Why does my hibiscus have yellow leaves? Causes and solutions

Hibiscus leaves may turn yellow.

When a plant begins to struggle, it is often the leaves that show the most severe symptoms. If we also take into account that they are the most visible part of the plant, it is not surprising that humans worry when we cultivate said specimen, and even more if it is a hibiscus, which until recently looked healthy and valuable.

Why does my hibiscus have yellow leaves? What happens to make them lose their original green color? There are several possible causes, so in this article we will talk about all of them.


it is starting to get cold

Hibiscus leaves are green.

Image – Flickr/Digital Repository: Flora from the Middle of the World, UETMM

The first cause I will talk about is one that has a very simple solution, but only if action is taken in time, and that is none other than hibiscus chill. Yeah, It is a plant that does not resist very well to temperatures below zero degrees.; in fact, the Chinese pink hibiscus prefers it to always stay above those zero degrees. Only the Syrian pink hibiscus, or also called altea, can withstand frost (down to -12°C) without suffering irreversible damage.

But how do you know if what you have is cold? Good, the symptoms will be seen very, very soon, already during the cold episode. That is why it can attract our attention to see a green and perfectly healthy hibiscus one day, and the next day to see it in dust (for example), or only with a few yellow leaves in case there is no spent too much time .badly.

Solution? GOOD If we have the plant in a pot, it is better to change its location, and take her to a lighted room. But if it’s in the garden, we’ll wrap it in a frost-resistant cloth (you can buy it here).

These sheets are coming to the end of their life

Another cause is that the leaves simply die because they have reached the end of their life. And it is that although we have an evergreen plant, it does not mean that it keeps all the leaves all the time. Actually, each of these leaves has a limited lifespan, which in the case of hibiscus is a few months.

So, if we see that the lower leaves are starting to turn yellow and fall off, and there are no other symptoms other than that, then we can assume that nothing is happening to it that we should be worried about. But, I insist, there should be no other symptoms: the bush should look healthy, with good growth.

Is there a problem with the irrigation?

The hibiscus does not tolerate excess watering

It is a cause that can cause us to lose the plant if we do not take the measures in time. And it is that the lack and excess of water can damage, and a lot, the roots and therefore also the rest of the hibiscus. That is why It is so important to check the soil moisture in the pots or in the gardenbecause if we add more water than it needs or if we lack it, our bush will not be healthy.

But once it starts to have yellow leaves, first you need to know what the problem is. To do this, I will tell you what the symptoms of both lack and excess watering are:

  • Lack of watering:
    • The new leaves will turn yellow first, then the others.
    • The earth will be very dry, it may even look cracked.
    • If the plant is very serious, it is common for it to have pests such as scale insects.
  • Overwatering:
    • The lower leaves – the lower ones – will begin to turn yellow, then the others.
    • The soil will be very wet, so much so that if you have the potted plant and pick it up, you will immediately notice that it is very heavy.
    • Depending on the severity of the situation, pathogenic fungi such as Phytopthora may appear, which will damage the roots.

What to do? If our hibiscus has yellow leaves due to lack of water, we will water it. We will take a watering can, and we will pour water until the earth is well moistened. And from there, we will water it more often. In case there are parasites, we will treat it with a specific insecticide.

If, on the contrary, there is an excess of water, what we will do is apply a fungicide as soon as possible. (on sale here) to prevent fungi from damaging it (or too much if they have already started to do so). Likewise, we will have to suspend irrigation so that the land can begin to dry out.

But also, it will be very important to make sure that the hibiscus is in the right place. Let me explain: if it is in a pot, it must have holes at its base, and be filled with a quality substrate (you can buy it here) that drains water well, such as the Westland brands or Fertiberia, for example.

If it is in the garden, it will be necessary to see if the soil has good drainage; that is, if it is able to absorb and filter water quickly, since if this is not so, it is better to remove the plant from it and put it in a pot (in the spring) .

As you can see, there are several reasons why hibiscus can end up with yellow leaves.

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