Best Potting Soil for Hibiscus – 5 Potting Soil Mix Recipes Included

Renowned for its trumpet-shaped flowers, the hibiscus plant thrives in moist soil that drains well. Though this flowering plant doesn’t require much care, potting soil mix with organic matter ensures the plant is healthy and produces colourful blossoms.

With 200+ species, the hibiscus plant can reach up to 10 inches in diameter and prefers tropical and warmer climate to grow.

This ornamental plant needs full sun to thrive, however, it tolerates partial shade but with reduced flowering.

If you’re growing hibiscus in a container, then it’s recommended to choose the best potting soil with organic matter, perlite, and other natural soil amendments.

Few hibiscus species do well in damp soil and can grow in ordinary garden soil.

What is the best potting soil for the hibiscus plant?

You must consider soil texture, it’s pH, drainage ability, and fertility while choosing potting soil mix.

Most hibiscus species prefer sandy loam and loam soils that drain well and hold the required moisture.

Depending on climatic conditions in your region, you might have to add soil amendments to improve soil texture.

To fully understand, you must know the watering needs and sunlight requirements of your hibiscus plant.

Before that, let’s know the importance of potting soil.

Importance of Choosing the Right Potting Soil for Hibiscus Plant

best potting soil for hibiscus plant

Not just providing a foothold, the soil is responsible to supply essential nutrients to your plant.

Hibiscus plants grown in the garden have various sources of nutrients, for instance, dry leaves, stems, and mulch from other plants are left over in the garden which can enrich the soil and provide the required amount of Phosphorus and potassium for this flowering plant.

But in the case of hibiscus plants growing in containers, it’s essential to use a proper soil mix that includes organic matter and provides aeration with proper drainage.

Potting soil consists of various ingredients like garden soil, perlite, vermicompost, or worm castings that allow the hibiscus plant roots to grow and impede the water flow. It also provides nutrients for plant growth.

In simple terms, potting soil helps to

  • Improve soil texture for better aeration and drainage.
  • Easily supply essential nutrients to the hibiscus plant.
  • Allow healthy growth of plant roots.
  • Holds the plant from strong winds, by providing physical support.
  • Helps to retain and hold moisture for plant growth.

What Kind of Potting Soil is Best for Hibiscus Plant?

Check these 3 things before choosing potting soil for your hibiscus plant.

  • Well-drained and able to retain required moisture.
  • Hibiscus plant does well in neutral to slightly acidic soil with a pH ranging from 6.2 to 6.8.
  • Soil mixes with compost or organic matter can help hibiscus plants to produce blossoms.

Let’s look at important aspects of choosing the best potting soil mix for hibiscus.

Soil Texture and Drainage Ability

To grow a hibiscus plant your soil particles must be loosely structured to provide space for water flow and aeration.

Your potting soil mix must be a combination of soil, sand, compost, and perlite. This soil mix improves the water-draining ability of the growing medium and it also provides pore space for root growth.

Sandy loam soil is the most preferred soil medium to grow flowering plants like hibiscus.

If your soil has more sand, you can accordingly add mulch or organic matter to improve soil texture.

To avoid excess water logging, gardeners should avoid clay soil. If you’re left with no option, then add amend the clay soil with gypsum and sand to improve soil texture.

Note: Your potting soil should drain water easily and provide pore space for root growth.

Water Retention & Absorption

Hibiscus species prefer moist soil. Potting soil that doesn’t retain moisture dries up quickly, resulting in underwatered hibiscus plants.

With poor retention, your growing medium won’t be able to hold nutrients and drains along with water. Resulting in nutrient-deficient hibiscus plants.

Adding coconut coir and organic matter improves the moisture retention ability of the potting soil.


Depending on soil texture, water flow reaches plant roots.

With proper water flow to deeper layers of the soil, your plant won’t be able to survive.

Most potting soil mix allows water flow, however, you can check it by watering the growing medium before planting.

If the water is easily drained through a drainage hole, you can plant your hibiscus plant. Else, add organic matter to improve water permeation.

Role of Soil pH

Soil pH has an important role in the availability of essential nutrients for plant growth.

Choosing the wrong pH can result in nutritional deficiency and your hibiscus plant may experience stunted growth.

The ideal pH for growing a hibiscus plant is neutral to slightly acidic.

Too low or too high soil pH can make it difficult for plant roots to absorb nutrients, thus resulting in stunted growth and discolored hibiscus leaves.

Soil Fertility

Your potting soil mix should consist of compost or worm castings, this will give the necessary nutritional boost for young plant growth.

When the hibiscus plant reaches a certain height, its nutritional requirement changes.

To produce vibrant-colored blossoms, hibiscus plants need adequate amounts of phosphorus and potassium with low levels of nitrogen.

Enrich your hibiscus plants with nutrients by regularly adding old compost or other organic materials. This will ensure healthy plant growth with attractive flowers.

Also Read: What is the best fertilizer for Sweet Peas?

Soil Aeration

Proper aerated soil allows the good exchange of gases and easy water flow along with nutrients through the growing medium.

You can improve soil aeration by adding compost or mulch to top layer of the soil.

Potting soil mix that consists of organic matter help to avoid over-watering and improve healthy root growth.

How to Make the Best Potting Soil for a Hibiscus Plant?

Your hibiscus plant needs well-drained soil filled with essential nutrients.

Accordingly, you can amend the garden soil by adding perlite, compost, peat moss or organic matter.

Every gardener can have his/her own potting soil mix recipe that works for hibiscus plants.

I’ll share a few popular soil mix recipes, you can choose them.

Note: Before adding ingredients to the soil you must know their impact, without which you may end up making the wrong potting soil mix.

As now you’ve got familiar with potting soil requirements of hibiscus, let’s check different recipes based on plant growth.

#1 Basic Potting Soil Mix

  • Peat moss – 1 part
  • Perlite – 1 part
  • Vermiculite – 1 part
  • Garden soil – 1 part

Though peat moss consists of some nutrients including nitrogen, phosphorus, and potassium, it is known to improve soil structure, water flow, and air circulation and increases soil pH.

Perlite is another soil amendment that is pH neutral and improves soil drainage and aeration. This will keep the potting soil lightweight.

Vermiculite is a mineral that has many industrial uses. It is also prominent for its usage in the potting soil mix. It helps to aerate the soil, while also retaining water and nutrients.

  • Start by mixing the listed ingredients in a large container. Sterilize gardening tools to avoid the spread of diseases.
  • Wet the potting soil mix with little water.
  • Plant hibiscus in the potting soil and water generously till the excess water drains out of the hole.

#2 Nutrient-Rich Potting Soil Mix

  • Peat moss – 1 part
  • Perlite or Vermiculite – 1 part
  • Compost or worm castings -1 part
  • Garden soil – 1 part

Nitrogen, potassium, and phosphorus are essential for plant growth and can be found in abundance in worm castings.

It also contains humic acid that helps to improve water retention, stimulate root growth and release nutrients into the soil slowly over time.

You can also use 1 part of old compost that is rich in essential nutrients for your potting soil.

Note: Remember that hibiscus plants need phosphorus to produce vibrant flowers.

#3 Organic Potting Soil Mix

  • Coconut coir – 2 parts
  • Perlite – 1 part
  • Compost – 1 part
  • Garden Soil – 1 part

In the above recipe, you can replace peat moss with coconut coir.

Coconut coir is made from coconut husks and is pH neutral, it has excellent water retention ability with some beneficial nutrients like magnesium and calcium.

Check this article: Is coconut coir good for succulents?

#4 Fast-draining potting soil mix

  • Coarse sand – 1 part
  • Perlite – 1 part
  • Peat moss or coconut coir – 1 part
  • Garden soil – 1 part

Coarse sand is a common addition in potting soil mixes as it improves soil drainage and aeration.

Due to the larger size of its particles, it helps to avoid over-watering and soil compaction.

It also helps maintain soil minerals, making it easier for hibiscus plants to get the vital nutrients they need for healthy growth.

#5 Premium Potting Soil Mix

  • Peat moss – 1 part
  • Perlite or vermiculite -1 part
  • Compost – 1 part
  • Worm castings – 1 part
  • Bone meal – 1/2 part
  • Blood meal – 1 /2 part

A blood meal is a high-nitrogen fertilizer that boosts foliage growth. It improves overall plant vigor and prevents diseases.

Being an organic and slow-release fertilizer it enhances soil health, provides vital nutrients for hibiscus plants such as phosphorus and calcium, and promotes healthy root and flower growth.

What happens when you choose the wrong potting soil for the hibiscus plant?

Using the best potting soil mix for a hibiscus plant is important, as choosing the wrong potting soil can result in root rot, nutrient deficiency, or even the death of plants due to overwatering or soil compaction.

What is best soil for hibiscus in pots?

For optimal growth and to boost flowering, you must choose the right best soil.

Hibiscus plant as mentioned above needs moist soil but it should drain well.

As plants in containers are prone to overwatering and underwatering, you should ensure the soil in the pot water retention and draining ability.

You can add compost, organic matter or worm castings to garden soil to improve soil texture of the growing soil in the container.

Consider mixing peat moss, perlite, vermiculite, or compost to create the ideal potting soil for hibiscus plants.

Can I use cactus soil for hibiscus?

No, it’s not recommended to grow hibiscus in cactus soil.

Though cactus soil can be used to grow most houseplants and flowering plants that prefer well-drained drier soil, hibiscus like moist soil.

Draining ability of cactus soil can leave your hibiscus plant underwatered.

Repotting Hibiscus Plant

If your hibiscus plant is root-bound or the growing medium is no longer holding moisture, it may be time to consider repotting it.

To avoid stunted growth, it’s important to choose the right time of year for repotting your hibiscus plant.

Spring is considered the best time to repot the hibiscus plant because the plant will have plenty of time to adjust to its new container and actively grow new roots.

  • Choose a container with 5-8 drainage holes to drain excess water.
  • Use hibiscus potting soil mix that drains well, yet retains moisture.
  • Your potting soil must be fertile enough to encourage the initial growth of the hibiscus plant.
  • To avoid repotting shock, water the plant generously.
  • Before planting the hibiscus into the pot, remove any damaged roots.
  • Plant hibiscus at least 1-2 inches deep in its new container, fill with fresh potting soil, water generously, and allow time to adjust before the next watering.

Based on climatic conditions in your region, regulate watering frequency and provide extra humidity or mist the leaves regularly.

Important tips for Growing Hibiscus Plant

  1. To successful and healthy hibiscus plant your potting soil must be well-drained, and fertile and it must have water retention ability.
  2. Most flowering plants like hibiscus need full sun to thrive, choose an area with bright, direct light.
  3. To maintain ideal humidity around your plant mist it regularly or place it on a bed of wet pebbles inside a tray of water.
  4. Watering hibiscus is another important aspect of growing healthy plants. Water this ornamental plant generously when the top 1-2 inches of soil is dry to the touch.
  5. To avoid overwatering, let the potting soil dry between watering.
  6. Apart from nutrients in the potting soil, you must feed your hibiscus monthly with balanced liquid fertilizer during the growing period. This will ensure active blooming.
  7. Prune away any dead or damaged leaves, and move it outdoors when temperatures are consistently warm without the risk of frost.


Hibiscus plants are beautiful with their attractive flowers; these are low-maintenance plants. But, you must make sure to provide essential things to encourage healthy growth of the plant.

Choosing right potting soil mix for hibiscus plant is one among the essential and crucial for the plant overall growth and blooming.

The best potting soil mix should have excellent drainage, aeration, and nutrient availability to support the needs of your plant.

As mentioned above, try different potting soil mixed to grow your flowering plant. Adding equal parts of coconut coir, compost, garden soil and sand is one of the common potting soil recipes for growing hibiscus plant.