Perennials: My Hibiscus Won't Bloom

Harlingen, TX(Zone 10)

I recently bought a hibiscus from a nursery that was being trained to grow like a tree. It has a nice long "trunk" and nice bushy foliage on top. The only problem is that it hasn't produced any blooms. I've had it in the ground for about two months. I noticed that it had been topped, and many of the branches had been pruned at the ends. I guess that was done to promote more of the bushlike growth at the top of the plant.

The other hibiscus I bought, although of a different variety, has already bloomed. Any suggestions on what I can do to help this plant bloom? What is a good food for hibiscus?

Brewers, KY(Zone 6b)

Hi and welcome :-)! First thing that came to my mind is : Is the Hibiscus in enough sun? Are there any buds on it at all and if so, are they dropping off?Not enough sun causes less blooms and uneven watering causes buds to fall off . Kyle and Calalily would know more, good luck! Those Hibiscus made into tree forms are so pretty. They really look nice with another trailing plant planted at the base too!

This message was edited Wednesday, Oct 9th 8:17 AM

Harlingen, TX(Zone 10)

Thanks for your response. Really, it hasn't had any buds at all. The plant gets plenty of water and plenty of sun. Now that I think about it, I may actually have to watch how much I water it because where I live I have a lot of clay, and the soil doesn't drain real well. What else can I do for this plant?


Chariton, IA(Zone 5b)

Don't forget to feed it something once in a while. I'm sure there are different thoughts on what to feed, but I'm not good at keeping things straight, so I just use
20-20-20 on everything.

Welcome to Daves. Texas is well represented here.

lagrange, GA(Zone 7a)

Give it some cow manure and see what happens. Welcome to Dave's.

Cicero, NY(Zone 5a)

I waited 3 years for this one to bloom!

Orlando, FL(Zone 9a)

We've just moved into a new home in a new state, Florida.

I have a beautiful hibiscus and the buds just fall off. It is watered every other day for 20 minutes and receives at least a few hours of full sun everyday. I also use the 9 month time release food for flowering shrubs, hibiscus is listed. It is, however, planted right next to pine trees and the pine needles are used as mulch to cover the beds. Will this effect the blooming? If you think I will need to move it in order to have blooms, please give me advice on how. I would hate to damage it by not getting enough root, etc. It is apx 8' tall and probably 5' wide.

Tucson, AZ(Zone 9b)

I have 4 hibiscus trees, they are all in full sun and when I got my double yellow it dropped some buds also. What I do is when I bring one home I cut ALL THE BUDS off so that the tree will get a better start. I use a pretty rich potting soil mixed with some peat moss and a little mulch. When I plan them I use a bucket of vitamin b1 in the hole and then stake them well. Then I leave them alone and don't feed for at least a month. I water (depending on the heat here in Tucson) once a week but I water deep. I'm told they don't like a lot of pruning or chemicals. They have a little tendency towards aphids and I am just going to use a little mild soap wash if the problem appears. When I do start feeding I use MG when I water.
My "Lipstick Pink" has grown beautifully and is about 8'tall the others are doing well and all are in constant bloom.
I know they don't like soil that is high in acid like near conifers or pine trees.

Orlando, FL(Zone 9a)

Thanks for the transplant advice! Looks like mine is going to get a new home!

San Antonio, TX(Zone 8b)

macavada and others, a 10-4-12 is the best type of fertilizer to use on hibiscus. They need at least 4 to 6 hours of full sun to do their best. Some bud drop is normal for all hibiscus and some types of hibiscus drop more buds than others. Bud drop also occurs from stress factors such as being too dry, low light, sudden environmental changes and after transplanting. Store bought hibiscus normally drop leaves and buds after being brought home because the growing conditions have changed. They may be pruned, but because the blooms appear on the new growth, it may take awhile before they bloom in the areas that were pruned. So the farther back you cut them, the longer it will take for them to bloom again. Container grown hibiscus may experience leaf and bloom drop when moved from one location to another. If the plants are allowed to wilt from lack of water, they may have leaf drop and bloom drop later. Some yellow leaves are normal. An overall yellowish color indicates a need for fertilize.

This message was edited Apr 26, 2006 11:24 AM

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