The Q&A Archives: Hibiscus Not Blooming

Question: I cut back my hibiscus because it was getting "scraggly" looking, but now it won't bloom. What did I do wrong? (It was cut back last spring.)

Answer: Hibiscus need an adequate supply of water, nutrients and sunlight in order to bloom. Under less than perfect conditions, in my experience they will cycle in and out of bloom, almost like resting up to gain strength to bloom again. If your plant was scraggly, that probably meant it needed more light than it was receiving. Usually this is the main problem in growing them as houseplants. Trimming it back should have forced it to branch and look fuller, so now if you can provide it with good light and nutrients, it should bloom for you eventually. Many gardeners set their hibiscus outdoors for the summer where they bloom profusely and then bring them indoors for the winter where they bloom less due to the reduced light conditions. You might also check to see if the plant needs repotting as this might contribute to lack of vigor. Good luck with your hibiscus.

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