The hibiscus is one of the most popular flowering plants in the world. It belongs to the mallow family of Malvaceae.
The member species of this genus are renowned for their large, vibrantly colored flowers that are incredibly showy and stand out from the rest. Most people simply refer to it as the “rose mallow” or the hibiscus.
If you are interested in covering your garden with beautiful plants and flowers, the hibiscus should definitely be a part of your collection. Not only is it one of the most gorgeous flowers that you will see, but the hibiscus plant is also relatively easy to care for.
But, you should know that there are going to be times where adequate care might not be enough. The hibiscus plant needs utmost attention on your part, and you need to make sure that you meet the needs of the plant if you want it to blossom properly.
The hibiscus is a gorgeous tropical plant that you can grow either as a shrub in your garden, or as a tree. You might also want to consider growing it in a container, because then it will be capable of flowering throughout the course of the year.
However, what if you continue to care for the plant, but it doesn’t flower?
You need to understand that the only way to make the hibiscus flower bloom is by keeping it happy and healthy. There are some select requirements that you need to meet for the plant to begin to bloom properly.
As mentioned above, one of the main reasons why so many people grow the hibiscus plant is because they are incredibly easy to care for, so you should know that it’s not going to be difficult for you to fix the problem of the plant not blooming.
But, if your hibiscus isn’t blooming, let’s talk about all the essentials that you need to give to the plant before it can grow in a happy and healthy manner.
1 – Temperature
Let’s begin with the temperature that’s ideal for the growth of the plant. As it is a tropical plant, you should know that the hibiscus usually prefers warm temperatures. In general, the temperature needs to be between 60 and 80 degrees Fahrenheit for the plant to grow properly.
This is a fairly versatile plant, so it can also tolerate temperatures as low as 50 degrees Fahrenheit, but that’s not really what you want. Ideally, when the temperatures drop that low, you should bring the plant indoors and keep it adequately heated.
On the other hand, the hibiscus won’t be able to hold its own when the summer temperatures turn incredibly hot. If the temperature goes above the 90-degree Fahrenheit mark, you can expect the plant to struggle.
During the colder months, most people who grow their hibiscus plants bring them indoors. If you are going to do this, make sure you bring your plant indoors before the arrival of the first frost of the season, as the frost is more than capable of destroying the plant completely.
As the winter and the fall months approach, you need to bring your plant indoors and keep it in a warm and sunny spot. Then, when the temperatures rise above the 50-degree Fahrenheit mark, you can always move your plant outdoors.
However, you should know that when the time comes to bring your plant outdoors, it’s best if you take it slow.
Let the plant acclimatize properly before you return it to its life outdoors. For instance, you can place the plant outdoors for a few hours on a daily basis, and then bring it back in.
Do this for a few days until the plant completely acclimatizes and continue to increase the amount of time that the plant is left outdoors with each passing day. Eventually, the plant will become accustomed to it, and will begin to grow properly.
2 – Watering
One of the things that you should know is that the hibiscus plant is incredibly thirsty, and if you want it to bloom properly, you need to make sure that it gets an adequate amount of water.
Most people keep the hibiscus plant outdoors, on a porch or their patio, in a container. It’s used for decorative purposes.
When it’s kept outdoors in a container, you need to know that the hibiscus plant will need to be watered at least three times a week. During the hot summer months, you might have to water your plants on a daily basis as well.
There’s also a particular method that you need to use when watering the plant. For instance, make sure that you thoroughly saturate the soil so that eventually, water begins to run out of the drainage holes.
More importantly, you need to make sure that you empty the drip tray properly after all of the excess water has been drained from the plant.
This is important, otherwise the plant will be completely drenched. This plant does not like to sit for long periods in the water, so you have to empty it now and then.
But, how do you prevent the plant from getting overwatered? For that, you need to use the power of touch.
Check the top layer of the soil to ensure that it is dry before you decide to water the plant. If the top layer is moist, you might want to hold off on the watering.
The hibiscus, as mentioned, needs to drink a great deal of water, so it’s recommended that you water it frequently.
Also, make sure that you choose a soil that is easy to drain. If you are going to keep the plant in a container, do make sure that there are sizable drainage holes on the underside to ensure that the excess water is able to leak out.
Don’t let the plant sit in stagnant water, as that could be detrimental to its growth.
3 – Light Conditions
All plants need light to grow properly, and the hibiscus is no exception. This plant loves to revel in full sunlight, and if you want the plant to be covered in flowers, you need to make sure that it gets full sunlight.
If the plant gets plenty of sunlight and provided all other conditions are met, your hibiscus will bloom perfectly.
When you keep it outside, make sure to position the hibiscus in a way that it receives sunlight throughout the course of the day. But, there are going to be situations where this might not be possible.
It’s not easy finding a spot that receives sunlight around the clock. Not to worry though, because you can always place it in an area where it can get the maximum amount of direct sunlight available.
Now, when you bring the hibiscus inside during the cold months, you also need to make sure that you keep it in a place where it’s going to receive an adequate amount of sunlight.
Then, when you have to keep it outdoors again, you need to make sure that you first change its position by placing it in a partially shaded environment, and slowly increase exposure with the passage of time.
A sudden change from the indoor lighting conditions to exposure from the full sun is not going to be very beneficial to the plant, and could actually prove to be detrimental. There’s a chance that the plant will react badly and will begin to shed its leaves.
If you see excessive shedding, you might want to consider bringing the plant back in and let it acclimatize slowly before you take it out again.
4 – Humidity
Another thing that plays an important role in the hibiscus plant blooming or not is the humidity.
The hibiscus fares really well in high to moderate humidity. If the plant has been kept outdoors, you won’t have any control over the humidity. But, if you keep your plant indoors during the winter months, you need to take the humidity into account.
There are quite a few methods that you can use to improve the level of humidity inside your house. The most obvious solution available to you is to make use of an electric humidifier. You can set the humidity and leave the humidifier running in the room.
Or, if that doesn’t work, you can lightly mist the plant every few days to maintain the humidity.
Another great option available to you is to keep the plant on a rock tray. Make sure you fill it with water so that the water can slowly evaporate upon contact with the pebbles and the rocks.
With the passage of time, the humidity of the plant is going to increase. Now, you should know that if the plant is tall enough, it’s really not going to work.
The proximity of the foliage of the plant needs to be close enough, and there’s going to be a considerable distance between the plant and the rock tray itself.
Also, you need to make sure that the water level does not rise above the pebbles themselves, as that’s going to prevent the water from exiting through the drainage holes properly.
Keeping the humidity levels high will not only make your plant flourish, but it’s also going to prevent other issues, such as an infestation of spider mites from developing.
5 – Feeding
Now, let’s talk about feeding the plant. For the hibiscus plant to produce lots of blooms throughout the course of the year, you are going to need to feed it properly.
Thankfully, there’s no shortage of fertilizers that are designed exclusively for the hibiscus plant. Similarly, you can also use a well-balanced fertilizer at half-strength to get the right mix.
To make sure that your hibiscus plant gets the right amount of nutrition, you need to feed it weekly. Ideally, a fertilizer that is water-soluble will be a great choice for this.
This type of fertilizer is an adequate choice, because it ensures that the minerals are properly dispersed and spread around the soil.
If your hibiscus is being fed on a regular basis but you realize that it’s not producing an adequate amount of flowers, it might be due to the fact that the plant is high in nitrogen, especially if the plant has become quite leafy.
Nitrogen-based fertilizers usually cause the foliage to thrive, though it often happens at the expense of the bloom.
You might want to consider trying out a different fertilizer that contains a lower amount of nitrogen, and a higher concentration of potassium. This is great for the hibiscus plant, and you will notice the effects soon enough.
Also, make sure that you avoid fertilizers that contain a higher amount of phosphorus. This can be deadly for your plant, and you need to steer clear of them.
6 – Pruning
This one is pretty straightforward and most people who grow flowery plants already know about it: you need to make sure that you prune your plants properly to have a healthy blossom.
An important thing to note here is that you don’t actually need to prune the hibiscus, it’s going to shed its leaves on its own, but the occasional pruning is only going to improve the health of the plant and the quality of the bloom.
More importantly, pruning the hibiscus is going to maintain an adequate balance, and will also stimulate new growth, especially if there are dead flowers on the plant that need to be removed.
Dead or damaged leaves are quite common, and are a normal part of the pruning process, so you should get rid of them along the way. They also don’t look very good, so you might want to remove them as quickly as possible.
These are just some of the many things that you need to do to ensure that your plant continues to grow properly. If you take care of the hibiscus plant, it won’t be long before you are treated to a wonderful bloom in the springtime!
Growing up with a mom who filled her home (inside and out) with all sorts of plants, Lisa got her start in gardening at a young age. Living now on her own with a home and yard full of plants (including an indoor greenhouse), she shares all the gardening tips she’s gained over the years.