Close this search box.

When to Fertilize Hibiscus?

Discover when to fertilize your hibiscus plants for optimal growth and vibrant flowering. Timing matters for healthy blooms!

Table of Contents

Hibiscus can be an easy-to-care-for plant, but it needs proper nutrition during different times of the year. These plants prefer an ideal temperature between 60-80 degrees; anything below or above that may result in stunted growth. Apart from ideal temperature, hibiscus has varying needs for nutrients during different seasons. And that is why the timing of fertilization is important for better nutrient uptake and vibrant flowering. 

In this article, we are going to discuss the right time when hibiscus should be fertilized.

The times when it needs the most care

The times when hibiscus needs the most care

Generally, it is recommended to fertilize your hibiscus plants once a week, but there are some specific times throughout the year when they need more attention. Let us discuss this.

Early spring application 

Due to the unfavorable temperature conditions during winter, the plant goes dormant. At times, when it receives the right amount of sunlight and favorable temperature, it awakens, demanding nutrients. Therefore, it is a crucial period for giving it a fertilizer treat. It can be beneficial for leaf production. 

Summer (Mid to late)

During summertime, the hibiscus blooms, and that’s precisely when it uses most of its nutrients. Adding fertilizer during this time may help the plant to replenish the essential nutrients. These nutrients are further utilized for producing flowers. However, for varieties such as Swamp, Chinese, or Sea Hibiscus, you should not apply fertilizers as it may lead to stunted growth. 

Early fall

This is the time of the year when hibiscus enters its dormancy period. The most noticeable signs of this are that flowers drop and the color starts to fade. During this time, you should slowly reduce the fertilization. Instead of giving it a nutrient boost, it is advised to keep it hydrated once in a while. Plus, it should be placed in sunlight so that it can get ready for blooming in the coming season, i.e., next spring.    

Tips to consider while fertilizing your hibiscus plant

consider while fertilizing your hibiscus plant

Of course, knowing the right time to fertilize your plant is important, however, it is equally important to stick to some best practices while fertilizing it. 

  • Always use slow-release fertilizers for hibiscus as they can gradually provide the nutrients over time to support blooming. 
  • If you live in cold climate zones, protect the plant from frost. During the dormancy period, you may even transfer your plant into a pot and expose it to sunlight when necessary. 
  • It is suggested to prune the hibiscus during later winters or early spring as this allows the growth of shoots and branches. 
  • Go for a small dosage if your soil is already rich in nutrients. 

Avoiding over-fertilization and other common errors

  • Over-fertilization: Over-fertilizing can damage hibiscus plants by causing root burn and stunted growth. Always adhere to the recommended dosages on fertilizer labels.
  • Wrong Fertilizer Type: Using the incorrect fertilizer can hinder plant health. Hibiscus plants thrive on balanced formulas, usually with an N-P-K ratio of 10-10-10 or 20-20-20. Avoid high-nitrogen fertilizers.
  • Improper Timing: Fertilizing too late, particularly in early fall, disrupts the plant’s dormancy cycle. Follow the schedule of early spring, mid to late summer, and early fall for best results.
  • Neglecting Soil Testing: Failing to test soil can result in nutrient imbalances. Conduct soil tests before fertilization to address specific deficiencies accurately.
  • Inconsistent Watering: Inconsistent watering can affect fertilizer absorption. Ensure the soil is moist before application and water thoroughly afterward to help nutrients reach the roots.

By avoiding these common mistakes, you can maintain healthy and vibrant hibiscus plants throughout the growing season.

Parting thoughts 

In general, most of the hibiscus need fertilization from early spring till fall for good bud formation and even flowering. However, some varieties of these plants, like Hibiscus, Tiliaceus, and Syriacus, have different timings for fertilization. Hence, it is crucial to find out the type of plant you have. Apart from fertilization, ensuring your plant receives an adequate amount of water, sunlight, and temperature is a must.

Get Support Today

Contact HANS now for any support

Lasted Articles for You

Golden wheat field with sun shining through representing the optimal timing for applying nitrogen to wheat

Optimal Timing for Applying Nitrogen to Wheat

Apply nitrogen to wheat during key growth stages: stem extension and grain filling in winter, tillering and stem extension in spring.

A scenic grassy field with a path leading to a park perfect for a leisurely stroll or outdoor activities

When to Fertilize St. Augustine Grass

Fertilize St. Augustine grass from March to May and June to August with nitrogen fertilizer. Mow at 2-3 inches, water 1 inch weekly. Reduce care from September to November.

Corn field with tree in center Image depicts agricultural setting

How Much Fertilizer Per Acre for Corn

Learn how to determine the right amount of fertilizer per acre for corn. Understand the nutrient needs, soil testing, and factors like soil type, climate, and previous crops.