Skip to Content

Why Is My Hibiscus Dying? (4 Potential Causes to Consider)

Why Is My Hibiscus Dying? (4 Potential Causes to Consider)

Share this post:

Disclaimer: Some links found on this page might be affiliate links. If you click an affiliate link and make a purchase, I might earn a commission. As an Amazon Associate I earn from qualifying purchases.

The hibiscus is a genus of flowering plants that is incredibly popular. Renowned for its beautiful, colorful flowers and the sheer amount of flowers that it gives off each season, the hibiscus plant can prove to be an incredible addition to your garden.

You need to be careful, however, that you take care of the plant, if you want it to flower every year.

The hibiscus plant generally does not require a lot of special care. It’s easy to care for, but you do need to take a few steps.

If you think that you can just plant it in your garden and water it on a daily basis like all other plants, and hope for it to give off big flowers every year, you are mistaken.

The hibiscus plant is going to require care, and you will have to take environmental elements into account as well.

For starters, you should know that this plant is tropical, so if you live in an area where the winters get incredibly cold, you should definitely bring it in.

The hibiscus plant does not do well in the cold, and there’s a strong chance that the first winter frost is probably going to kill it.

Therefore, you should consider bringing the plant in to ensure that it remains warm and comfy. Most people don’t do that, and are often left wondering why their plant is dead once the snow and powder clears off.

If you want to improve the curb appeal of your garden, having the hibiscus plant is an absolute must. The sheer amount of colorful flowers that it’s going to sprout will make it incredibly pleasing for a person to look at.

But, there are quite a few reasons why your hibiscus plant might be dying, and it’s recommended that you properly care for the plant. Most people are not really sure why their plant starts to die.

The main reason why hibiscus begins to die is because of the poor standard of care. General care is necessary to prevent the plant from contracting a disease or becoming excessively stressed out.

For instance, diseased or stressed plants are at a considerable disadvantage, and will not be able to ward off problems.

You need to make sure that you keep the plants healthy, especially if you don’t want an early decline. First, let’s get the conditions right.

The hibiscus plant does really well in a garden that receives full sunlight. They are also quite happy with partial shade, but if you keep the plant in an area where it doesn’t get even an adequate amount of sunlight, you are doing it wrong.

Then, you should know that the hibiscus plant prefers soil that drains really well.

Moreover, the pH level of the soil should also be slightly acidic, though it is tolerant of alkaline conditions in the soil as well. The pH makeup of the soil is going to affect the quality of the flowers, however.

Now, let’s talk about the many reasons why the hibiscus plant might start to die over the passage of time.

1 – Improper Watering Techniques

Wet Hibiscus Flower

Water stress is a major reason for plant death, and you need to be careful that you care for them. It’s arguably the simplest way to prevent plant death, especially when we talk about tropical plants like the hibiscus.

You need to set up a proper watering schedule, and adhere to it at all times.

Being a tropical plant, the hibiscus enjoys a lot of water. But, overwatering the plant can cause premature death.

When setting up a plant watering routine, you need to make sure that you check the soil first. Ideally, you should water the hibiscus when the top inch or two of the soil becomes dry.

You can use your finger to check when the soil has become dry, and then add more water.

Also, when watering the plant, make sure you water around the stem, not on it. It’s a common mistake that many people make, and could cause damage to the roots.

To prevent water from accumulating around the stem, just water around it, and let the water absorb properly in the soil.

Hibiscus is able to tolerate drought for a brief period of time, but you need to make sure that this does not prolong for too often.

When the temperature rises quickly, you should consider providing direct water to the plant. Also, it doesn’t hurt to mist the plant leaves from time to time. It’s going to help improve the humidity of the plant, something that it enjoys quite a lot.

2 – Canker Disease

One of the things that could affect your plant is the Canker disease. This can also cause the death of the plant, so it’s something that you need to take seriously.

This is a fungal disease that is caused by pathogens released by the Botryosphaeria genus. The disease tends to spread sporadically, either through water or sometimes through rain.

It can result in cankers developing on the plant, which will kill the plant tissue from different areas. It can also invade through natural openings, such as wounds, that develop on the stem of the plant.

The branches are likely to become girdled, and will eventually begin to die off.

You need to be incredibly vigilant and look at the plant carefully. If you notice discoloration on the bark or damage to the leaves, there’s a strong risk that the plant has developed canker disease.

The problem here is that conventional fungicides are not able to control the spread of cankers, so the best thing that you can do is remove them and then get rid of the damaged parts of the plant.

The best thing that you can do is take care and prevent any kind of injuries to the plant.

Using sterilized tools whenever you are pruning the plant is a great idea, though many people consider it to be too extreme. But, if you love your plant and are an avid fan of gardening, you will want to make sure that you take appropriate care and only use sterilized tools.

3 – Root Rot

Dying Hibiscus

Root rot occurs when there’s excessive moisture present in the roots. This can cause the plant to effectively drown, as the roots are unable to get enough water. It can lead to a quick death of the plant as well.

Many people are under the impression that since it is a tropical plant, the hibiscus can bear excessive water. That is not true at all.

If you are using large amounts of nitrogen-based fertilizer, your plant is at an increased risk of infection, and it can eventually die.

The first clear sign that your hibiscus is affected by root rot is discoloration near the stem. The base is likely to turn into a brown color, and you might even see yellowed foliage as well.

Eventually, the leaves and flowers will start to wilt, and the plant will succumb to its condition and then die.

If you want to take appropriate action, the best thing you can do is take a soil sample and then send it to a lab for testing. They are going to recommend specialized fertilizer as well as amendments you can use to keep the plant in prime condition and improve its condition.

The lab will also recommend specific nutrients that are lacking in the soil, and will recommend the steps you need to take to prevent the plant from wilting and dying.

You need to follow the steps they provide, and you are going to see a considerable improvement in the health of the plant.

You will also need to use fungicide with specific active ingredients as instructed by the lab to ensure the plant recovers.

4 – General Care


Then, there’s the general care of the plant, something that most people neglect quite a bit.

If you want to care for the plant, you need to make sure that you prune the trees regularly and make sure you get rid of any deadened parts that might be consuming nutrients over the passage of time.

The hibiscus flowers generally last for two to three days before they begin to die. During the flowering season, you need to make sure that you prune the plant as regularly as possible.

Many people don’t get the time to prune their trees properly. If that’s the case, you should consider hiring a professional landscaping company to assist you with the job.

They can send over a gardener to your place on a regular basis who will prune the plants and take care of them for you. It’s an added expense, but one that’s going to help you considerably in the long run and more importantly, ensure that your plant does not die a premature death.

These are just a few things that you can do to prevent the hibiscus from dying.

Share this post: