue, make sure the plant is receiving adequate light and is not exposed to cold temperatures or sudden temperature changes. With proper care and attention, your Hibiscus plant should recover and produce healthy foliage.

Do hibiscus plants come back every year?

Hibiscus plants can come back every year, but it depends on the variety of Hibiscus and the climate in which it is grown. Some Hibiscus varieties are perennial, meaning they can live for several years and come back each growing season. Other varieties are annual, meaning they only live for one growing season and then die.

In warmer climates where temperatures do not drop below freezing, Hibiscus plants can be grown outdoors year-round and can come back each year. However, in colder climates where temperatures regularly drop below freezing, Hibiscus plants may not survive the winter and will need to be protected or brought indoors during the colder months.

Even in warmer climates, Hibiscus plants can still be susceptible to cold damage if they are exposed to prolonged periods of freezing temperatures. In this case, it's important to protect the plant by covering it with frost cloth or bringing it indoors during cold snaps.

Overall, whether or not a Hibiscus plant comes back every year depends on the specific variety of Hibiscus and the climate in which it is grown. It's important to research the specific variety of Hibiscus you are growing and to provide the appropriate care and protection to ensure its survival through the winter months.

Do hibiscus grow better in pots or ground?

Hibiscus can grow well in both pots a