My hibiscus is planted in a whiskey barrel and looks like the leaves are droopy and yellow even though I water it. Also the flowers only last one day. What am I doing wrong? This is my first year for this plant and I received it from a friend. The other hibiscus plants I see in the ground look great.
Tropical hibiscus (Hibiscus rosa-sinensis) requires full sun to partial shade, moderate to very moist soil that is well-drained and regular feeding to grow and bloom profusely.
Yellow leaves are a sign of nitrogen deficiency. This can be remedied in a few ways. First add some slow release fertilizer or compost to the soil. Next you don’t want the soil to dry out completely, but it shouldn’t be swampy either. To achieve this balance water deeply, but perhaps less often. Allow just the top inch of the soil to dry between waterings and make sure that the soil in your barrel drains well.
If these steps don’t take care of the problem, then the soil in your barrel may be too alkaline, causing a micronutrient deficiency of iron and manganese. There are several ways you can correct this. You can use a foliar spray of micronutrients 2 or 3 times per year, add an ingredient to your soil that is acidic such as peat moss, or use sulfur powder to acidify your soil slightly. Organic mulch such as pine needles will help with this problem as well.
As far as the flowers lasting only one day – that’s the nature of the plant. A bloom will usually open in the morning and then wilt in the late afternoon, rarely lasting for more than 24 hours. The good news is there is usually another blossom right behind it.
I have planted a 4 to 5 foot tall Hibiscus tree that has been flowering all summer long. I’ve followed your instructions on care and feeding and I can’t thank you enough. Now that the fall and winter is right around the corner I want to protect this tree. What is the best method? Thanks, your show is great!!
First we need to determine whether you have a tropical hibiscus or a perennial hibiscus. If your plant produces dinner plate sized blooms that are pink, white or red and has large, heart shaped leaves, you have a perennial hibiscus. Perennial hibiscus is cold hardy to zone 5, in Larchmont you are in zone 6.
A tropical hibiscus has small blooms in a wide range of colors and leaves that are dark green and somewhat leathery. These plants are not cold hardy so they need to be moved indoors for the winter. You can prune your plant if it is too large to fit in your home. Don’t worry about where you prune but do use nice, sharp pruners. If you do prune, remember that your plant is going into a dormant period at this time so new growth from the pruning may not occur until next spring. Although it may seem like a kind gesture, don’t repot you hibiscus at this time. Repotting may cause root rot. Position your plants indoors where they will receive three to four hours of direct sunlight. Don’t be discouraged if your plant looks less than happy during this time; you may experience leaf loss. However, next spring when you move the plant back outdoors it will spring back to life in no time, rewarding you with another season of beautiful blooms.
I sure hope that you can help me. I have a tropical hibiscus. It keeps dropping its flower buds. It did have a lot of aphids, but I sprayed it regularly and now the bugs seem to be gone. However, the buds still drop. Can you give me some suggestions to help my poor hibiscus?
Tropical hibiscus is an excellent plant for adding bold color to your garden or patio.
In my garden, I have freezing winter temperatures so I treat these exotic beauties as annuals. However, many people who live in similar climates want to save their hibiscus, so they simply bring the plant indoors for the winter.
Hibiscus flower buds are very sensitive. Stress from too much or too little water, over fertilizing or insect infestation can cause buds to drop before opening. Double flowering varieties are more susceptible to bud drop.
It may be possible that your hibiscus is still recovering from the aphid infestation and subsequent treatment. To lessen the shock it is important that plants are well hydrated when applying pesticides and that the treatments occur either in the early morning or late afternoon when temperatures are below 80 degrees F.
If the problem persists, check your watering. Hibiscus will not tolerate wet feet, so be sure that the soil drains well. When growing in containers a soilless potting mix is preferable. These plants also suffer when allowed to dry out in hot weather. A 2 to 3 inch layer of mulch will help keep the roots cool and retain moisture.
Hibiscus are heavy feeders and should be fertilized every 7 to 10 days during the spring and summer with a product that is high in phosphorous. For potted plants use a water-soluble 20-20-20 blend. Slow release fertilizers are also recommended.
Hibiscus thrive in full sun but for the best bloom production give them shade during the hottest part of the day if your garden experiences temperatures above 90 degrees F.
And if you want to overwinter your hibiscus, move your plants indoors before temperatures fall below 50 degrees F.