Why Is My Hibiscus Wilting? 6 Common Reasons & Experts’ Tips

The Hibiscus plant is a beautiful, vibrant tropical plant with bright colors. Care is usually straightforward, so wilting will signal some severe condition. You will wonder: “Why is my hibiscus wilting?” Lack of water or too much watering is the most common cause of wilted leaves.

In addition, factors such as cold temperatures, too much sunlight, and nutrient deficiencies also damage the stem. To learn about the telltale signs and how to prevent hibiscus wilting, let’s continue reading the article below.

Why Is My Hibiscus Wilting?

The moment you wonder: “Why are my hibiscus leaves wilting? Why is my hibiscus dying?” your plant has encountered some serious diseases and problems. Your plant may wither and die very quickly if not detected in time.

Let’s explore the six most common causes of hibiscus leaves drooping leaves below.

Withered red flower - Why Is My Hibiscus Wilting

Withered red flower- hibiscus wilt disease

Over Or Under-Watering

The two most common causes of hibiscus plants leaving wilting and falling are lack of water or over-watering the hibiscus plant.

You have provided too much water if the soil is moist, but the plant still has wilted leaves. Another sign that you should look out for is swelling in the tree’s trunk with tiny bulging blisters. The top leaves also have indentations.

One sign that your potted plants are getting too much water is the leaves turning brown or yellow. The young leaves are also fragile and fall off quickly.

In contrast, the plant hibiscus that does not receive enough water looks lifeless and withered. The soil inside is too dry and forms a depression inside the pot.

If you let that situation persist, your hibiscus will not bloom and grow weak.

Wilt Disease (Root Rot)

This disease is also known as Verticillium, Fusarium oxysporum, or root rot.

This fungal disease only occurs when your potted hibiscus gets too much water and causes the leaves to wilt all over the plant. The roots will smell musty, and viscous, and gradually turn gray when infected.

The fungus grows in the soil, penetrates plant hibiscus roots, and disrupts the capillary system. These fungal diseases prevent the hibiscus plant from taking in nutrients and water.

Root rot will cause wilting leaves on the hibiscus to be black or dark brown. Root rot will cause the entire plant to wilt. If you do not treat it quickly, the consequences will be grave.

The best remedy is to gently wash the roots. You will need to do this in a shady area and out of the sun.

The process involves removing the plant from the pot, shaking off the soil, and identifying any damaged areas. You can then use the trimmer to remove the damaged parts.

To avoid wilt disease cross-contamination, sterilize them after each cut. If the rot is located just below the main trunk, the ability to heal and restore the tree will be deficient.

Once that’s done, you can use a 10 percent bleach solution to rinse the roots and let them dry. Don’t forget to plant it in a pot with fresh soil.

Yellow leaves - Why Is My Hibiscus Wilting

Yellow leaves

Dieback Disease

Is your hibiscus dying when having this disease? The most common sign of the illness is yellow leaves on one or two upper stems.

The wilting hibiscus plant will consist of a piece of rotten wood underneath the area of ​​yellowed leaves. The main reason is a fungus that eats away at the trunk of the tree, making the area unable to absorb water.

The way to prevent dieback disease is to remove dead flowers and roots until the tree trunk is clean and healthy. You can then use sterile canned wax or grafting wax to cover the cut.

Lack Of Nutrients

The hibiscus indoors has some special requirements for soil and nutrients. If your pot doesn’t have any drainage holes and the ground doesn’t drain well, the leaves will turn yellow and wilt.

You should avoid using heavy soil because it is abysmal to drain. As a result, it will be difficult for the plant to dry out and put a lot of stress on the roots.

Lack of nutrients is also a cause of yellowing leaves. To prevent that, give your plants the nutrients they need. You can apply this advice to most plants.

Many people often use alkaline soil that reduces the plant’s ability to absorb iron. Get rid of these problems early if you have them too.

In addition, fertilizing is also a method of providing adequate nutrition for the trunk. The ideal fertilization schedule is about four times a year.

You should choose the right fertilizer with the proper formulation. Suitable feeding times are early and late spring, mid-summer, late autumn, or early winter.

Falling red flower - Why Is My Hibiscus Wilting

Falling red flower


The hibiscus plant is only suitable for tropical climates and warm weather, so it does not tolerate cold weather, sudden temperature changes, and frost.

The minimum nighttime temperature to keep it healthy is 59ºF (12ºC). If the number drops lower, the tree may lose all its leaves and wither prematurely.

The two most common plants you can find in a garden center are hibiscus rosa Sinensis and hardy hibiscus. The former are very sensitive to cold temperatures and should be brought indoors in winter.

Although this tropical species is susceptible to cold shock, its resilience is also excellent. You need to keep the plant indoors with a temperature above 59ºF, and new leaves will appear when spring arrives.

The hardy plant is frost tolerant but still needs exposure to the sun. Its resilience and foliage are less than the tropical variety, so you need to take extra care.

An eaten leaf by bugs - Why Is My Hibiscus Wilting

An eaten leaf by bugs


Pests are also sometimes a reason for leaves to wither and fall. They will slowly destroy the plant by eating the leaves and flower buds while spreading the disease around.

Common signs of infection are stunted stems and young yellow leaves. When the branch begins to wither, the chance of remaining in recovery is meager.

To fix the problem, you need to use a magnifying glass to find out the specific pest. It will help you determine the right organic or chemical cure.

The organic method is gentle and does not cause many side effects for most plants. However, the chemical method is faster and more effective.

How To Prevent Tropical Hibiscus From Wilting?

In all cases, prevention is better than cure. The best method is to provide enough moisture for your plants.

You can also apply other ways to keep the pot clean and maintain the trunk effectively. Regularly prune broken branches and dead flower buds with sterilized scissors to prevent bacteria from spreading.

Water twice a month to prevent pests and help the roots stay hydrated when it doesn’t rain. You should also not let the plant soak in water for too long as it will create rotted roots.

If the roots are overgrown and are blocking the drainage holes in the pot, consider repotting.

Hand-spraying flowers and leaves - Why Is My Hibiscus Wilting

Hand-spraying flowers and leaves

How To Cure Wilting Hibiscus Plants?

If your hibiscus plant shows signs of withering, try to find a cure for it. The process is very delicate and requires great care and concentration.

  • First, quickly move the potted plant away from the light indoors and outdoors. You can use umbrellas, branches, or canvas to create partial shade for the surrounding space.
  • Fill it with water and mist around the plant using a mist sprayer until the leaves are evenly wet. If the roots are wet, you don’t need to spray water on them.
  • Trim off yellowed and wilted leaves. You can keep green leaves even if they are not fresh because these parts are still capable of photosynthesis.
  • You should not use fertilizer because it will stress the roots. In addition, pruning and transplanting are also taboo.
  • Mist the leaves daily to minimize stress on the roots and increase resilience. You should maintain this action until the plant is fully recovered.

The key to this cure is patience. After 1-2 weeks, the young leaves will appear and develop more actively. It’s time for you to fertilize and add water on a regularly scheduled basis.


If you have any questions regarding tropical hibiscus plants and how to care for them, please find out below.

Tropical hibiscus flowers - Why Is My Hibiscus Wilting

Tropical hibiscus flowers

How Do You Revive A Wilted Hibiscus Plant?

A prerequisite for saving a wilting hibiscus is highly moist soil rather than saturated. You can mist the leaves to ensure an adequate water supply and expose the plant to direct sunlight for 5 hours a day.

After the tree has received the proper care, it will gradually revive. You’ll notice a difference in the spring when the leaves begin to grow.

How Do You Know If Your Hibiscus Is Overwatered?

Although hibiscus plants are water-loving plants, they are also very susceptible to waterlogging.

The telltale signs you might notice are swollen leaves and turning yellow. In the long run, the plant will wilt even if the soil is wet and the roots rot, turning brown, mushy, and foul-smelling.

If your plant is overwatered, remove the whole plant from the pot. Then, remove as much of the wet soil around the plant as possible and cut away the damaged roots with scissors. Finally, you can plant the plant in a new pot.

How Often Should You Water Hibiscus?

The key to growing a healthy hibiscus plant is to keep the potting soil mix moist but not soggy.

You should water tropical plants daily for the first week. You can then reduce the frequency to once every two days a week and twice a week after that.

If the weather is arid and hot, you should apply watering every other day to ensure moisture in the soil.

What Do You Do With Wilted Hibiscus?

Many perennial hibiscus plant growers wonder why they aren’t producing new flowers. If you have the same problem, consider deadheading the entire plant.

The way to do it is effortless. Look for the oldest flower buds since the last time. Then, take a pair of pliers to cut the first joint of the flower with the stem.

After this step, your growing hibiscus will bloom with new flowers and become vibrant. To learn more about the process, watch the video below.

Can Hibiscus Tolerate Full Sun?

All hibiscus plants grow best in full sun. Water conditions and soil moisture will depend on the type of plant.

You will need to keep the soil moist but with good drainage for tropical hibiscus plants. In contrast, perennial varieties of hibiscus will grow best in moist soil that never dries out completely.


Why is my hibiscus wilting? Wilting is often associated with excess or lack of water, unstable environmental conditions, or disease.

The treatment will take a lot of effort and time. Therefore, you should pay attention to the early signs and take effective preventive measures.

Do not forget to share this article if you feel it brings valuable knowledge. Find more useful tips at Swipegarden.com to optimize your beautiful garden!

Happy planting!

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