Why won't the hibiscus flower?

charger89(z5 PA)December 20, 2004

I purchased a hibiscus in early summer. The plant flowered the entire summer(outdoors). I brought the plant in for the winter, and it continued to flower for a month. Now, the hibiscus will not flower at all. Why is this happening? Did the plant go dormant for the winter? Any information would be appreciated.

-charger 89

Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
abbidoo(9b FL)

What kind of hibiscus? It may be going dormant, but it may just need more sunlight.

    Bookmark   December 21, 2004 at 5:46PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
jenny_in_se_pa(USDA7 Sunset 32)

Hibiscus bloom on new growth. During the growing season, they are continuing to produce new growth which then matures to flower. Once you brought it in, it slowed the new growth and it is going to sleep. If you have a tropical and provide it very bright light, warmth, and humidity, you can get it back into a growth/bloom cycle again.

    Bookmark   December 21, 2004 at 6:16PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
BarbC(8 coastal SC)

Its winter. Unless you have an 80º sunporch or the like, be happy to keep it healthy for the winter. Spring will be here soon enough.

I am lucky if I can keep leaves on mine in winter. Flowers? Hehehe.

    Bookmark   December 26, 2004 at 2:23AM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
sheeplady_WI(z4 WI)

I have a hibiscus a friend grew from seed that she got by crossing 2 of her other plants. This small tree is now about 24 years old, I am the third caretaker and apparently it has only blossomed once. I have had it only a few months now. It has been repotted, looks very healthy and happy in my south window. I understand it may well not bloom indoors this winter, but why has it only blossomed once in 20 years? Any suggestiond for this spring/summer when it can go outside to encourage it to bloom?

    Bookmark   December 27, 2004 at 9:26AM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

Do you fertilize it? Try a bloom booster starting in the spring. Do you sit it outside in the summer? They need several hours of full sun to bloom well. If I were you, I'd do this this spring:

Root prune it back by 1/3, cut it back to 6 inches above the ground, feed it nothing but a bloom fertilizer. See if that works. Right now, its growth is probably stunted by being rootbound for so long. You need to force it to put out new roots and new growth.

    Bookmark   December 27, 2004 at 7:27PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

Has it ever been outside or has it been inside always? How big is it? How often has it been pruned and repotted. It probably hasn't gotten enough light if it only flowered once. That will happen if it is inside. If it is a really big plant and has never been cut back before ( although it probably has been) or pruned rarely I would not cut it to the ground right a way. I would cut it back in quarters. This will help keep the plant from getting shocked too much.

    Bookmark   December 29, 2004 at 2:49AM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
hibrick(Z8 HoustonTX)

If the plant is a tropical hibiscus, it needs to get plenty of sun, and be in a place where it stays above 65F. In a greenhouse, for instance, you should get blooms year-round. Do NOT use regular "bloom booster" on tropical hibiscus, as the high phosphorus level will immediatedly stop the plant from blooming. Only fertilize Rosa-Sinensis hibiscus with a fertilizer having a low middle number (phosphorous). For peak blooms, use a soluble fertilizer at least every two weeks during summer, and once a month in winter. Show plants are often fertilized two or three times a week, plus get fish emulsion and foliar application of Potassium Nitrate. Hardy hibiscus, as Mallows are known, generally die back to the ground in the winter, and regrow from the roots each Spring. Tropical hibiscus bloom on new growth, so pruning will generally take about three months of growth before blooming will resume.

    Bookmark   January 31, 2005 at 1:15AM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

If anyone ever read Mr. Crockett from Victory Garden's book of houseplant, he talks about his beautiful hib that blooms yr round. He claims hibs do not go dormant..one plant that this rarely occurs. My 3 hibs bloom yr round..all are in south and east windows, plus a little light at night. The room's semi-unheated and can get quite cold. I use a hib food bought at www.stokestropicals.com This blend is made specifically for hibs..no other plant..It's worth every penny, and not expensive..Been using at least 5 yrs. BTW, once or twice in summer I suppliment w/an iron sulphate to prevent chlorosis..and give SuperThrive once a month. Toni

    Bookmark   February 2, 2005 at 11:59PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

this fall I devided a tropical hib. I cut it down in half. I also trimed the roots. It is in a south window and has produced many new shoots and leaves, but no blooms. How can I get back into blooming?

    Bookmark   February 11, 2005 at 10:08AM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

Irvin, I see u live in NY, and your Happy B-day is two days after mine..I'm 7/11..(S)
I'm sure Ny and Il are similar in temps right now..some sunny days, more gray and cold..For one, I've read in several books, Hibiscus are one of the few tropicals that don't go dormant in winter, and I'm inclined to agree since all 3 of my hibs bloom throughout 4 seasons.
Make sure your hib is sitting directly in front of a bright/direct sun (whatever there is of it) window.
Also, I use a special blend hib fertilizer bought at www.stokestropicals.com Sprinkle the pellets over soil by spoon that comes w/it..follow directions on amount, since you'd use more larger the pot, etc. The pellets last 3 months, and work w/each watering. I use less than required and instead feed once a month. This is the best hib food I've ever used, and it lasts a long time, unless u have dozens of hibs. I also mist plant daily..the tree gets a shower once a wk, and smaller goes in the sink and showered w/hose. This really perks them up..In summer they go outside.
As long as your leaves are green, the division shouldn't have harmed the plant..Check for pests such as mites to be on the safe side. Good luck, Toni

    Bookmark   February 11, 2005 at 10:22PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
labour_of_love(z3A, NEK Vt)

Which of the fertilizers from www.stokestropicals are you referring to? I saw choices, but none that were hibiscus-specific. Thanks, Kate

    Bookmark   March 5, 2005 at 1:11PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

Labour, if you scroll down, you'll see there are 3 pages..the hibsicus food is on page 2. I buy it in fall, the prices drop to 5.50 for 3 lbs and it lasts a long time. Just sprinkle on soil, dossage depending on size of pot..a little spoon comes in the bucket of fertizer. Toni

    Bookmark   March 7, 2005 at 1:20AM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
flowerbrackob(z4 WI)

here's where I found the food but $60.00 for 50#'s Toni???? First I clicked "fertilizers" and found above.
Stokes Tropicals' Hibiscus Blend - 50# bag $59.95
You can copy the above www address and check if that's what you're referring to if you would please???? Pretty Please?????

    Bookmark   March 19, 2005 at 8:02PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
marilu_z10CA(z10 S. CA)


I checked for the tropical hibiscus blend mentioned and you have a choice of getting the 50# bag you mentioned as well as a 3# tub for $9.95. Searh for Hibiscus and "Stokes Tropical Hbiscus Blend" will be one of the items that appear.


    Bookmark   August 2, 2005 at 1:09PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
allielovesbettas(z5 MA)

Please please don't use bloom booster. The phosphorus count is way too high. Stokes has an excellent hibiscus food. Not just them, but Hidden Valley Hibiscus has a wonderful fertilizer that they themselves use on their plants. I've had wonderful success with it.

As for the blooming, make sure that the plant is getting enough sun light, if you don't have a southern facing window or warm climate, try artificial lighting, a single light source, such as a lamp with three lights, place FLOURESCENT bulbs into these. Not only are these bulbs more energy efficient, they are excellent lights for plants. My plants grow underneath them beautifully. Lots of blooms, lots of new growth.


PS if you live near UCONN storrs, you can pick up some gorgeous plants for not a lot of money. I paid six bucks for a beautiful hibiscus plant. The hybrid was a cutting from a plant that was over 40 years old. Its the light orange double throw flowers with a dark red center. Just beautiful. THey also have beautiful plants throughout the semesters, aka, kalenchoes, ficus, african violets, begonias, among others

    Bookmark   August 2, 2005 at 6:29PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
gardeneressa(z10a FL)

Our thriving, healthy-looking hibiscus bushes which used to flower all the time now produce a large amount of buds, but the flowers don't open - they just fall off. Any idea why?

    Bookmark   September 4, 2005 at 6:35PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
dirtgirl(So. Illinois)

Hi everybody. I guess I should have looked for help here a long time ago, but since I have yet to kill the tree living in my house there's always hope. First off, let me say that I am COMPLETELY IGNORANT about hibiscus. I do have halberd-leaf mallows in the yard, but they're native and don't ask me for anything. The trouble is this: I have a hibiscus that was given to me as a cutting when I was a sophomore in high school, and it has patiently suffered my ignorance for 20 years and is now a 6 foot tree. My lack of knowledge has only slighly improved since I learned just last year that it is a hibiscus schizopetalus after spotting one in a butterfly park down south. It did bloom nicely as a young plant but since then has maybe put out one or two blooms in the past 5 years. Other than keeping it looking a healthy shade of green I am sure I have been doing everything wrong.
What do I need to do to coax this plant to bloom?

Here's what I know about it:
started from a cutting in 85
Transplanted only when it began to show signs of serious decline
I live in southern Illinois--it gets put outside in the late spring and brought back in this time of year.
We live in deep woods so full sun is a rare thing...good for ginseng, not for hibiscus! In winter it gets a sunny window when indoors. Our house is kept at around 70 during this time.
Space is an issue so I was forced to dramatically prune it back every so many years.
Currently in a pot approx 13-14 inch diam.
Rarely fertilized except at transplant time and then lightly
I spoke to a horticulturist at the butterfly park where I spotted this growing and was told never to prune after February. Not a single bud this season.

This is almost like a part of the family now since it has made it this far. We decorate it for Christmas for Pete's sake. I just wonder what to do to get it to flower again.

    Bookmark   September 28, 2006 at 5:38PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
dirtgirl(So. Illinois)

sorry, that's a 20-inch pot...

    Bookmark   September 29, 2006 at 12:47AM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

I'm not new at growing tropical hibiscus but this year, one of my old plants which has always been reliable has not bloomed and September is almost here. The others bloomed but not abundantly. I tried the Stokes fertilizer recommended by one person in the forum, I tried Epson Salts, a little luck with a couple of plants but not heavy bloom - and no results with my old plant. I checked with the Wildseed Farm which is near my home, Fredericksburg, TX, and they use Nelson Nutri Star. I got a small packed about 10 days ago and have already seen results. And, it acted quickly. I went out today and bought a large container. Even my old lady has tiny buds. Their web site is www.wildseedfarms.com. You won't be disappointed.

    Bookmark   August 26, 2013 at 1:03PM
Sign Up to comment
More Discussions
Main stem brittle, dark brown and withered but the Roots are ...
Hi. So my the stems of my hibiscus have all withered,...
A very nice "weed"
This one grows as a weed at my place, in that it self...
Help with Hibiscus
Hi! I recently bought a bunch of hibiscus on clearance...
Hibiscus Sabdariffa seeds
aka: Roselle or Tea Hibiscus I recently tried tea that...
Hibiscus Fertilizer
I purchased a container of Carl Pool hibiscus food...
Sponsored Products
Dreamweaver Bath Bar by Varaluz
$159.00 | Lumens
Rest Assure High Density 10.5-inch California King-size Memory Foam Mattress
Saturn Exterior Path Light
60 Watt 12 VDC LED Phase Dimming Driver (120 VAC input)
Safavieh Soho SOH419B 3'6" x 5'6" Light blue, Silver Rug
$211.56 | PlushRugs
Blanca Capiz-Painted Console - ALABSTER
$2,299.00 | Horchow
Florence Style Loft Armchair Loveseat and Sofa Set of 3 in Green
$1,989.00 | LexMod
Agri Area Rug
Home Decorators Collection
© 2015 Houzz Inc. Houzz® The new way to design your home™