How to Grow Hibiscus as a Houseplant

Hi Judy,

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,

Hi Sarah,

Yellow flowers on Hibiscus Plant
Hibiscus Plant


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.