Fixed: Why is my Hibiscus Turning Yellow and Losing leaves

Fixed: Why is my Hibiscus Turning Yellow and Losing leaves

What Hibiscus Leaves Are

Hibiscus leaves refer to plants of the genus Hibiscus; they are usually large and green and can also be lobed or toothed. Specific species can have different hibiscus leaf shapes and sizes, while some species have large leaves and others have smaller and more delicate ones.

The leaves of Hibiscus are considered evergreen, which means that their leaves can be kept all year. However, there are some deciduous species whose leaves can be used to treat various health problems for some Hibiscus species. They can also be used to make tea, juice, jam, and cosmetics.

Difference Between Hibiscus Plant, Hibiscus Plants And Hibiscus Flowers

Hibiscus flowers are brightly colored, and showy blooms come from the hibiscus flower. They come in many colors, including red and pink, as well as orange and yellow.

Hibiscus leaves are green, glossy, hibiscus-like leaves. They are generally large, with a smooth top and a serrated edge.

Hibiscus Plants: The hibiscus shrub is either a small tropical tree or a small tropical shrub that produces beautiful, big flowers. It can grow to several feet high and is often used as an accent or hedge plant in gardens. The plant is known for its glossy and beautiful leaves and the large, brightly colored flowers it produces in the summer and fall.

How To Identify Hibiscus Leaves

Some features will help you identify a hibiscus plant leaf; even though hibiscus leaves can come in many shapes and sizes, there are some common characteristics. 

The shape of a Hibiscus leaf is one of its most distinctive features, it is usually oval or lanceolate, with a pointed tip that runs through the middle and distinct veins. These beautiful leaves are usually thick and leathery with a shiny or waxy sheen, and they depend on the species and environment.

The color of the hibiscus leaves is also a way to identify them, and they can range from pale green to deep green. The veins of the leaf may be a different color than the rest, for example, red or purple.

The stem is usually in the opposite arrangement to the leaves, and the leaf edge can be either smooth, serrated, or lobed. 

Lastly, Leaf size is another way to identify them, and they can vary from a few centimeters up to a meter. The leaf will also emit an odor when it is crushed.

Benefits Of Hibiscus Leaves For Animals And Humans

Hibiscus leaves have many benefits for both the plant and humans.

Here Are The Visible Benefits For Plants:

  • The leaves can photosynthesize, allowing them to produce their own food by converting sunlight, water, and carbon dioxide into glucose or oxygen.
  •  The leaf’s surface has small pores that absorb and transpire water, which helps to regulate the plant’s water balance.

Hibiscus Flower Benefits For Humans:

  • Certain species of hibiscus plants have medicinal properties. They have been used in traditional medicine to treat anxiety and high blood pressure.
  •  The leaves can also be used to stimulate hair growth, treat scalp problems, and prevent hair loss.
  •  The leaves were used as food sources in the olden days, while some species’ young leaves can be cooked or eaten raw.

Different species may have different benefits, but ensure that the hibiscus plants are not poisonous or toxic for human consumption.

Hibiscus Leaves Turning Yellow – Here Are The Reasons

  1. Overwatering and Underwatering 
  2. Pest infections and Diseases 
  3. Exposure to too much direct sunlight
  4. Yellowing leaves in potted hibiscus plants
  5. Nutritional Deficiency

Overwatering And Underwatering 

Overwatering can cause yellowing of hibiscus leaves. Roots can become too wet if they are constantly underwatered and can lead to the leaves turning yellow and eventually falling off. Root rot is also a possible outcome of overwatering. 

It’s a fungal infection that can lead to the blackening and death of the roots; thereby, the plant will likely be overwatered if the soil remains moist after watering and doesn’t dry within a few days.

Hibiscus leaves can become yellowed if they aren’t properly watered. If the soil is too dry, it can cause the plant to not absorb enough water to support growth, thereby making the leaves turn yellow and wilt. 

The plant may also experience this if it doesn’t have enough humidity in its surroundings because Hibiscus leaves like a consistently moist environment but don’t need to be waterlogged; take note and know the difference.

Revive Hibiscus Yellow Leaves Due To Overwatering And Underwatering

It is possible to revive a plant if you can prevent the roots from being sickly. Root rot is a serious problem, and it’s better to work towards reducing it because it becomes harder to save the hibiscus plants once root rot has set in.

Instead of watering your plants every day, try checking the soil levels each day with your finger; this will help prevent overwatering.

Your Hibiscus should be planted in a pot with drainage holes. It is best to let the water drain completely from the holes in the saucer before you place it on the ground.

For optimal moisture levels and drainage, you should use soil that has both organic matter and gravel. You can also plant in multipurpose compost, which will serve as additional nutrients and drainage.

Another option is to mix the soil with some sand and add gravel to your pot.

Pest Infections And Diseases 

Yellowing of leaves can also be induced by pest infestations. Whiteflies, spider mites, and aphids are all common pests that attack hibiscus flowers.

These pests can sap the leaves and cause them to turn yellow or wilted. As a result of this, in most cases, these insects can spread diseases to the plant.

Hibiscus leaves are susceptible to fungal or bacterial diseases that can lead to yellowing. Leaf spots, powdery mildew, and blight are all common diseases that can affect hibiscus plants; however, early identification and application of the correct anti-fungicide or anti-bacteria is key to treating diseases.

Revive Hibiscus Yellow Leaves Due To Pest Infections And Diseases

First, identify the pest that is causing the pest infestation to be able to revive an infected hibiscus flower. Aphids and spider mites are common pests that can affect hibiscus flowers.

Once the pest has been identified, you can either apply the appropriate pesticide to it or mix dish soap with water to remove it manually. It is advisable to seek advice from an expert because some pest control routines can damage the plants completely.

Exposure To Too Much Direct Sunlight

Excessive light exposure is a very common reason for yellowing leaves in hibiscus plants. This is especially true for delicate and younger plants. This issue can usually be fixed quickly, and you will soon be able to enjoy your beautiful hibiscus plants again. Below are the main reasons light exposure can cause the yellowing of hibiscus plants.

  1. Too much sunlight: Hibiscus plants need bright light to thrive. However, they can become too hot or get burnt by direct sunlight, which can cause the yellowing of the leaves. This can be fixed by moving the plant to a place with more shade or providing shade, such as placing them under a tree.
  2. Insufficient light: When the plant doesn’t get enough sunlight, it will begin to grow partially and turn yellow. This is called etiolation. This can be fixed by placing the plant where it will receive adequate sunlight.
  3.  Rapid Changes in Light: Yellowing can also occur when the light levels change rapidly. This happens when the plant is moved from low-light to high-light environments or vice versa. This can be fixed by allowing the plant to adjust to the new lighting level over several weeks.

Revive Hibiscus Yellow Leaves Due To Sunlight

There are many natural and simple explanations for why yellow hibiscus leaves turn yellow. Temperature control and light are two common reasons why hibiscus leaves turn yellow. However, I will explain further how they can be revived.

To thrive and grow, hibiscus plants require adequate sunlight. The leaves can turn yellow and eventually die if they don’t get enough light; it’s important they receive at least six hours of direct sun each day. 

You can supplement this with fluorescent or artificial lighting. Temperature Hibiscus plants thrive at temperatures between 65°F and 75°F. The minimum winter temperature should not exceed 55°F. 

The leaves will turn yellow and eventually fall off if they are exposed to temperatures that are outside this range.

Also, the leaves will turn yellow and wilt if they are subject to too low temperatures. Rapid temperature changes can also cause leaf discoloration; hence, keeping your Hibiscus’s temperature stable is advisable.

Yellowing Leaves In Potted Hibiscus Plants

The common cause of yellowing leaves in potted hibiscus plants is poor drainage. This can happen when the pot does not have proper drainage holes, which can cause water to pool around the roots, leading to root rot and yellowing leaves. 

Another potential issue is that the roots have become pot-bound, meaning that they have become overgrown and are constricting the drainage hole, preventing proper drainage and causing the roots to suffocate, thereby making the leaves turn yellow.

Revive Hibiscus Yellow Leaves Due To Potted Hibiscus Leaves Turning Yellow

The hibiscus plant is known for its beautiful flowers and lush green leaves. However, sometimes these leaves may turn yellow for various reasons, such as being sold in a decorative pot without proper drainage, roots being in saturated soil for too long, or being in an area with insufficient light. 

To rectify this issue, it’s important to transfer the plant to a pot with drainage holes, cut back on watering and allow the soil to dry out, refresh the soil with fertilizer and a larger pot, or place the Hibiscus in a location with more direct sunlight. 

Keep in mind that If the roots were in soil saturated for a long time, it might be difficult to save the plant. And it’s also worth noting that Hibiscus might need some time to adjust to the new location if it has been moved recently. If the Hibiscus is in an area with full sun, well-draining soil, and protection from excessive wind, it should recover from yellowing leaves over time, although the flower display might be affected.

Nutrition Deficiency 

Lack of certain nutrients, such as iron, can cause the yellowing of the leaves. Iron is necessary to produce chlorophyll, the pigment that gives leaves their green color, so the leaves will turn yellow when the plant is not getting enough iron. This can also happen when the pH of the soil is too high; this makes plants unable to take in the nutrients it requires.

Nitrogen Deficiency 

While there are many potential causes, one of the most common is due to nitrogen deficiency. Nitrogen is essential for a Hibiscus leaf to maintain healthy foliage. 

A lack of nitrogen in the soil could cause leaves to be yellow and then become brittle, eventually leading to leaf drop. Nitrogen is an important part of the photosynthesis process, so a deficiency can deliberately affect the health and growth rate of your Hibiscus. 

If you suspect that nitrogen deficiency is the cause of your yellowing Hibiscus leaves, you can do a few things to help your plant.

How To Revive Hibiscus Yellow Leaves Due To Nutritional Deficiency

First, you can apply a nitrogen-rich fertilizer to the soil by getting a fertilizer that has a high proportion of nitrogen (N) in the NPK ratio (e.g., 20-10-10 or 30-10-10) and follow the instructions on the packaging for application. 

It’s important to be cautious when fertilizing, as over-fertilization can cause the plant to die off completely. Another option is to apply organic matter to the soil, such as well-rotted manure or compost. These materials will break down over time, releasing valuable nutrients into the soil.

You can also apply a foliar spray of a water-soluble fertilizer, which can help to quickly boost the plant’s nitrogen levels. This can be an effective option if the plant shows nitrogen deficiency symptoms.

Finally, if the nitrogen deficiency persists, it could be caused by a pH issue. Note that nitrogen is less available to plants when the soil pH is above 7; ensure you check the pH of your soil and adjust it to a range of 6.0 to 6.5, which is ideal for most hibiscus plants.

It’s important to remember that while nitrogen is an important nutrient for Hibiscus, it is just one of many factors that tend to contribute to the plant’s overall health and well-being. Therefore, a proper diagnosis and evaluation of the plant’s care are crucial in order to address the issue and bring back the healthy and colorful Hibiscus.


In summary, yellowing leaves on hibiscus plants can have a variety of causes, including environmental factors like overwatering, underwatering, and exposure to too much or too little light.

To properly diagnose and treat the problem, it is important to consider all possible causes and observe the plant for any other symptoms. 

Solutions can range from simple solutions, such as relocating the plant to a different area or adjusting the light exposure, to more complex methods, such as using pesticides or fertilizers.

If you are unsure about what is causing the problem, don’t hesitate to reach out to a local horticulturist for professional advice. With proper care and attention, your hibiscus plant can recover and continue to thrive with beautiful blooms.

Originally posted 2023-08-19 17:02:34.


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