Hibiscus Care Instructions


Gardeners enjoy growing hibiscus shrubs because the plants are very hardy and can handle a wide range of growing environments. The plant is best recognized for its floppy, bright flowers and dark green leaves, which can make for an attractive hedge or accent shrub. Give the hibiscus the care it requires to encourage fast, vigorous growth and lots of flower blossoms.

Step 1

Test the pH levels of your gardening site with a pH testing kit from a garden store. Hibiscus plants grow best in a pH ranging between a high of 6.5 and a low of 5.5, and anything else can cause nutritional deficiencies, according to the University of Florida. Ask your regional cooperative extension office (see Resources) what amendments, like sulfates, phosphates and lime, are using in your area to adjust soil pH levels.

Step 2

Fertilize the hibiscus plant once a month during its spring, summer and fall growing season. Louisiana State University recommends using a 12-4-18 fertilizer. Spread the fertilizer around the hibiscus shrub according to its labeled instructions, since fertilizer potency varies by brand.

Step 3

Irrigate the hibiscus plant weekly with enough water to soak the soil to a depth of 18 inches, according to the University of Florida. Pile 3 inches of mulch around the shrub's base to help conserve moisture between waterings.

Step 4

Defend the hibiscus shrub against insects. Serious pests include aphids and whiteflies. Spray the shrub on an as-needed basis with an all-purpose horticultural oil solution, available from most garden stores.

Things You'll Need

  • Soil pH kit
  • Soil pH amendments
  • Fertilizer
  • Water
  • Mulch
  • Horticultural oil spray


  • "Hibiscus: Hardy and Tropical Plants for the Garden"; Barbara Lawton; 2004
  • Purdue University: Roselle
  • University of Florida: Hibiscus in Florida
  • Louisiana State University: Hibiscus
Keywords: hibiscus care instructions, hibiscus growing instructions, hibiscus plant management

About this Author

Josh Duvauchelle is an editor and journalist with more than 10 years' experience. His work has appeared in various magazines, including "Honolulu Magazine," which has more paid subscribers than any other magazine in Hawaii. He graduated with honors from Trinity Western University, holding a Bachelor of Arts in professional communications, and earned a certificate in applied leadership and public affairs from the Laurentian Leadership Centre.