I really need help with my hibiscus. I inherited a gorgeous large potted plant from my best friend’s Mom who recently passed away. She was an amazing green thumb and I’m afraid I’ve not taken very good care of the hibiscus. I’ve attached a photo of when I received it this year in the spring. Full, green, and blooming many flowers daily. Over time, the leaves started to turn yellow and fall off. More and more each day. I wondered if it was the watering regime so I altered it. Some time around June, I noticed many small white bugs when I would spray it or move it. They would fly all around all of a sudden. I looked under all the leaves and there they were. Hundreds of them on the undersides. I sprayed it many times with soapy water and put it outside. The bugs are long gone now, but the plant looks absolutely terrible, almost completely bare except for the main stalks. It still flowers some days. I have been too worried, due to my inexperience, to find a pesticide, or cut it back but I think it needs it. I’m afraid I will completely kill it at this point. Can you help?
Thank you so kindly in advance,
Sorry your plant took such a nose-dive! I’d recommend aggressively pruning your Hibiscus Plant at least half – 2/3rds of the way down each of the stems. By pruning one branch you’ll be rewarded with three branches that bloom as the Hibiscus Plant matures. Here are some care tips for your hibiscus plant.
Light: Hibiscus Plants require very bright light and several hours of direct sun in order to bloom as indoor houseplants.
Insufficient light causes yellow leaves on a hibiscus plant.
Water: During the spring and summer, when Hibiscus Plants are actively growing, keep the soil moist but never soggy. In the fall and winter, allow the top 2” of the soil to dry out before watering. If the soil gets too dry, leaves turn yellow. When you water, water well enough so that the water comes out the bottom drip holes of the container.
Fertilizer: Hibiscus Plants need a great deal of plant food. Fertilize Hibiscus Plants every two weeks in the spring and summer and monthly the rest of the year with a basic houseplant food at 1/2 the recommended strength.
Temperature: Hibiscus Plants do well in temperatures between 65-85 degrees. If the temperature goes below 40 degrees for a prolonged period of time new growth is ruined. Hibiscus Plants do not make good indoor houseplants if you live in a cold climate.
Humidity: Hibiscus Plants grow and produce more flowers in high humidity.
Pests: Hibiscus Plants attract Aphids, thrips, whiteflies, and spider mites. Spray Hibiscus Plants frequently with a mild solution of warm soapy water to prevent insect and disease problems. Use the Green Solution (recipe in the Glossary of the website) if insects appear.
Diseases: Leaf Spot, several types of fungi may cause brown or black circular or irregular shaped spots on the leaves of Hibiscus Plants.
Soil: Use a rich organic soil that holds the water but still drains well for Hibiscus Plants. Hibiscus Plants grow better if the soil is a little acidic so add a teaspoon of vinegar to your water about once a month. Hibiscus Houseplants like to be watered with your leftover tea.