The Q&A Archives: Hibiscus Leaves Yellow and Small

Question: I have a hibiscus that I had rooted and is now about 2 feet tall, in a 6 in pot. It sits on a southwest facing window and get watered every 2-3 days and lightly fertelized every other watering. Recently some of the leaves have turned yellow and the new leaves on the top are small and pale green in color instead of the usual dark green. There is no sign of bugs or fungus, and it still blooms regularly, except the flowers are not as large and as brilliant in color as its mother. Does salt residue or being pot bound cause these symptoms? What are other possible causes?

Answer: Congratulations on your cutting! You are right to suspect it needs repotting, because crowding, moisture stress, depleted soil and fertilizer salts build-up would all contribute to those symptoms. Another possible cause, although less likely based on your description, is an insect infestation of some sort. You might take one more very close look at the undersides of the leaves under a bright light just to be sure.

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