Hibiscus leaves turning yellow is an issue that you would see in your garden or patio as it can affect curb appeal. But there can be many causes why your beloved hibiscus plant shows yellow in leaves, and it is vital to know the exact cause to get the greenery back.Hibiscus Leaves Turning Yellow

This article investigates all the problems of hibiscus leaves yellowing with the right solutions.

What Causes The hibiscus Leaves Turning Yellow?

The causes of hibiscus leaves turning yellow are nutrient deficiencies, insufficient watering, temperature fluctuation, and lighting problems. In addition, it can also be due to staying in the wrong location, pest infestation, frost, and lastly, experiencing draft or even wind.

This is the matter that indicates a particular requirement. Many variables contribute to causing yellowing of the hibiscus leaves, so we can’t jot down a single problem. Knowing these characteristics allows you to address the underlying issue before it becomes problematic. While yellowing leaves on a hibiscus plant are a typical issue, they are usually treatable if the cause is identified early and treated promptly to know the tropical hibiscus’ leaves are getting yellow.

– Nutrient Deficiencies

A nutrient shortage can cause hibiscus to turn leaves yellow. If your hibiscus lacks nutrients, the leaves will turn yellow but remain on the plant. This is easily remedied by applying fertilizer or modifying the soil. A good fertilizer regimen will keep hibiscus green, healthy, growing, and flowering.

However, mineral deficiencies can be caused by soil, water, or plant age, so knowing what allows them to occur and how to correct them is essential.

When the hibiscus is iron-deficient, the young leaves at the tops of each branch turn yellow with dark green veins, while the lower leaves remain green. If iron deficiency persists, the entire plant will gradually become yellow. Hibiscus leaves lose their sheen and dark green hue when magnesium levels are low.Reasons of Hibiscus Leaves Turning Yellow

Lower leaves become yellower and less glossy, while the youngest leaves at the apex of each branch remain green and shining. Lower leaves with dark green veins in the yellow area are an indication of magnesium insufficiency.

Although alkalinity and high pH water are not shortages, they can produce a variety of mineral deficits that develop over time, and this way, the plant would weaken as you begin to spot the changes through the leaves. If you live in a parched area and consume water transported long distances, you should be aware of these issues to address them before they harm your plants.

– Inefficient Watering

Hibiscus leaves can become yellow due to too much or too little water. While hibiscus requires a lot of water, especially during extreme heat or wind periods, overwatering can be harmful. Ideally, water is only enough to keep the soil moist but not soggy.

Overwatered hibiscus will produce yellow leaves and may drop their leaves. If you think the hibiscus has been overwatered, let it dry out and continue to monitor the soil’s moisture before watering again.

In addition to this, consider checking to see if the leaves are also wilting because this is the most common symptom of hibiscus disease that would also show through yellow leaves. Watering it in an insufficient way can also cause wilting, so make sure your plant’s soil isn’t arid. However, if the soil is moist and your plant remains wilting, this indicates disease.

During dormancy, watering should be reduced, and wet the soil just enough to keep it from entirely drying up. Inadequate drainage can also harm the hibiscus, resulting in yellowish leaves.

– Temperature Fluctuations

The hibiscus requires additional watering when temperatures are exceedingly high, particularly in the summer. Otherwise, the plant will quickly dry up and succumb to heat and drought stress, and this can cause the hibiscus leaf to become yellow and eventually fall off.

Similarly, the hibiscus will respond by yellowing its leaves when temperatures drop too low. Make sure the plant is away from drafty areas and strong winds. Also, bring the plant inside when the weather outdoors drops below freezing.

– Light Problems

Another aspect connected with hibiscus and yellowish leaves is light, so if the hibiscus leaves turn yellow with too much sunshine, and also shows the formation of white patches, which indicate plant burn. Remove the damaged leaves and reposition the plant.

Moreover, you should also notice that if the plant does not receive enough light, then it may respond by losing yellow leaves to compensate for the lack of light. This is readily solved by shifting the plant to a more sunny location. Yellowish leaves may indicate that the hibiscus is about to go dormant.

– Location Problems

Allow the plant to undergo dormancy before bringing it indoors and storing it in a cold, dark spot for a few months before cutting it back and placing it in a sunny window.

When spring arrives, the plant can be transferred outside. If your hibiscus has yellow leaves, has stopped blooming, or appears wilted after being moved, the plant may be stressed. This normal phenomenon can be expected when relocating to a new environment.Location Problems of Hibiscus

– Pest Infestation

In addition to discoloration, the hibiscus leaf may become mottled with markings on the underside. Pests such as spider mites can cause this, so you should notice that if left untreated, the stressed plant will eventually lose all its foliage.

– Frost

Tropical hibiscus is not frost-hardy; if temperatures drop below freezing, the leaves get yellow and drop. If you are in a USDA zone lower than 9, bring the container indoors before the first fall frost and return it outside when all cold weather threats have passed.

– Draft and Wind

This tropical plant dislikes strong winds because they dry its leaves and induce yellowing and leaf drop—plant hibiscus where it will be protected from the wind. Container plants require protection from solid summer winds as well. Indoor drafts can have the same effect as the wind outside, so place the plant in an area without solid drafts throughout the winter.

What Are The Treatments for Yellow Leaves on Hibiscus?

The treatments for yellow leaves on hibiscus are to give it adequate lighting and to water it regularly; you should also keep the soil prosperous in nutrients. Keep the surrounding temperature warm, protect it from frost, tackle pests, and protect it from drafts or wind.

To resolve the problems that may cause the hibiscus plant to have leaves that show a yellow color, find the root cause, and get the right solution. Hit and trials can cost the health of your plant, so take care of all the nitty gritty that a plant requires, like enough sunlight and adequate watering.

– Adequate Lighting

Allow for full sun with some shade. hibiscus plants require plenty of full sun but should be shaded during the warmest portion of the day. If the leaves are getting yellow, relocate the plant to a location that receives full sunlight in the early hours and shade in the afternoon. When the hibiscus leaves turning brown, know there isn’t much you can do now.

If you are wondering what kind of light a hibiscus requires, know that a hibiscus plant, on average, requires six hours of direct sunlight per day to blossom fully. It will still grow fine in partial shade but not fill out nicely or blossom magnificently, yet you must also consider that this plant has to have its light requirements fully given, which is full sun.

The more light a hibiscus receives, the better it blooms. Too much light can be dangerous, especially when mixed with hot, dry weather, so you have to know where it is being planted to begin with. If you reside in a scorching and sunny area, your outdoor hibiscus will benefit from some shade, particularly from the scorching afternoon heat. This can be accomplished effectively by planting leafy trees in dappled shade.Solutions to Hibiscus Leaves Turning Yellow

– Regular Watering

Keep the soil equally moist, so regular watering is recommended to maintain the soil moist, especially during the summer growing season. Unless your area faces extreme drought, you can minimize the watering frequency during the dormancy period.

Check that the containers have enough drainage, and also, with your finger, check the soil to verify the plant is getting adequate water. Self-watering pots are an excellent approach to solving these issues.

A mulch layer at an outdoor plant’s base can aid in soil moisture retention. Place potted plants in well-draining soil. Houseplants should be kept in pots with drainage holes to avoid wetting and harming the root system.

– Keep the Soil Nutrient Prosperous

Fertilize or modify the soil as needed, because planting your hibiscus in an overly alkaline or acidic potting mix can impede nutrient uptake and cause nutrient deficiency. Hibiscus plants prefer soil pH levels between six and seven.

The best approach is to guarantee the plant gets enough nitrogen and phosphates to use a hibiscus-specific fertilizer. You can also add a bit of Epsom salt, which should be one tablespoon or less, to the soil to improve the plant’s ability to absorb nutrients.

To bloom successfully, a growing hibiscus plant needs a lot of nutrients. Use a heavy potassium fertilizer in the summer. You can put a diluted liquid fertilizer once a week, a slow-release fertilizer once a month, or you can amend the soil with a high-potassium compost.

You don’t need to fertilize at all during the winter, but in spring, you can use organic fertilizer if you wish, like chopping banana peels and laying them on the soil under a hibiscus drip line are other organic options for fertilizing these tropical plants; you can even mix the peels into the soil or add them to your compost bin.

– Keep the Surrounding Temperature Warm

Keep your hibiscus away from severe environments, so during a heatwave, increase watering to ensure that your plant has enough water. If you live in a temperate region, bring your potted hibiscus inside during the winter.

Allow for gradual adaption to change, and if you intend to bring your hibiscus within for the winter, start bringing it in before you turn up the temperature in the fall. This allows your plant to get used to the new surroundings.

You may also go ahead and try to prune the leaves that look totally weakened; this is because, too much sunshine can cause hibiscus leaves to turn yellow and form white patches, indicating plant burn. Remove the damaged leaves, reposition the plant, and grow the hibiscus in a sheltered space, if you are worried and thinking to yourself, “should I cut off yellow leaves on hibiscus?”

– Protect Harsh Climate

A thick covering of leaves or compost around the roots can help prevent them from freezing at night. However, this only goes so far. Wrap the entire hibiscus bush with strong frost cloth for added protection. This can provide additional freeze protection for the plants.

Keep your plant away from harsh windows. If you have a sheltered patio or deck outdoors, that’s where your hibiscus belongs. Otherwise, you can also keep your plant indoors with adequate sunlight and no harsh winds to affect your plant.Yellowish Hibiscus Leaves Details

– Keep the Pests at Bay

Keep pests away from your hibiscus. If you doubt your plant has an infestation, spray it with soapy water, insecticidal detergent, neem oil, or an organic insecticide. Encourage beneficial insects to help control hibiscus-eating bugs. Ladybugs are among the most well-known beneficial insects, but others include syrphid fly larvae, assassin bugs, green lacewings, and tiny parasitic wasps. Only use chemical insecticides when all else fails.

Toxic chemicals can wipe out helpful insects, exacerbating the pest problem in the long run. Chemical usage frequently results in severe outbreaks of hibiscus plant pests. Insecticidal soap and horticultural oil are significantly safer but should not be used if beneficial insects are observed on the leaves. A systemic root drench may be less damaging than foliar sprays and may persist longer, but consult with your local cooperative extension office before using.

Sprays of acephate, azadirachtin, carbaryl, or malathion, are among the chemicals that are licensed to contain the hibiscus foliage from getting pests. If you notice the hibiscus leaves falling off, these chemicals also help to contain this effect. Imidacloprid administered as a soil drench early in the season will offer season-long systemic control.


Hibiscus is a beautiful plant that maintains the appeal of the area where it is kept but may occasionally develop problems like yellowing hibiscus leaves. Luckily this is a common problem and can be quickly dealt with, so just remember:

  • Try to get to the exact problem because this will eliminate the issue, like if you see pests, tackle them.
  • If you suspect these pests, spray the plant with soapy water or an appropriate pesticide, but do not abuse pesticides, which may also contribute to hibiscus yellow leaves.
  • Most problems come from misunderstanding the plant requirements, like soil drainage and watering preference.
  • Providing good nutritional value and protecting the plant from high winds, root rot, and poor drainage eliminates many issues like yellowing.
  • Restart watering regularly, and try to fertilize the hibiscus when it shows signs of new growth.

Hibiscus leaves turning light green indicates that yellow hibiscus leaves will soon develop, so take precautions immediately, and with these solutions, you can welcome a thriving hibiscus plant in your home.

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