How to Care for a Dwarf Hibiscus Tree


Dwarf hibiscus makes an outstanding indoor plant, especially for gardeners who live in cold winter climates. Put the dwarf hibiscus outdoors during the warm weather, and bring it in when the weather turns chilly. If you live where the climate is warm and humid all year, you have the option of planting the dwarf hibiscus outdoors. Either way, take good care of your dwarf hibiscus, and it will reward you with topical blooms that are anything but miniature.

Step 1

Make sure the dwarf hibiscus tree gets at least six to eight hours of bright sunlight every day. Inadequate sunlight will result in smaller blooms and stunted growth.

Step 2

Keep the soil evenly moist. Don't wait for the soil to dry out, or for the leaves to wilt before watering. Container-grown dwarf hibiscus will dry out faster, and may need to be watered daily, especially during warm weather. Although it's normal for a few leaves to turn yellow on a healthy dwarf hibiscus, excessive yellow leaves or dropped buds are signs that the dwarf hibiscus isn't getting enough moisture.

Step 3

Feed the dwarf hibiscus a dose of timed-release fertilizer formulated for blooming plants every spring. Apply the fertilizer according to the manufacturer's instructions.

Step 4

Prune the dwarf hibiscus tree occasionally to maintain the desired shape. Although dwarf hibiscus won't need a lot of pruning, trimming branch tips will encourage a compact, bushy shape. Prune dead or spindly branches. Keep the dwarf hibiscus neat by removing dead leaves and plant debris. Keeping the plant neat will not only look better, but will help to prevent pest problems.

Step 5

Watch for mealy bugs on the leaves of dwarf hibiscus. If you notice mealy bugs, indicated by small areas of white, sticky matter on the top and bottom of the leaves, pick the bugs off with a cotton swab dipped in rubbing alcohol. If possible, avoid getting rubbing alcohol on the leaves. If you choose to use a chemical pesticide, follow the directions carefully.

Things You'll Need

  • Timed-release fertilizer for blooming plants
  • Pruning shears


  • Louisiana State University: Tropical Hibiscus
  • Augusta Magazine: Heat-Loving Hibiscus
  • All Hail the Hibiscus
Keywords: dwarf hibiscus, hibiscus tree, dwarf hibiscus tree

About this Author

M.H. Dyer is a long-time writer, editor and proofreader. She has been a contributor to the East-Oregonian Newspaper and See Jane Run magazine, and is author of a memoir, “The Tumbleweed Chronicles, a Sideways Look at Life." She holds an Master of Fine Arts from National University, San Diego.