Is your hibiscus plant dying? First, check its sunlight exposure and ensure it gets at least 6 hours of direct sunlight daily.
Check the soil moisture and water the plant thoroughly without making the soil too wet. Give nutrients to your plant with a balanced fertilizer for flowering plants. Prune your plant, and remove any dead or weak branches for new growth.
As a plant owner seeing your lovely plant dying can be disheartening. Some signs such as yellowing leaves, wilting blossoms, and dropping branches clear that your plant is suffering and dying.
These vibrant and beautiful flowering plants bring beauty to any home or garden with minimum care. Hibiscus plants flourish in temperatures from 60 to 90 degrees Fahrenheit.
However, they are sensitive to colder temperatures and can even die in such climates. While they are low-maintenance plants but they require some considerations.
What Causes Hibiscus Plant Drooping and Yellow Leaves?
Here are some causes of Hibiscus plant drooping and yellow leaves –
1. Lack of water
Just like all plants, hibiscus also needs water to stay hydrated and to grow well. When they don’t receive enough water, they started to show some signs of distress through drooping and yellowing leaves.
Also, overwatering can same trouble your plant as underwatering. Overwatering can drown the roots and limit their access to oxygen. A perfect balance between overwatering and underwatering is necessary. To avoid watering stress, you must know how often to water your hibiscus plant.
2. Cold weather
Hibiscus are tropical plants that love warmth and sunshine. When the temperature drops too low they can be in danger. Cold weather can be tough on these plants, causing them to show signs of distress. In cold weather, hibiscus plants can experience leaf discolouration and damage.
Their leaves may turn yellow, brown or even black indicating their struggle to withstand the cold. The chilling temperature can also cause wilting, making the plant appear sad and droopy.
3. Low humidity
Hibiscus plant thrives in warm conditions, and air that lacks moisture can affect your plant. Low humidity levels as well as cold climates both can trouble your plant in many ways.
In dry conditions with low humidity levels, the leaves of the hibiscus plant may start to droop. They may become dry and brittle, losing their healthy appearance.
Furthermore, a lack of moisture in the air can hinder the plant’s ability to absorb water through its leaves which can lead to dehydration and wilting. There are many ways to overcome this problem either you can mist the leaves with spray or use a humidifier.
4. Lack of nutrients
When your hibiscus lacks nutrients, its leaves start to lose their healthy green colour and turn yellow or pale. The plant may appear stunted and weak with slower growth and fewer blooms.
If your hibiscus plants are grown closely together, they may fight for nutrients and this can lead to nutrient deficiency.
Also, the soil alone may not provide enough nourishment to keep your hibiscus thriving. Consider replacing the old soil with a nutrient-rich option that contains plenty of organic matter. This can help your hibiscus plant receive the vital nutrients it needs to thrive.
5. Insufficient sunlight
Hibiscus plants need 6 hours of direct sunlight and without it, your plant may struggle to reach its full potential. Insufficient sunlight can lead to various issues, such as lack of blooming, stunted growth and even yellowing leaves. While they can grow in some shade but too much shade can stunt their growth.
Hibiscus plants can easily get susceptible to pests. These tiny unwanted visitors can cause damage and affect your plant to a great extent.
A variety of pests can target your plant including aphids, mealybugs, spider mites and whiteflies. These pests feed on the plant sap, weakening it and causing distorted growth, yellowing leaves, and even some sticky residue underside of the leaves.
7. Poor drainage
Proper drainage is essential for maintaining the health of your hibiscus plant. While hibiscus enjoys a humid environment, it can suffer from fungal infections if excess moisture gets trapped in the soil. Further, if the plant becomes rootbound its leaves may start turning yellow as a sign of distress.
Having good drainage means ensuring that water can flow freely through the soil. When water accumulated around the roots for so long can lead to root rot and create an environment where harmful fungi thrive.
Just like all other plants, hibiscus plants also go into dormancy. Dormancy is a period when the plant slows down its growth and conserves its energy. During this time, your hibiscus shows some changes.
Dormancy occurs during cooler months when temperatures drop and daylight hours shorten. In this season, your hibiscus plant requires less water and nutrients. It’s vital to adjust your care routine accordingly to support your hibiscus during this period.
How to Revive Dying Hibiscus Plant?
Closely examine your hibiscus plant and check what’s the problem. Look for any signs of yellowing leaves, wilting, pest infestation and poor soil. Then further take actions to prevent this from happening.
1. Adjust your watering habits
Ensure you’re providing the right amount of water for your hibiscus plant. Overwatering leads to root rot, while underwatering can cause wilting and leaf drop.
Allow the top inch of soil to dry out slightly when going to water again your plant. Adjust the watering schedule based on the plant’s needs.
2. Provide adequate sunlight
Hibiscus plants love full sunlight. Find a bright location where your plant can receive full sun with at least 6 hours of direct sunlight. If it indoors then places it near a south-facing window.
3. Prune and trim
Trim away any dead or diseased branches, leaves or flowers to encourage new growth. Pruning also helps shape the plant and directs its energy to healthier parts. But be sure to use clean and sharp scissors.
4. Improve soil quality
Hibiscus plant thrives in well-draining soil. If the soil is compacted or retains water excessively, it can suffocate the roots. Add organic matter, such as compost or peat moss to improve soil and drainage. This helps the roots breathe and prevents waterlogged conditions.
5. Nutritional needs
Give your hibiscus plant a balanced fertilizer formulated for flowering plants. This supplies the necessary nutrients for healthy growth. This plant grows best with higher levels of nitrogen and potassium. So choose fertilizer accordingly to it. Read on this article, why hibiscus plant is not flowering.
6. Protect from pests and diseases
Keep an eye on pests and regularly examine the plant. Check for common pests like aphids, mealybugs, or spider mites. Use organic pesticides or use other infestations process to deal with quickly. Promote good air circulation around the plant to prevent fungal diseases.
7. Protect from cold
When there is frost or freezing condition expected then shield your hibiscus plant entirely. If you have potted hibiscus then bring them indoors to a sunny location or provide artificial grow lights. Whereas for outdoor plants, cover them with blankets, burlap or frost cloth.
Also, you can apply a layer of organic mulch around the base of the plant.
8. Maintain ideal temperature and humidity levels
Maintain the ideal temperature and humidity for your hibiscus plant for its good growth. Hibiscus plants thrive in temperatures between 60 to 90 degrees Fahrenheit. Avoid exposing your hibiscus to extreme cold or heat, as it can cause stress and damage the plant.
Besides, providing adequate humidity is important, as hibiscus plants prefer a moderately humid environment. Increase humidity by misting the leaves with a spray bottle, placing a water tray, or using a humidifier.
How do I know if my hibiscus is dying?
With these points, you can easily know if your hibiscus plant is dying or not –
Inspect the Stems – Take a close look at the stems of your hibiscus plant. Scrape the outer layers of a stem to see the inside layers. If you find green layers within the stem, it’s a hopeful indication that the hibiscus plant is still alive. While brown layers show that the hibiscus plant has died.
Check the Leaf Buds – Examine the leaf buds on your hibiscus plant. If you find leaf buds that are green in colour then they are safe. However, if the leaf buds are entirely brown, they are unlikely to survive and show that portion of that plant is dead. In such cases, it’s recommended to carefully remove these dead leaf buds using pruning shears.
Prune Damaged and Dead Branches – Trim away damaged and dead branches from your hibiscus plant. If you’re unsure which branches are dead, scrape the stems again to look for green inside. If there is no green, simply remove that affected area and then observe its growth.
Consider Repotting – Prepare a new container with fresh potting soil. Gently remove the hibiscus from its current container and transfer it to the new one. Gently add more potting soil around the roots, ensuring the container is properly filled. Thoroughly water the soil and place the hibiscus in a location with moderate temperatures and adequate light to observe signs of growth.
Will a dead hibiscus come back?
If you’re wondering whether a dead hibiscus can come back to life, the chances are small. Once a hibiscus plant has died, it is challenging for it to revive and regrow. However, there are situations where parts of the plant might still have life.
By carefully examining the leaf buds and stems, you can determine if there’s any green colour present, indicating signs of life. In such cases, trimming away the dead parts and providing proper care might help rejuvenate the plant.
However, if the entire plant appears brown and lifeless, it’s unlikely that it can come back. It’s important to remember that hibiscus plants like all other plants have their limits, and severe damage or neglect can lead to irreversible impacts.
Also Read: How Big Do Hibiscus Plants Get?
How to save a dying hibiscus plant?
Here is what you can do to save a dying hibiscus plant –
Examine the Plant – Carefully examine the plant to see any visible issues such as yellowing leaves, wilting, or pest infestation. Understanding the exact problems will help you save them.
Adjust Watering – Check the soil moisture regularly and ensure it’s neither too dry nor overly saturated. Maintain a balanced watering routine, allowing the soil to dry slightly between watering sessions. Avoid excessive watering which can further trouble your plant.
Provide Adequate Light – Hibiscus plants need bright, direct sunlight for their blooming and overall growth. Find a suitable spot where the plant can receive at least six hours of sunlight daily. Place it near a sunny window for full sun.
Pruning and Trimming – Trim any dead, damaged, or diseased branches and leaves using clean pruning shears. This helps redirect energy to healthier parts of the plant and promotes new growth.
Improve Soil Quality – Ensure the hibiscus is planted in well-draining soil that is enriched with organic matter. Consider adding compost or manure to improve soil fertility and provide essential nutrients.
Fertilize Wisely – The ideal fertilizers for hibiscus are those with a high potassium content, a moderate amount of nitrogen, and low phosphorus content. During the growing season, it is advisable to fertilize your hibiscus every two weeks.
You can use a liquid fertilizer, ensuring it is well-diluted according to the instructions, or go for a slow-release fertilizer that can be applied every eight weeks. Homemade fertilizers like bone meal and coffee grounds can be used to enrich growing soil.
Pest Management – Keep a close eye on any pests such as spider mites, or mealybugs. If you notice some, use appropriate organic or chemical treatments to control the infestation and prevent further damage.
Read this: Can Epsom salt use help hibiscus to bloom?
How to Prevent Hibiscus Wilting?
To prevent wilting in your hibiscus plants, it’s important to provide them with proper care and attention.
One crucial aspect is maintaining adequate water levels. They prefer soil that is moist but not too wet. Therefore, observe the soil’s moisture levels before watering. If the soil is already wet, it’s best to hold off on watering.
Another essential factor is sunlight. Hibiscus plants thrive in bright, direct sunlight for at least six hours a day. Ensure they are placed in a location where they can receive a good amount of sunlight. However, in extremely hot weather, provide some shade to protect them from excessive heat, which can cause wilting.
Proper drainage is vital to prevent waterlogging, which can also lead to wilting. Make sure the soil has good drainage by using well-draining soil or amending the existing soil with organic matter to improve its structure.
Check this: How to propagate hibiscus plant from cuttings?
Reviving a dying hibiscus plant requires attentive care. By addressing the underlying causes such as water deficiency, cold weather, low humidity, nutrient deficiencies, pests, and poor drainage, you can give your dying plant a chance to survive.
Adjusting watering practices, protecting it from extreme temperatures, and ensuring adequate humidity can help bring the plant back to life.
Patience, proper care, and a little bit of nurturing are all you can do to revive a dying hibiscus plant and restore its beauty and vibrancy once again.
Khaja Moinuddin, a computer science graduate, finds joy in gardening and homesteading. Join him on this blog as he shares his experiences in homesteading, gardening, and composting