The Q&A Archives: Hibiscus Not Blooming

Question: I bought a hibiscus plant 4 years ago in a clearance scale. It was all dried out. I brought it back to health, and the next two years it came back strong and bloomed beautifully. For the last two years, it has not bloomed even once. The plant is regularly watered, by a sunny window and is bushy and healthy. It is covered with healthy green leaves. I fear that I may have overfertilized it. I used the "jobes" stick fertilizer for flowering plants. Will it ever bloom? How can i make it bloom? Also, how can I fnd out if this hibiscus is a perennial? Can I replant it outside permanently?

Answer: Almost surely the hibiscus you have is tropical in origin, and so must forever remain a houseplant (though you can certainly put it outdoors for the summer months, after a period of acclimitizing it to the more intense sunlight.)

My hibiscus blooms sporadically, and I can't seem to predict when it will bloom. It could be that the fertilizer you used is too high in nitrogen, but I kind of doubt that since it is formulated for flowering plants. Though there is no way to "make" it bloom, you can encourage it to do so by providing bright light and some direct sun, and evenly moist soil (neither saturated nor dry). Do not prune back branch tips, since this can remove flower buds. And don't subject the plant to large temperature swings.

Hope this helps.

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