Plants and flowers are delicate beings that require nothing but the best products. If your hibiscus leaves are slowly turning yellow or dying, you need to invest in the right fertilizers. These flowering plants are often sensitive to regular soil.
Usually, hibiscus plants are compatible with fertilizers that have a high or medium amount of nitrogen. Such fertilizers must also have higher potash amounts with low levels of phosphate.
It is essential to make the right decision while choosing the best fertilizers for hibiscus plants. The fertilizer must have the right levels of nutrients for your plant.
Our guide will provide detailed information as to which fertilizers are best for your hibiscus plants and why. Here you will also find how and when to fertilizer the hibiscus plants.
Table of Contents
When To Fertilize Hibiscus Plants?
Now that you already know that hibiscus thrives on high amounts of potassium and medium levels of hibiscus let’s learn more.
You must refrain from using too much phosphorus as it tends to accumulate in your hibiscus plant. It will also bind to any other mineral present in the soil.
The best time to fertilize your plants shall be early morning when the temperate is quite cool. However, if you decide to opt for a dry fertilizer, use enough water to make the soil moist first.
You should again water the plant after you are done applying the fertilizer. This step will ensure that the fertilizer doesn’t damage or burn the roots.
If you are wondering why you should use fertilizer in the morning, it is because higher temperatures will allow the fertilizer to evaporate.
When the atmosphere is cool, the hibiscus can get all its nutrients without losing them to the environment.
Hibiscus plants must get about seven to eight hours of sunlight every day. However, it is essential to place your hibiscus in a shaded place in the morning.
You can again place them out in the sun during the afternoon to let them bloom.
Nutrients That Your Hibiscus Require
Hibiscus needs a lot of energy and nutrients to be maintained optimally. Some plants can thrive on regular soil with no requirements for nutrients from an outside source.
However, hibiscus is not such a plant. Most potting soils come with a modest level of nutrients, but you need to compensate for the rest.
Adequate Amount Of Potassium
Potassium is a voracious nutrient, and they boost the metabolism process of nutrients. Potassium will help your hibiscus plants to grow and carry on their photosynthesis effectively.
To make your hibiscus plants bloom, you need to feed them enough amounts of this valuable nutrient. Look for commercial fertilizers that have a sufficient amount of potassium.
Go Low With Phosphorus
Hibiscus plants can’t take high levels of phosphorus. You must pay heed to the specific ingredients of the fertilizer you are buying.
It ties itself and other minerals to the roots without enabling the plant to absorb them. You must refrain from using too much of this nutrient for your hibiscus plants.
Moderate Levels Of Nitrogen
Though your hibiscus plant will crave nitrogen but using it in excess will burn your leaves. However, using too little nitrogen can slow down the growth of your plants.
Keep the nitrogen level to moderate to allow your hibiscus to have proper growth.
How Often To Fertilize Your Hibiscus Plants?
Most people usually wonder how frequently they need to fertilize their plants. You must want to do the fertilization process now and then. However, too much fertilizer will do no good for your hibiscus plants.
Use small amounts of fertilizer when you are watering, your hibiscus plant will grow beautifully. You will also witness bigger and more frequent blooms.
If you use a slow-release fertilizer, it will be best to repeat the process four times a year. Fertilize your hibiscus plants every early winter, midsummer, and spring. You must also use it after the first bloom of your plant.
If you opt for water-soluble fertilizers, you need to dilute the product depending on the instructions provided.
You can use it every two to three weeks when the hibiscus is blooming. You must fertilize once a month, even during the offseason.
You can also use dry fertilizer twice a week. You must notice whether your plants need extra nutrients or not.
How To Fertilize Your Hibiscus Plants?
The fertilization process for hibiscus plants is quite easy. Whether your hibiscus plant grows in the ground or a pot, you must ensure that the fertilizer reaches the roots of your plant.
Most people usually use fertilizer at the base of their hibiscus plant’s truck. The food must reach the roots to allow the plants to grow well. Fertilizers must be applied to the roots to deliver more blooms and lush green leaves.
You must also consider the type of fertilizer that you purchase. If you decide to go for water-soluble ones, it is essential to blend them with water correctly.
Read the instructions at the back of your product and follow them thoroughly. It will save you from over-fertilizing your hibiscus plants.
Some fertilizers may require you to sprinkle them over the soil. The product may come with a measuring cup to ensure that you are using the correct amount.
Top Products For Hibiscus Fertilizers
The product consists of organics, amino acids, vitamins, and a lot of other nutrients that are food for your plants. The NPK ratio is 1-34-32.
It has additives that formulate in producing a heavier number of flowers that also look bigger.
The Flower Fuel booster is the perfect bloom additive to give you more flowers at one go. It is a permanent solution to provide the plants with healthy nutrients so that every time they bloom, it blooms bigger.
Using the booster is pretty simple. Add ¼ teaspoon for every gallon of feed water. Do not overfeed the plants for the booster is high in concentration.
It promotes sugar and resin production, which are the sole elements of making a great harvest. Therefore, it can make your plants rich in flavor and fragrance overall.
- It fills your plant with essential hormones, nutrients, vitamins, amino acids, ensuring good health for your plant.
- You can use it with any base nutrient in 2 or 3 parts.
- A small scoop goes a long way with 1 gallon of nutrient solution.
- It works with any medium in soil, peat, cocoa, and other hydroponic systems.
- Flower Fuel is a 100% hydroponic fertilizer with 40 superior ingredients. You can add any soluble base along with this to the soil.
- Overusing the booster will lead to harmful results.
This product is designed with NPK 10-4-12 ratio. The extra sulfur content in the fertilizer optimizes soil pH yielding abundant Calcium and Magnesium to the plant.
If you have a landscape plant, use the fertilizer uniformly around the drip line of the hibiscus tree at the rate of 1 cup per 3 ft of height. Do not use more than three cups (per tree), even if you are increasing the height distance.
For a potted plant, take 1.5 tsp for a 1-gallon container, ¼ cup for a 5-gallon container, and 3/8 cup for a 10-gallon container.
If you are applying it to a larger hibiscus plantation area, mix 8-12 lbs. per 1000 sf of clay soil or 12-18 lbs. per 1000 sf of sandy soil. Repeat these three to four months for every growing season.
- You will see results after 3 days of using the food.
- The leaf color will change from any shade of green to rich dark green, which is the natural color.
- Retrieves the plant with every nutrient it needs.
- The Hibiscus Food is applicable for any variety of hibiscuses.
- Overusing can lead to a bad effect on the plant.
Tropical plants can be very demanding at times. Despite being in a favorable climatic condition, you might need fertilizers for their proper harvest.
The Nelson Fertilizer is plant food in grain form. It is traditionally designed for hibiscus plants or to boost any other flowering harvest.
Every grain of this fertilizer contains (NPK) Nitrogen (10%), Phosphate (4%), and Soluble Potash K20 (12%), along with other added minerals.
- It helps to increase the tolerance of the flowering plant so that it blooms faster and stronger.
- You can use the fertilizer for growing every variety of Hibiscus and other flowering plants in tropical areas.
- The fertilizer is in granular form to promote less waste during use.
- It is not recommended for overusing.
Some plants grow efficiently under minimum effort that is why they are largely cultivated. But in some cases, the flowers might grow smaller. Even at times, the multiple petals grow asymmetric.
If you see anything similar to your plant, understand it has something to do with nutritional deficiency. Acid-loving plants like rhododendrons, hydrangeas, and azaleas need exceptional plant food.
Miracid is a water-soluble fertilizer for acid-loving plants so that they grow abruptly into their ultimate growth.
The 30-10-10 NPK ratio is a good percentage for such plants.
The application of Miracid is very simple. Mix it with water in a one-gallon container and spray it on the plants.
- Harvesting tougher plants are easy with Miracid because its application is easy.
- It gives good health to the rhododendron group of plants.
- It feeds the plant instantly. You do not have to wait for the fertilizer to function.
- It needs a soil test before application.
- Make sure the soil is not alkaline.
Dr. Earth is a special fertilizer for exotic plants with no synthetic chemicals in it. It is hand-crafted with several ingredients fume plant growth in little time.
The NPK ratio is 6-4-6, which is pretty decent for tropical plants.
Enriched with proteins, multi-minerals, humic acids, carbohydrates, and trace elements, Dr. Earth promotes healthy soil for your plans to grow.
Before you plant any tropical, sub-tropical, or hibiscus plant, add a cup of Dr. Earth to the soil to fill the hole. Once you finish adding soil to the tub, apply some more fertilizer to increase the content. Water like regular.
For potted plants, apply 2 tablespoons for every pot diameter or ½ cup for every cubic foot of soil. Mix the soil gently around the plant and water like normal.
- It is ideal for tropical, sub-tropical plants and hibiscus.
- Pair it with rubbing alcohol and a few drops of any essential oil in a spray bottle if you want to avoid the fertilizer smell.
- It works great for plants that get zero sunlight.
- It has a stinky smell of fertilizer.
- Using this too much on plants is harmful.
Palm is another exotic plant that grows beautifully indoors. Some of you might use it for decorating the house as well.
Indoor plants did not always get adequate sunlight or essential nutrients. Therefore, to maintain better plant health and green intact, Jack’s Classic is great to plant food.
It is built especially for palm trees. It is water-soluble that blends with essential nutrients of the soil. Just mix the fertilizer with water and spray it all over the palm tree.
The food is ideal for palm variants like queen, majesty, royal, dates, and kentia. The NPK ratio for Jack’s Classic Palm Food is 16-25-16 that delivers the highest quality nutrients to your plants.
Since the potassium level is very high, the plant responsibly grows into a vibrant, lush green with stronger shoots.
- You get a measuring spoon with the packaging of the Jack’s Classic Palm Food fertilizer.
- This fertilizer can be used for any tropical flowering or fruit plant. You can try this with banana, hibiscus, palm, or any other plants as well.
- Add one scoop of fertilizer for every gallon of water you want to mix.
- Do not use excessively, as the higher potassium amount can be harmful to plants.
The EarthPods Premium Hibiscus formula feeds hibiscus and bougainvillea grow. Besides that, other flowering plants like Plumeria, Blood Lily, Lantana, Crocosmia, and Passion Flower would love to grow too!
These capsule fertilizers can be used successfully for every plant, whether they are indoors, outdoors, in containers, or garden bags. Feed them with the EarthPods Premium Hibiscus plant food every 2-3 weeks.
It consists of organic plant root fungi bacteria along with humic acid inaccurate percentage to explode plant growth.
- The capsule formulation makes the use very simple and hassles free.
- Only put a capsule into the soil. It will do its job!
- It works great for all flowering plants in stimulating growth and strength.
- The capsule might not be equally distributed in the soil once dissolved.
This is one last and another great food for your hibiscus to grow.
It composes of a 17-7-10 NPK ratio that stimulates the growth of your flowering greens in very little time!
- The fertilizer acts pretty fast.
- The weekly application works generously on the plants.
- Applying too much fertilizer can lead to poor results in plant growth.
Frequently Asked Questions
1. Are used coffee grounds fine for hibiscus plants?
You can use coffee grounds as compost for your hibiscus plants. They are an additional source of nutrient that boosts the growth of most plants.
They have a high level of nitrogen content, which allows a better breakdown of materials.
You can also use the coffee grounds in vermicomposting. You can mix coffee with other variants of kitchen waste like vegetable scraps and banana peels.
Used coffee grounds can enable you to create your own mulch. However, you must not use an excessive amount of used coffee grounds as they will harm your hibiscus plants.
If you have indoor hibiscus, you can pour a small portion of used coffee grounds on the surface of your potting soil.
However, overdoing it can make the soil excessively acidic and prevent sufficient water from reaching it.
2. Is vinegar good for these plants?
Hibiscus plants need mildly acidic soil to grow quickly. When the soil is slightly acidic, the hibiscus plants can absorb the nutrients better.
Most gardeners recommend having a pH level of around 6 to 7. You can opt for acid-loving fertilizers that will maintain an ideal pH level for your hibiscus plants.
However, you can also opt for household vinegar to reduce the level of pH level of your soil. You can mix a small amount of vinegar in a bucket of water and use it around the roots of your hibiscus plants.
However, you must ensure that the vinegar doesn’t touch other parts of your plant. Vinegar can burn your hibiscus plant if used in excess.
3. Are banana peels fine for these plants?
Hibiscus plants thrive in potassium-rich soil, which makes banana peels beneficial for them. Banana peels are rich in potassium and nitrogen, making them the perfect soil conditioners for your plants.
The macronutrient content of banana peels is good for the health of your hibiscus plants.
You can add them to your compost bin and use it as a soil supplement or mulch. You can also use them as a source of organic nutrients by directly applying them to your hibiscus plant.
However, you must refrain from using too many banana peels as they can create the way for scavenging rodents.
4. Why is my hibiscus plant, not flowering?
If you see that your hibiscus plants are not flowering at all or poorly flowering, the problem can trace back to a lack of nutrients.
Hibiscus plants also need an adequate amount of sunlight. If you keep them away from sunlight, the plants will not bloom properly.
You must also check whether you are providing adequate nutrients to your plants. Over or under-fertilization will slow down the growth of your hibiscus plants.
Hibiscus bloom only when they get the right mix of nutrients. You must provide them with sufficient amounts of potassium and nitrogen to allow your hibiscus to bloom properly.
5. Why are my hibiscus leaves turning yellow and falling off?
Many factors can cause your hibiscus leaves to turn yellow and fall off. If your hibiscus plant is getting fewer nutrients, then the leaves will start turning yellow.
However, they won’t fall off, and you can fix this by adding more fertilizer.
Over or under-watering can cause your hibiscus leaves to turn yellow. You should ensure that your soil is always moist but not soggy.
Temperature can also cause them to turn yellow. When the weather gets excessively cold or warm, the leaves may fall off. Location and pests are other factors that can make your leaves turn yellow.
6. How do I know if my hibiscus is overwatered?
If you notice any of these five things, then your hibiscus is overwatered –
- If your plant looks wilted and is struggling to grow or blow
- If you notice poor health and brown leaves in your hibiscus plants
- If you notice burst cells and white or dark scar tissue due to rupturing of cells
- If you see yellow and falling leaves in your hibiscus plants.
- If you see that roots are rotting or have some fungal disease.
7. How long do hibiscus trees live?
If you have an older garden variety of hibiscus plants, then they can live up to 50 years. If your hibiscus is of a newer hybrid, then it can have a lifespan of about 5-10 years.
However, your hibiscus will have a long life only when they are fed the right nutrients with the optimum level of care.
You must understand the correct nutrients that are required to allow your plants to thrive. Using the right fertilizers will ensure that your plants produce the best and most vibrant blooms.
We have reviewed the best fertilizers available on the market to help you find the correct one.
The ideal fertilizer will have the right ratio of potassium, phosphorus, and nitrogen. You must always consider the perfect micronutrient mix for your hibiscus plant.
Follow the directions as to how and when to feed your hibiscus and watch them bloom beautifully.
James Fields is the founder of Gardener to Farmer. His passion for gardening goes back to his childhood days when he would visit his grandfather during the holidays and help him with the plants in the backyard. This has now translated to creating a dependable resource for gardening.