Hibiscus (Hibiscus rosa-sinensis) is a tropical plant that produces large, open-faced blooms. The red hibiscus is also known as China Rose represents wealth and fame in Asian countries.
The hibiscus is an easy-care plant and has very few pests or disease problems but the plant does have one main issue – wilting leaves.
There are a few different things that can cause hibiscus leaves to wilt and we will examine them to help you determine what is the cause of the wilted leaves on your plant.
Over or Under-Watering
Over-watering or under-watering are the two most common causes of hibiscus leaves wilting.
- If the soil is moist and leaves begin to wilt, then the plant is being given too much water.
- Edema is another sign of over-watering. The plant will swell and develop tiny blisters that are filled with water. There will also be indentations in the top leaves of the plant.
- If new leaf growth falls off the plant or if leaves turn brown or yellow, the plant is probably getting too much water.
- Under-watering a hibiscus will result in wilted leaves that look lifeless.
- The soil will pull away from the inside of the container in a container-grown plant that is too dry.
- The hibiscus will grow slowly and fail to produce blooms when it’s under-watered.
Wilt disease, also known as root rot, Fusarium oxysporum, or Verticillium, is a fungal disease that occurs when a hibiscus is being over-watered and will result in wilting leaves all over the plant.
The plant roots have drowned and will turn gray, slimy, and have a musty odor. The hibiscus can’t be saved at this point and should be discarded away from other plants.
This disease causes wilting on the upper leaves of one or two stems. Check the stem below the wilted area and you’ll find a patch of wood that has become rotted and infected with a fungus that is eating away at the stem. The stem is not up-taking water past the infected spot and the plant leaves are wilting.
To dieback disease by cutting back the stem until you see clean, healthy wood. Apply grafting wax or sterile canning wax to seal the cut.
Keep Hibiscus Clean
An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure, so help keep your hibiscus healthy by keeping it clean.
- Remove faded flowers.
- Prune off broken branches.
- Wipe the blades of pruning shears with rubbing alcohol after each cut.
- Twice a month during the summer spray hibiscus with a water hose to remove dust and pests.
I have other articles about Gardening Tips/Experiments here.