The Q&A Archives: Yellow Leaves After Moving Hibiscus Indoors

Question: I have a potted hibiscus which I had outdoors on my deck all summer. I took it into the house on the advise of the gardening center I bought it from as they said it would bloom all winter, and put it in a room with a sunny window, but the leaves are turning yellow and falling off. I am feeding it and watering it faithfully. How can I preserve it until its time to put it outdoors again. Can or should this plant be cut back?

Answer: Moving plants indoors from outdoors can be a real shock to their system because the conditions are usually so different. Yellowing and dropping leaves is a typical reaction. Don't fertilize for a month or so, but continue watering at a slightly reduced level. Don't prune now, as cutting back at this point is also a shock. Resume fertilizing at about half strength. The plant might go dormant for a while and then new growth appear in the spring. At that time, cut back if needed.

In spring, slowly acclimate your plant to moving back outdoors by putting it outside in a sheltered location for a couple hours at a time, gradually increasing the time period. In fall, do that in reverse, rather than abruptly moving from outside to inside, which will help lessen the shock. I hope this info helps!

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