Hibiscus plant care

Updated February 21, 2017

Hibiscus plants are tropical plants that can be grown indoors or out, depending on the climate in your location. Hibiscus plants are available in several different varieties, all with colourful flowers. Proper care yields beautiful blooms summer through fall. Hibiscus can also live for a long time---some last as long as 40 years.

Planting Conditions

Plant the hibiscus in loamy soil. Use regular potting soil mixed with compost. Use a combination of one-third coarse peat, one-third composted bark and one-third composted manure, vermiculite and LECA (Lightweight Expanded Clay Aggregate). Make sure fillers such as LECA or sand do not make up more than 10 per cent of the mixture.

Place the pot in a moderately warm location, such as a bright south- or west-facing window that gets a few hours of direct sunlight every day. Check your window for drafts that may cause frostbites during colder days. Use artificial light---such as a low-energy fluorescent lamp placed as close as possible to the plant---during the winter. Protect the roots during warmer months to prevent excessive heat.

Watering and Feeding

Water daily, but do not let water stand on the soil. To make sure soil drains well; choose a pot has good drainage. Avoid watering with cold water during the winter. Use warm water---approximately 35 degrees C.

Feed regularly during growth period. Choose a low phosphorous-value fertiliser, which should have 20-5-20 NPK ratio. Water nine times with fertiliser, and then flush with water only on the tenth.


Prune hibiscus between August and October to encourage new buds to form. Establish three to four main branches in upright position by cutting one-third of the main branches and removing weak growth or branches that grow sideways. Prune roots no more than one-third its size if you are planning on replanting.


Replant hibiscus during spring, between February and March. Loosen clumped roots at the bottom of the pot. Cut away dark brown or soft roots. Transfer the plant in a larger container to allow for additional growth.


Spider mites and aphids are the most common pests seen on hibiscus plants. Get rid of them by showering the plant with lukewarm water at least once a week. Wash the top as well as the underside of the leaves to reach all the crevices. Use soap water or commercial pesticides if your hibiscus suffers from severe infestations.

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About the Author

Josienita Borlongan is a full-time lead web systems engineer and a writer. She writes for, and various other websites. She is a Microsoft-certified systems engineer and a Cisco-certified network associate. She graduated with a Bachelor of Science in medical technology from Saint Louis University, Philippines.