The Q&A Archives: hibiscus problem

Question: Why do hibiscus plants in large outdoor pots have a continuing problem of yellow leaves? I live in Florence, Al. Hot & humid conditions. Some say too much watering others too dry. Thanks!

Answer: Yellow leaves can be caused by many things including lack of nitrogen, insufficient light, water-logged soil (plant roots need oxygen to thrive), dry soil, or iron deficiency. If the older bottom leaves are yellow, but new growth is green, it's usually a lack of nitrogen. If new leaves are yellow, with green veins, it's usually a lack of iron. (Lack of nitrogen is a more common problem than lack of iron.) Container plants often use up the nutrients in the soil quickly, so more frequent applications of fertilizer are required. Soil should be kept moderately moist (but not wet) and the water should be soaking the entire root ball, not running through the pot. Hope this clarifies things for you!

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