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Why Is My Hibiscus Wilting: 6 Main Reasons

The hibiscus plant is a beautiful, vibrant tropical plant with bright colors. Care is usually straightforward, so wilting will signal a severe condition. You will wonder, “Why is my hibiscus wilting?” Lack of water or overwatering can both cause wilted leaves in hibiscus plants.

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 main reason for wilting hibiscus is underwatering, or a lack of water in the soil. It makes your plant wither and die very quickly if it is not detected in time. Let’s explore the common causes of hibiscus leaf drooping below.

Over Or Under-Watering

The two most common causes of hibiscus plants wilting and falling are a lack of water or over-watering, as well as other factors such as cold temperatures, too much sunlight, and nutrient deficiencies. 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 when the leaves turn brown or yellow. The young leaves are also fragile and fall off quickly. In contrast, the hibiscus plant 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 will 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, which causes the leaves to wilt all over the plant. The roots will smell musty and viscous and gradually turn grey when infected.

The fungus grows in the soil, penetrates the plant’s hibiscus roots, and disrupts the capillary system. These fungal diseases prevent the hibiscus plant from taking in nutrients and water. Root rot will cause the 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 for wilt disease is to gently wash the roots, remove damaged parts, and use a 10 percent bleach solution to rinse the roots before replanting in fresh soil.

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.

Dieback Disease

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

Dieback disease is caused by a fungus that eats away at the trunk of the hibiscus plant, making it unable to absorb water. The wilting hibiscus plant will consist of a piece of rotten wood underneath the area of yellowed leaves. 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 difficult to drain. As a result, it will be difficult for the plant to dry out, which will put a lot of stress on the roots.

Lack of nutrients is one of the causes of yellowing leaves in hibiscus plants, along with other factors such as improper soil drainage and alkaline soil. Many people often use alkaline soil, which 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.

Read more: How Long Do Hibiscus Blooms Last: Bloom Time & Tips To Care

Withered red flower- hibiscus wilt disease


The hibiscus plant is suitable for tropical climates and warm weather, but there are hardy varieties that can tolerate colder temperatures. 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 the winter.

Although this tropical species is susceptible to cold shock, its resilience is also excellent. You need to keep the plant indoors at a temperature above 59 °F, 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 lower than those of the tropical variety, so you need to take extra care.


Pests can cause leaves to wither and fall from hibiscus plants as well as spread diseases. Common signs of infection are stunted stems and young yellow leaves. When the branch begins to wither, the chance of remaining in recovery is meagre.

To fix the problem, you need to use a magnifying glass to find 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 methods 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 regularly to prevent pests and help the roots stay hydrated, taking into account the specific needs of the hibiscus plant. You should also not let the plant soak in water for too long, as it will create rotten roots. If the roots are overgrown and are blocking the drainage holes in the pot, consider repotting.

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, both 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.

Hand-spraying flowers and leaves


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 Swipe Garden to optimize your beautiful garden!


Kelly Lawrence

Kelly Lawrence

Kelly Lawrence is the CEO of Swipe Garden. Over 10 years in the writing and passion for gardening, she brings a wealth of expertise and creativity to the world of gardening. Kelly Lawrence has cultivated a community of plant lovers, making gardening accessible and enjoyable for all.