This Hibiscus has been troubling since I bought it back in June and I can't figure out what is wrong with it. I am hoping someone here might have an idea. I have some good, lush, really dark green leaves and then a really ugly section with yellowing leaves marked by what looks like dark green spots, but appear more blackish or brownish on the backs of the leaves. Any ideas? I really want to save this little guy cause the 1 flower he did produce this summer was a beauty! (Pic 3)
Yellowing leaves are pretty common with tropical hibiscus and can happen for a variety of reasons--some of the most common things I've encountered that cause it are changes in conditions (was outside & moved inside, temperature changes going from warm weather to cold weather or vice versa), and inconsistent watering (such as letting it dry out a little too much and then soaking it). If it's any of those things that caused the leaves to yellow then it's nothing to really worry about, hibiscus can be a bit temperamental about sudden changes but it should recover. But, yellow leaves could also be caused by something like overwatering, and the black spots on top of the yellow seem like maybe it could be a fungus or something, so I'd check up on your watering too as well as thinking about whether it could have been exposed to inconsistent/changing environmental conditions.
Thanks, ecrane. I did move it indoors about a week before Thanksgiving. It had a few yellowish leaves with those spots, but nothing like it has now. It is weird cause the leaves weren't dark green at all since I got it, and I bring it indoors, give it sun, heat, humidity and some of the leaves are glossy and dark green, and then there is that UGLY patch LOL I know it gets enough light cause it is in the corner of my bedroom by 2 windows where it gets eastern and southern sun. Now watering may be my problem...it had like salt crystals forming on its leaves a week ago and I was under the impression I was supposed to flush the soil with a good watering/soaking to get out any salt build up. Come to think of it, the leaves did start getting worse not long after that. Do you think I should remove it from its pot and replace the soil so it isn't so wet?
Hibiscus are more tolerant of moisture than some plants--what they don't like is alternating between really dry and really wet, it's better to keep them more consistently somewhere in the middle. If the soil is really sopping wet and is going to take forever to dry out then you might want to replace it with something that drains better, but otherwise try for moderation on watering instead of alternating between drought & drowning.
Inconsistent watering on its own can cause yellowing leaves, and bringing it inside can also cause yellowing leaves, so the combination of the two could explain why you see so much now. Once it's been in stable conditions for a little bit, check and see if there are more leaves turning yellow--if so then there's something else going on, otherwise it was just being temperamental but it won't suffer long-term damage.
I have 2 hibiscus plants for about 5 years. Every year at the end of summer I lay the plant pot sideways and hose the plants down and cut the plants down to about half their side and then bring them indoors. They do get yellow leaves here and there and new shoots appear and next summer when the weather is 75 degrees or higher I put them outdoors and I get lots of blooms.
That sort of spotting looks like a bacterial or fungal issue, but...
Is the plant just ready to shed those leaves anyway, and the bacteria or fungi are moving in on dying tissue, and it not really a problem?
Or is it a real problem that the bacteria or fungi are attacking healthy leaves and making them die?
It looks like it is mostly older leaves, and the new growth looks fine, so I am thinking it is the first possibility.
I would remove those leaves and see if more show up. Maybe a few will, and it not really spreading, just the plant getting rid of old leaves.
Ok it has been 2 months since my original post, so I thought I would give an update on my Hibiscus plant. After doing A LOT of research pertaining to the issues my Hibiscus plant had since I bought it in June and then brought it inside in December to overwinter, I figured I'd give an update.
I clipped off any leaves with brown spots, removed it from the 12 inch plastic pot, and repotted it into a 10 inch ceramic pot using soil composed of Orchid bark mix, Vermiculite, and organic potting soil. I wanted to make sure the soil was very well draining.I watered it once and then didn't watering it for 2 weeks to make sure the soil was almost completely dried out. In the mean time, I bought 2 domed hanging utility reflector lights and two 27 watt CFL Full Spectrum Light Bulbs with a color temperature of 5500K and a Color Rendering Index (CRI) of 91. I put the Hibiscus in my heated garage underneath the CFL lights for about 16 hours a day give or take an hour. The lights were suspended 8 inches above the plant. I also ordered some fertilizer specifically made for Hibiscus from Hidden Valley Hibiscus and give it 1/2 teaspoon per gallon of water once a week or every 1 1/2 weeks...depending on when it is needed. I also have two 6 inch saucers wither pebbles and water in them sitting next to the hibiscus for humidity.
So far there hasn't been any further brown spots on the leaves, the leaves are a darker green, and it has put out several new leaves up and down the stems. It looks the healthiest it ever has!
Wow, you are really giving it the 5-star treatment! Years ago I had a weekend house with huge south-facing windows and a couple of hibiscus plants I brought inside in the winter. The heat was lowered to 55 during the week, and watering was weekly. As I remember, they looked pretty shabby by spring, but perked up as soon as they were 'let out.' I don't specifically remember the spots, but do remember yellowing leaves. Once in a while they'd dry out and shed a lot, but as soon as regular watering started up again they grew new leaves right away. I think they are pretty tough.
Pfg, they are pretty tough plants. A few years ago, I grew one outside in a heavy stone pot. It was too heavy for me to pick up and bring inside over winter, so I left it outside. We actually had snow that year! By spring, it was just a bunch of leafless sticks. I did the scratch test on one branch and saw no green so I took out of the pot and set it on the side of the house. 2 months later I noticed new growth on one of them stems. I couldn't believe it! So, I potted it back up and 3 months later it was full of leaves and flowering! It really wanted to live! Therefore, I think some varieties of tropical Hibiscus are actually much hardier than given credit for!