Fertilizer for Hibiscous plants - Knowledgebase Question

Brooksville, Fl
Question by carol443
November 3, 2008
My two Hibiscous plants I planted outside have yellow leaves. I need the right fertilizer for them. What do you suggest?

Thank you
Carol in FL

Answer from NGA
November 3, 2008


Yellow leaves may be due to dry soil for a period of time. The yellowing often follows even after the soil is watered. It could also be due to nitrogen deficiency. Hibiscus, like many other plants really does not have a perfect fertilizer. The reason is that depending on your soil and climate, the nutrient mix most needed will vary. For this reason you will often see more than one formulation sold as "Hibiscus Food", "Rose Food", etc. Basically, hibiscus needs a significant amount of potassium (the 3rd number on a fertilizer label), a small amount of phosphorus (the 2nd number), and a moderate amount of nitrogen (the 1st number). Although phosphorus is important in blooming, it builds up in the soil over time and can cause problems with other nutrients if you continue to use a fertilizer high in phosphorus. Some typical examples of the type of nutrient ratios to look for in a hibiscus fertilizer are 18-10-28 and 12-4-15. A product with similar numbers should be a good overall fertilizer for hibiscus.

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