The Q&A Archives: Ailing Hibiscus

Question: I have a hibiscus that I got from someone and it's half dead. How can I bring the hibiscus back?

Answer: A half-dead plant is never a good investment, but since it was given to you, you have nothing to lose in trying to restore its health. Begin by replanting it in fresh potting soil. Then cut back the dead stems to encourage new growth. Water the plant well and keep it in bright light, but out of direct sunlight until it begins to show new stems and leaves. Then you can gradually move it into full sunshine. Hibiscus flowers freely during the warm summer months, but the flowers only last one day. Keep your plant trimmed back by cutting some of the old stems back by about 1/3 each winter. Don't fertilize until you're sure the plant is on its way to recovery, and then use only a diluted liquid fertilizer solution every 3-4 weeks during the spring and summer months. Hope your hibiscus regains its health!

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