4 Reasons Your Hibiscus Plant Isn’t Blooming

If there’s one thing hibiscus plants are known for, it’s their large flowers. If you notice that your hibiscus plant isn’t producing the large blooms it’s known for, numerous issues could be to blame. In my experience, these generally concern planting locations and environmental considerations. In this guide, you’ll find some of the most common possibilities for non-flowering hibiscus plants and essential tips to encourage blooming.

Hibiscus Not Blooming? (Common Causes and Easy Solutions)

Not Enough Light

Most types of hibiscus plants thrive in full sun. While some can do well in partial shade, all kinds of hibiscus will suffer in full shade.

It’s important to remember that sunlight provides the energy plants need to produce food. This process is known as photosynthesis.

If plants don’t have access to enough sunlight, they will become energy-starved and unable to complete essential plant processes. Since producing flowers requires lots of energy, plants may not flower if they don’t receive enough light.

Remember to plant your hibiscus in a location that receives at least six hours of bright, direct light daily.

Improper Nutrients

While all plants require specific elements to thrive, different plants require various amounts of each nutrient. Therefore, too much of one nutrient or not enough of another can lead to various plant problems, including a hibiscus not blooming.

Too much nitrogen can be the reason for the lack of blooms. Nitrogen is a plant macronutrient, which means plants require large amounts of it.

However, too much nitrogen can cause vigorous vegetative growth and also lead to a lack of flowers. This is especially true if the soil lacks phosphorus.

Phosphorus helps encourage the development of buds and flowers. Therefore, flowering plants like hibiscus must have access to enough phosphorus.

Selecting a fertilizer designed for flowering plants can help you provide the proper balance of nutrients to your hibiscus plants. A synthetic option is Miracle-Gro Bloom Booster, and an organic option is Dr. Earth Bloom and Bud Booster (via Amazon).

Improper Soil pH

Along with paying attention to the nutrients in the soil, you should also look at soil pH. That’s because the pH can have a significant impact on nutrient availability.

For example, phosphorus becomes largely unavailable once the soil becomes moderately acidic. And the availability of copper, iron, zinc, and manganese decreases as the pH becomes more alkaline.

Aim to keep the soil pH between 6.0 and 7.0. This pH will allow your hibiscus plant to access and take up the proper amount of essential nutrients.

Improper Temperatures

If hibiscus plants are stressed, they are less likely to produce flowers. And one common source of stress is improper temperature.

Before you think about proper hibiscus temperature, you must determine the type of hibiscus you are growing. There are two types of hibiscus: hardy and tropical.

Hardy hibiscus species are native to temperate areas and can survive temperatures below 0°F. And while the plants can tolerate temperatures above 90°F, they will become stressed during long periods of intense heat.

Tropical hibiscus varieties are native to warm regions, so they prefer temperatures that remain above 50°F. While they can survive brief periods in the 40s, they will suffer if temperatures consistently drop below 50°F.

Before you plant a hibiscus outdoors, check your hardiness zone and choose a species that’s well-suited to your area. If you live in a cold area and want to grow a tropical hibiscus, prepare to bring your plant indoors in winter.

Wrapping Up

Hibiscus plants produce a dazzling display of large and luscious flowers when they are healthy. However, factors such as a lack of light, improper fertilization, and unsuitable temperatures can prevent hibiscus plants from blooming.

Contributing Editor | briana@petalrepublic.com | Full Bio

Briana holds a B.S. in Plant Sciences from Penn State University. She manages a small market garden where she grows vegetables and herbs. She also enjoys growing flowers and houseplants at home.

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