Hibiscus Not Growing?

October 11, 2005
Hibiscus flower, goulashes, watering can, and gardening gloves displayed on grass with a wooden fence in the background.


I have an Hibiscus (Rose of Sharon) tree. We received it in the mail in March. It really took of after being in the ground for about 3 weeks. It bloomed, and started growing new branches. But it is at a stand still now. It hasn't grown since about 2 months ago. Is this it's way of protecting it from the cold?

Hardiness Zone: 9a

Lorraine from Zolfo Springs, FL



Here are a few of possibilities:

  1. Have you been fertilizing it regularly? Hibiscuses are heavy feeders and need a little bit of low phosphorus fertilizer every 2-3 weeks until their dormant period. They should also be planted in well-drained soil that is neither too moist nor too dry.

  2. Is it dropping a few leaves? If so, this is an indicator that it may be going into a dormancy period. Back off on the fertilizer and water it only enough to keep it from drying out. Resume a normal schedule when you see signs of new growth. Yours may just be taking a break.

  3. The Rose of Sharon doesn't grow best in your zone. The Florida heat can actually be quite hard on it. Unlike other hibiscus, Rose of Sharon should not be planted in full sun in Florida. Plant it in partial shade or under taller plants that will filter out some of the sun. If yours is in full sun, consider transplanting it to a different location.

Above all else, the Rose of Sharon has a slow to moderate growth rate. If yours is still green be patient, it will come back.


By Lesley (Guest Post)
October 11, 20050 found this helpful

I have a hibiscus in Australia and generally they are dormant in winter and don't grow much. At the start of spring, you should cut them back a bit.

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