Dropping Leaves on Hibiscus - Knowledgebase Question

Corning, NY
Question by TMayo10549
March 8, 1998
The leaves on my hibiscus keep falling off. Some of the branches now have no leaves, while other branches have healthy looking foliage on the tops, but, below the top 8-10", the leaves won't hold. I have transplanted the original plant to a slighty larger container than the original. Any suggestions?


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Answer from NGA
March 8, 1998

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The most common reason for a hibiscus to lose its leaves is the soil being too dry. If the leaves turn bright yellow before they fall, that's likely the problem.

You don't mention any irregularities such as pests or residue/mold on leavesso we will rule out insects and disease--but do inspect the leaves, including the undersides, for signs of pests.

That leaves us with two other probabilities...TOO much water, or a drafty area. Hibiscus are very picky about watering, it must be just right. They also do not appreciate any drafts at all, hot or cold. They should be kept out of doorways, away from drafty windows, and air vents. Are you fertilizing the hibiscus? If so, don't. Houseplants should only be fertilized during the spring/summer months (March through August as a rule of thumb).

The air may also be too dry in the room the hibiscus is in, they like to have some humidity. You can try setting the plant on a tray of pebbles, and filling the tray with water. Just don't let the bottom of the pot sit in the water.

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