Hibiscus, hibiscus, why so… yellow?

  • I recently purchased a hibiscus plant to grow in a pot on my front porch. It’s really gorgeous- with lush leaves and beautiful red flowers. My understanding is this is a tropical plant, which should really enjoy our humid, Albany summers. The plan is to take the plant inside once the temperature drops and let it overwinter indoors. I must admit, this was an impulse purchase. I saw it on sale at a local garden shop. I know absolutely nothing about these plants! I just thought it’d look nice on my freshly painted front porch!

    Over the last week, the leaves have been turning yellow. When I turn to my garden friends on the internet… “i.e. googling, “why do hibiscus leaves turn yellow?” I find that the advice is so contradictory. From what I gather- it’s either getting too much water- or not enough water. Well, isn’t that helpful? I will admit that water is usually the answer to most of my gardening problems, and finding the proper amount is key. I have no idea what this poor hibiscus wants. She’s a fickle little thing. I have started by just watering a little in the morning- keeping it moist, but not soggy. It’s flowering- so that’s good. I just want to make sure I know how to take care of this plant properly.

    Do any of you have any experience with yellowing leaves and/or hibiscus? Here is a picture of the yellowing leaves for your diagnosis:

    P.S. I categorized this tropical hibiscus as an annual. In Northeast climates- they will not survive the cold winters. So, left outside- it would be an annual. I will try taking it inside this winter- where I will surely kill it. Therefore, it’ll likely remain an annual.

    June 27th, 2011 | girl has thyme | 4 Comments | Tags:

4 Responses and Counting...

  • Michele 06.27.2011

    Ohh ohh.. pick me pick me!!! ๐Ÿ™‚ I think I might have a closer answer. There is some kind of STRESS going on with the plant. Yes .. water too much or too little is a factor… but they say sudden.. DRAMATIC change in temperature. So direct HOT sunlight vs. half shade/half sun. Or simply the opposite. Sudden DROP in temp. so if you have it on the porch… is it in blazing heat during the day?? Then Colder temps at night?? There are a million answers for this… but we had a Hisbiscus at my old office… and guess who was in charge of keeping it alive?? ME. Good luck. You are a much better Green Thumb that I!!!


  • Ok.. so I just re-read what I typed and I laughed. The hibiscus is the perfect plant for MOMS. Wish we could just drop a few yellow leaves and call it good. ๐Ÿ™‚


  • Michele, you are so funny! I guess it has undergone some stress. I recently potted the plant- and, while the temperature hasn’t been too variable- we did have some rainy & drab weather. I will see how she looks in a week or so.


  • What a perfect way to bring a little bit of Hawaii to your front porch! I can’t help you with your yellow leaf problem but will look forward to reading about it if you discover the answer!


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