The Q&A Archives: Yellow Leaves on Hibiscus

Question: I bought 2 beautiful hibiscus and planted them about 4 months ago. One is in the shade more than the other, and is doing a little better than the one I am most concerned about. The one in the sun has lost at least 1/2 it's leaves! They turn yellow and fall off. Also, the flowers are at least 1/3 smaller than they were when I bought the plant. Please help! I'm afraid I'm going to lose the plant! Thanks! Linda

Answer: Yellowing leaves and poor growth usually indicate soil problems so even though you have two plants and only one is not doing well, I'd suspect some problems with drainage with the affected plant. Hibiscus can tolerate all day sunshine; they bloom best when they get full sun, but they are also adaptable to filtered afternoon shade in the hottest growing regions.

Try watering your plants deeply once each week and mulching over the soil surface to help slow evaporation and moderate soil temperatures. You can lightly prune to stimulate healthy new growth, and feed your plants lightly with a 5-10-5 fertilizer. Your plants should responds with lots of new green growth and plenty of flowers.

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