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Hibiscus Leaves Turning Yellow: Causes & Fixes

You know that calming, relaxing, refreshing drink that you crave when you want a moment on your own?! No, I’m not talking about a glass of wine, even though that might work, too! I’m talking about a cup of hibiscus tea, and let’s face it, there is nothing like it, not even the wine is comparable.

This article is also dedicated to hibiscus, among three other articles that have hibiscus as their main topic, as well.

Hibiscus – What Does It Represent?

The Malvaceae family of flowering plants includes the genus Hibiscus. Several hundred species that are indigenous to warm temperate, subtropical, and tropical climates around the world make up the genus, which is quite vast.

The member species, often known as “hibiscus” or, less frequently, “rose mallow,” are renowned for having enormous, spectacular flowers. Hardy hibiscus, rose of Sharon, and tropical hibiscus are some of its other names.

The genus include woody shrubs, small trees, and herbaceous plants that are both annual and perennial. The generic name is taken from Althaea officinalis’s Greek name, “ἰβίσκoς” (ibskos), which was given by Pedanius Dioscorides.

Several species, including Hibiscus syriacus and Hibiscus rosa-sinensis, are commonly grown as attractive plants.

Worldwide, hibiscus flower tea is referred to by a variety of names and is offered both hot and cold. The red color, acidic flavor, and vitamin C content of the beverage are well-known.

The alternating, oblong to lanceolate leaves frequently have a toothed or lobed edge (dentate). The flowers range in size from 4 to 18 cm in diameter and are enormous, noticeable trumpet-shaped flowers with five or more petals that range in color from white to pink, red, blue, orange, peach, yellow, or purple.

Some species, including H. mutabilis and H. tiliaceus, have age-related changes in flower color. The fruit is a dry, five-lobed capsule that contains multiple seeds in each lobe. When the capsule reaches maturity, it dehisces (splits open), releasing the seeds inside. Its colors are red and white.

Hibiscus Leaves Turning Yellow – What Might Be The Cause?

Improper Watering

The yellowing of hibiscus leaves can be caused by either too much or not enough water. Even while hibiscus plants need a lot of water, especially in times of extreme heat or wind, overwatering can be harmful. The ideal amount of watering is to keep the soil moist but not saturated.

During the dormant season, watering should be reduced. Just moisten the soil enough to keep it from entirely drying out. Yellow leaves frequently appear on hibiscus plants due to inadequate drainage.

Make certain that containers have enough drainage. Hibiscus plants that receive insufficient water may also develop yellow leaves.

Improper Temperature

The hibiscus needs more watering when it’s really hot outside, particularly in the summer. The plant will quickly dry out and die from heat stress if this doesn’t happen. The hibiscus leaf may eventually lose its color as a result of this and turn yellow, similar to how hibiscus plants react to extreme cold by turning their leaves yellow.

Improper Light

The hibiscus and yellow leaves also have light as a contributing aspect. Once more, too much sunlight can cause the yellowing of hibiscus leaves as well as the emergence of white patches that signify plant burn. The plant should be moved after the damaged leaves have been removed.

The plant may also respond by dropping its yellow leaves in an effort to compensate for the lack of light if the hibiscus does not receive enough light, which can also cause the plant to react in this way.

Improper Location

After letting the plant go into dormancy, bring it indoors and leave it there for a few months in a cool, dark location. Then, trim the hibiscus back and put it in a window with plenty of sunlight. Recommence watering as usual. Fertilize the hibiscus when it starts to grow again.

The plant can be brought outdoors once spring arrives. It may be stressed if your hibiscus has yellow leaves, has ceased blooming, or appears wilted after being moved. When transferred to a new setting, one should anticipate this usual occurrence.


Hibiscus leaves can have a speckled appearance on the underside in addition to yellowing. Pests like spider mites may be to blame for this. The stressed plant will eventually lose every leaf if untreated.

Spray the plant with soapy water or a suitable insecticide if you think it may be infested with these pests. However, be careful not to misuse pesticide since this may also be a factor in the yellowing of hibiscus leaves.

Hibiscus Leaves Turning Yellow – Preventive Measures

Give the hibiscus a generous soak

A generous soak once a week is more preferred than frequent, light watering because it ensures that the water penetrates the soil to the depth necessary to reach the roots. Additionally, it promotes root development and growth, which boosts the hibiscus’ resistance to drought.

Shelter the hibiscus from excess winds

Since hibiscus are native to the tropics, strong winds lower humidity in the air, which is in opposition to the hibiscus’ optimal growing environment. Alternatively, you may relocate your potted hibiscus to a location that is still sunny but is protected from the wind by a garden fence.

Add a layer of mulch to the surface of the soil

The ability of the soil to hold moisture is increased, reducing the risk of drought, by adding a 1 inch layer of compost, leaf mold, or well-rotted manure to the soil around the hibiscus plant. If your soil dries out too rapidly, apply the mulch once in the spring and once more in the middle of the summer.

Closing Words

I think I have said everything that was needed to be said, and I hope you find this article helpful.

Further Reading

This time I won’t suggest you to change completely the topic and to start reading about something else. Let’s stay with Hibiscus and continue reading about it.

The first article that I’m going to suggest is how to keep hibiscus blooming all year long.

The second article that I invite you to read, is highly linked with this article and the previous article that I suggested, because it’s about the watering process of hibiscus. 

And last but not least, if your hibiscus plant is about to die, you can find out how to revive a hibiscus plant. 

Ella Holmes

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