What to Feed a Potted Hibiscus

Written by tanya watson
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What to Feed a Potted Hibiscus
Feed your potted hibiscus the nutrients it requires to thrive. (Photos.com/Photos.com/Getty Images)

The hibiscus is a tropical plant with large, vibrantly coloured flowers. Because of the tropical environment required for a hibiscus to thrive, it is not suitable for outdoor planting in colder climates during the winter months. However, hibiscus can easily be grown in pots indoors, and these pots can be moved outside during the warmer summer months. Feeding a hibiscus the nutrients it requires for good health will ensure a long life for your potted plant.

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The Right Soil

Feeding your potted hibiscus the right nutrients starts with choosing the right soil. Grow your hibiscus in a potting mixture of 1 part compost and 1 part commercial potting soil. The soil should contain perlite, peat moss and vermiculite for best results. A soil pH of 6 to 7 is ideal. For extra nutrients, and also to lock in moisture, top the compost and soil mixture with mulch made from cedar or bark wood shavings.

Feeding Outdoor Potted Hibiscus

Even though your hibiscus is potted, you can move it outdoors during the warmer summer months. Select an area that will provide sun in the morning and shade in the afternoon. When your potted hibiscus is outside, feed it diluted liquid fertiliser. Select a fertiliser high in potassium and micronutrients. Administer the liquid fertiliser twice a month for optimal results.

Feeding Indoor Potted Hibiscus

During the months of November through March, your indoor potted hibiscus is likely not growing as actively as it does during the summer months. During this period your hibiscus does not require fertiliser, and it requires much less water. The hibiscus does require light, so place it near the main natural light source in your home and group it with other plants to create more humidity. The sunlight and humidity will "feed" your potted hibiscus.


A plant devoid of certain nutrients will exhibit certain symptoms. For example, an iron-deficient hibiscus will have young leaves that turn a yellow or cream colour but the veins stay green. Your plant requires 16 elements to grow and bloom, and it will exhibit signs for each deficiency. Study your hibiscus and make note of any changes. Discuss these changes with a garden centre representative to find a fertiliser tailored to your plant's specific needs.

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