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Getting Hibiscus Flowers to Bloom

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Hibiscus is a beautiful tropical plant that with proper care can bloom year round. This is a guide about getting hibiscus flowers to bloom.
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By 3 found this helpful
September 18, 2008

Question:

I have a hibiscus plant that will bloom, but the blooms will not open up completely before they die. I have planted it in the ground and fertilized it. I water it everyday, but nothing seems to work. What should I try next?
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Hardiness Zone: 9a

Keri from Houston, TX

Answer:

Keri,

What kind of hibiscus do you have? There are hundreds of varieties available, many with curious flower forms. For example, the variety "Flower of an Hour" (Hibiscus trionum) has 2 inch wide white to pale yellow flowers with dark centers that typically only bloom for a couple of hours each day.

Is it possible you have a "Turk's Cap" (Malvaviscus penduliflorus)? This flower is isn't technically a hibiscus, but it's closely related. The fact that it is often referred to as "Sleeping Hibiscus" only adds to the confusion. The flowers resemble those of a "wilted" hibiscus. They never fully open, but hang down in a tubular fashion from the stems of the plant (this is a clever adaptation by the plant to encourage pollination by hummingbirds, which are typically attracted to bell-shaped flowers. Here is a picture for reference:

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If what you have turns out to be a Turk's Cap, it will bloom off and on throughout the year, usually looking its best in early winter.

Another possibility is bud drop (leaves start to open then dry up and fall off). This is common with hibiscuses, and is caused by stress from improper watering (not enough), too much fertilizer, extremely hot weather, or insect damage from the likes of aphids or thrips. Double flowered varieties of hibiscus seem to be particularly susceptible to bud drop.

Ellen

Answers

By guest (Guest Post)
July 2, 20080 found this helpful
Best Answer

Are you sure they are the type that fully opens? Not all of the Hibiscus flowers fully open certain types do not.

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By 0 found this helpful
October 23, 2010

I have a hibiscus which gets full sun daily. It develops a bunch of bloom pods, but just before they bloom they fall off. Only a few make it to full bloom. I water it daily in the hot summer, two times per day. Also, I fertilize weekly with Miracle Grow granular 10-52-10, 1 teaspoon per gallon of water. What can I do to get the blooms to come to full maturation? Thanks.

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Hardiness Zone: 10a

By John from Gold Canyon, AZ

Answers

September 13, 20150 found this helpful
Best Answer

I have read that hibiscus don't like lots of phosphorus so 52 is too high. Something like 6-2-8 should work better for you.

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By 0 found this helpful
July 28, 2009

My hibiscus is loaded with blooms, they are not developing like they did last year. Most of them fall off before opening or the blooms are very small like a husk. What can I do? Thanks for any help.

By powelles from Fairmount, TX

Answers

September 21, 20110 found this helpful
Best Answer

Don't cut it back unless you want to root the cuttings and they are easy to do this time of year. Just cut back to the first part of old growth (grey bark) and put in soil and keep moist. Leave outside (I put mine under the plant so I know what color is in the pot till it roots.

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Not blooming is usually 2 things; not enough water put a pan under it that will hold about 2 inches of water as they are very thirsty, and fertilizer. I use 10.10.10 and liquid 20.20.20 during the summer. Don't forget the sun....takes all you can get but at least 3 hours. I live in south Georgia and I have to take mine in in the winter. It will bloom all winter long if given enough bright light and the other things but in winter curb the fertilizer a little but keep the water coming. Good growing.

As for the lady with small blooms ... fertilizer and water and maybe a bigger pot.

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By 1 found this helpful
August 19, 2016

Deer ate only the buds on 2 hibiscus. I moved them to my back deck where I have another plant in full bloom that the deer did not eat. The 2 plants the deer ate have never bloomed again even though they are healthy and have grown new leaves. What can I do to get them to bloom again?

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August 21, 20160 found this helpful

All the hibiscus I've grown have just one 'series' of blooms per season. If deer ate all the buds for that series, the plant wont bloom any more until next year when it starts a new bloom series.

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By 0 found this helpful
June 3, 2016

My hibiscus won't flower, it was in the ground and growing well. I fertlized the plant and still no flowers. I have potted the hibiscus now and have fertilzed with a good fertilizer and waited a few months, still no flowers. I have used a flower booster fertilizer specifically for hibiscus and still no flowers. The plant itself is healthy, lush and green with constant new growth, but it has never flowered. The plant is outside in the pot and gets good sunlight. I live in a humid zone. This hibiscus has never flowered and I have had it for over 1 and half years now. I have 2x other hibiscus that are thriving and constantly flower. Can anyone give me advice on how I can get it to flower?

Answers

Anonymous
June 5, 20160 found this helpful

Maybe you gave the plant too much fertilizer that is why it is making constant new growth. Flowering for a plant is a tentative to survive and if your plant has such a happy life with plenty to ''eat'' why should she bother to make flowers. Just put it on the diet and most of all don't forget to prune it in early spring.

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June 5, 20161 found this helpful

Maybe you gave the plant too much fertilizer that is why it is making constant new growth. Flowering for a plant is a tentative to survive and if your plant has such a happy life with plenty to ''eat'' why should it bother to have flowers. Just put it on the diet and most of all prune it in early spring. Cut the central main branches at half length and cut the side branches leaving only 3 or 4 buds. Pruning will make new branches start and the flowers will appear on this new branches. Cutting the flowers once they faded also helps the plant produce new ones.

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August 1, 20160 found this helpful

Hibiscus hasn't flowered for four years what am l doing wrong?

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September 1, 20160 found this helpful

same response 4 plants in a row 2 bloom constantly 2 are healthy fed (sounds like a bad kid) no blooms

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September 27, 20160 found this helpful

My healthy hibiscus plant will no longer bloom.

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By 0 found this helpful
May 20, 2017

My tropical hibiscus has stopped blooming. The plant is deep green and growing. The only thing different is I put 1-2 inches of potting soil around the whole pot (2-1/2 ft by 25").
Thank you.

Answers

May 21, 20170 found this helpful

The potting soil should not have made a difference except when plants are changed (in almost any way) they need a slight adjustment period. Maybe you have not given it a chance to recover yet.
Did you water thoroughly after adding new soil? Have you been giving your plant the correct amount/kind of fertilizer? I know that I have to keep tract of when I use fertilizer if I want continuous bloom. (Also, be sure you are using the correct type of fertilizer for your hibiscus.)
Here is a link that has just about everything you will ever need to know about caring for your hibiscus. Just look to the sides (on this site) and you will see lots of links to check. Hope you see beautiful blooms soon.

http://www.exot  m/care/index.htm

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May 21, 20170 found this helpful

It needs warm weather. The season has just started. I would be patient.

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June 30, 20170 found this helpful

my hibiscus is budding but the buds just fall off they don't bloom

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June 30, 20170 found this helpful

My hibiscus is budding but don't open up they fall off

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By 0 found this helpful
August 6, 2016

I had 3 thriving, blooming hibiscus (purchased at Home Depot) that were growing beautifully in containers on my front porch (Camp Lejeune, NC). The deer decided they were good to eat, and ate most of the leaves, all the flowers, and some of the stems. When I realized what was going on, I moved them to my Carolina room and babied and nourished them back to health. I've since put them back in their original location (with deer repellent on the ground around them), and they are still producing lots of leaves, but I've only seen 2 flowers in the 5-6 weeks since I moved them back. What am I doing wrong?

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August 19, 20161 found this helpful

Deer ate only the buds of two of my hibiscus. I moved them to my back deck where I have a plant in full bloom, but neither have produced buds again. They are healthy and leaves are beautiful. What can I do to get them to bloom again.

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August 19, 20160 found this helpful

I had a similar problem. As it turns out, 2 of my 3 hibiscus have started blooming g again after moving them back to their original location. I watered and fertilized them, then sprayed the lawn about 2 feet out and the plants themselves with a rabbit and deer repellant. Seems to have worked.

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September 18, 20110 found this helpful

I have a bright orange hibiscus that is about fifteen years old. it has been outside in a pot all summer long but only bloomed once with two flowers. It is about five feet high and the leaves are thick and green, but it is not blooming. I will bring it inside soon, but what should I do with it so it will bloom in the upcoming months?

By Lynda D

Answers

September 21, 20111 found this helpful

Hi! Is this a tropical or hardy hibiscus? I've found with the tropicals that they either are not getting enough water, lack of fertilizer or are root bound. I'm sure you've kept up with the water and such so if it's tropical I'd guess it's to big for your pot. Leaving the rootswithout enough room for the roots to grow.

For a hardy hibiscus all of these are also likely possibilities. However hardy hibiscus can be finicky. Many prefer to be planted in the ground while others thrive in pots. Then again it could just need a good pruning.

When my peppermint schnapps quits blooming it's either water or pruning they need. ( this is a hardy hibiscus ). I discovered that my rose mallow preferred a pot because it wouldn't bloom in the ground! I've had a bad tropical this year too!

How do you usually care for it in winter?

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July 11, 20170 found this helpful

What is a "good pruning"? My hardy hibiscus did just great the first three years. Live in TN so just store it in garage in winter, has always re bloomed every spring - except this year. Appears to be very healthy.
I cut off several new Growth springs to see if this would help it start new blooms but didn't know how many to cut back.
If this doesn't help, I may try transplanting from pot to flower bed in several weeks unless you can give me some tips.
Thanks

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By 0 found this helpful
July 9, 2016

My hardy hibiscus plants bloom wonderfully when they first flower, but the buds following the first blooming dry up and fall off. These are supposed to bloom throughout the summer. Why is this happening?

Growing zone 6 I think (southern Ohio). Hey, I'm not an expert horticulturalist. :)

Thank you.

Answers

March 12, 20170 found this helpful

Several things can cause this. cut open a fallen bud. Does it have pests inside it or their eggs? If so, that is probably the issue, as it is the most common one.
Also, they will do this if too much water or not enough water, too fertile of soil, or needing fertilizer, and too much or hot of a sun, or not enough sun and its too cool. They can be finicky.

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December 13, 20061 found this helpful

Question:

My Hibiscus is a beautiful green plant and bloomed about four blooms. Since then it has done nothing but grow taller and no other blooms. What's my problem please.

Hardiness Zone: 7b

Angelheart from Clyde, TX

Answer:

Angleheart,

If there was an award for the plant that causes the most stress and worry to it's caregiver, I think the Hibiscus would win. At the very worst, growing them can be demoralizing -like when they suddenly collapse even though nothing in their environment or care routine has changed. And even at their best, they are highly unpredictable - sometimes resurrecting themselves from the dead only after you have given up all hope for their survival. Sometimes cutting a hibiscus back will stimulate it into flowering. Other times they may fail to flower if they are not exposed to enough sun, if their container is too large (they like crowded roots) or they receive too much fertilizer. You didn't mention whether you are growing your plant indoors or outside. In both cases a Hibiscus plant likes to take break. Flowering is usually followed by a period of rest. During this time you should back off on watering and fertilizing for at least 6-8 weeks, and move the plant to a cooler room (55ºF is ideal). In the spring, indoor plants should be cut back to a desired height and once again relocated to a sunny, warm location. As new growth appears you can resume watering and applying a high potassium fertilizer every two weeks. Consider yourself lucky that your hibiscus produced four lovely flowers. As long as it appears healthy, try not to worry. Give it plenty of sun, try not to over-fertilize it, let it "rest" for a bit when it starts to die back and above all, be patient. It will come into bloom again when it's ready.

Ellen

More Feedback:

Hibiscus Not Blooming

Try feeding it. Just soaking mine everyday and keep in the hot sun they always went crazy. Try cutting off alot of green too to disperse energy elsewhere. Maybe it's resting. Sometimes a flowering bush will rest a year and not do much. (08/19/2006)

By Hey! It's me again...

Hibiscus Not Blooming

You don't say what kind of hibiscus. Is it a potted plant? Needs A LOT of sun to bloom. You can cut it back after the season also and bring it inside. Mine usually also blooms inside. This year I cut it all the way back due to white flies and it also hasn't bloomed. But I know at some point it will. Feed it well and keep it watered well and as much sun as you can give it. Watch for white flies, they love this plant and are very hard to get rid of. I have tried everything but after a few years I always seem to loose a hibiscus to them. (08/21/2006)

By valery

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July 28, 20091 found this helpful

A friend just gave me a Hibiscus tree and although it looks very healthy there are no blooms. She said it only had a few flowers on it all season. It's about 6 foot tall counting the branches and I'm wondering if I can prune it back a bit to encourage it to bloom. Also, it needs to come inside for the winter. Would it do okay wintering over in a garage or does it need to be in the house? Thanks everyone.

Hardiness Zone: 6a

Sandy from Pittsburgh, Pa

Answers:

Hibiscus Not Blooming

You need to fertilize it every two weeks all year long and you will have beautiful flowers all year long. Mine was doing the same thing and it was just hungry, they are very heavy feeders. (12/11/2008)

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August 15, 20081 found this helpful

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Question:

I have a hibiscus tree that has not bloomed in quite sometime. Someone has mentioned pruning the tree down. What do you recommend?

Hardiness Zone: 6a

Waynette from Kansas City, MO

Answer:

Waynette,

If you've never cut it back, you might want to try it. As long as your tree seems otherwise healthy, a good pruning may be just the jolt it needs to kick flowering into high gear. Another idea worth considering is to force your hibiscus into a controlled dormant period for a couple of months. Sometimes this forced rest is helpful for getting flowering plants back on schedule. To do this, water it only enough to keep the soil from drying out completely and move the plant into a cool room (55ºF) for 6-8 weeks. In about March, cut back the stems a bit, move it back into a sunny location and increase watering, allowing only the top _ inch of soil to dry out before watering. Once new growth appears, start feeding it a high potassium fertilizer every two weeks. Too much nitrogen and all you will get is a lovely canopy of green leaves. Make sure your hibiscus is getting at least 5 to 6 hours of full sunlight per day, too. These gorgeous plants really need a lot of sunshine to perform well. If your hibiscus is growing in a pot, make sure the pot is small enough to keep the roots crowded. For some reason when they are placed in a large pot where their roots can freely roam about, hibiscus trees seem less likely to flower.

Ellen

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