The Q&A Archives: Hibiscus

Question: My daughter bought me a yellow hibiscus spp. It is in a pot and the home depot tag says it is a houseplant. It has a trunk about an inch thick with beautiful foliage and yellow blooms. However, no matter what I do the leaves are turning yellow, dying and droping. I don't want to kill my beautiful gift. What can I do? Help!

Answer: Tropical hibiscus can grow outdoors during the spring and summer months, no matter where you live. I suspect your plant is unhappy due to lack of sunlight. Take it outdoors a place it in a shady spot for a few days, gradually moving it to a place with a little more sun. Try moving it every 2-3 days, closer and closer to morning sunshine. If it gets at least 4 hours of morning sun it should be fine. You didn't list where you live so I don't know if you'll need to take it indoors in the fall when the weather cools and care for it indoors under artificial light for the winter months. If your winter temperatures are colder than about 50F, plan on making it a houseplant in the winter.

Best wishes with your new plant!

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