The Chinese rose hibiscus has undergone an amazing transformation in recent years. From a boring plant that adorns the halls of hospitals and schools, hibiscus has become a true garden and indoor star. Despite the beauty of the crown, hibiscus is appreciated for the delightful variety of flower colors in new varieties. The flowering of the Chinese rose usually lasts a very long time. But not everyone is able to achieve the effect of non-stop waves from hibiscus, and sometimes even a couple of buds. But if hibiscus does not bloom, you should always look for the reasons in your mistakes.
Why does indoor hibiscus not bloom?
How long does indoor hibiscus bloom?
In hibiscus, flowering can last almost the entire year, having to be interrupted due to lack of lighting in winter. From February-March to October, in ideal conditions of maintenance and without mistakes in care, hibiscus captivates with the beauty of double or simple, bright, variously colored “phonographs”. Crowned flowers, up to 10 cm in diameter, bloom one after another for just a few days.
At a height of 50 cm to 2 m, hibiscus are grown both as compact bushes, and as stems, and as trees, holding them back by pruning. Ovate leaves with jagged edges are fresh and rustic, contrasting perfectly with flowering. Hibiscus are even chosen for their flowering characteristics, increasingly giving preference to modern hybrids that can bloom for a long time and profusely. And how offensive it can be if the hibiscus does not bloom at all or blooms very poorly.
The answer to the question “Why doesn’t hibiscus bloom?” always very simple – because of our mistakes. This plant, although not the most capricious, but not overly hardy. And blooming is far from anywhere or with any care. Hibiscus has a lot of requirements. And they begin with the correct selection of the place.
Read also our article Indoor hibiscus, or Chinese rose – colorful flowering and easy care.
Pot and soil problems
Hibiscus will not bloom in a too tight pot, when the roots have completely filled the entire substrate and they have nowhere to develop, and in containers that are too spacious, in which the development of the root system will occur to the detriment of growth and flowering. That is why it is very important to carry out transplants not at will, but when the bush needs them, increasing the capacity every time by 3-4 cm.
If the pot greatly exceeds the size of the root mass, or, conversely, the plant was forgotten to transplant, it is better to correct your mistakes as soon as possible. And in years when a transplant is not needed, it is better not to forget to change the topsoil in pots in early spring.
Hibiscus will not thrive in shallow containers: they need classic, taller than diameter pots with good drainage holes. And from materials that are sufficiently resistant to support the lush crown of the plant.
The lack of flowering, in addition to a transplant and an incorrectly selected pot, can also lead to:
- soil compaction, lack of drainage at the bottom of tanks or improperly selected substrate – not loose and air-permeable enough, without loosening additives in the form of perlite or at least coarse sand (including the use of low-component soil mixtures, clean peat or garden soil);
- substrate, the reaction of which differs from 5,5-6,0 pH (too acidic or alkaline soil);
- untimely, late planting (it is better to load hibiscus in February, even before the start of growth or with the first signs of vegetation);
- complete exposure, and even more so the washing of the roots: if the plant does not have to be rescued, the hibiscus must be carefully handled, keeping the earthen lump intact.
If the newly transplanted hibiscus was not provided with an adaptation period, the bushes were placed in direct sun, in heat, dry air, poured or not watered at all, in a word, they do not allow them to adapt to a new pot in very mild conditions (no extremes), problems cannot be avoided.
Lighting and temperature problems
Hibiscus is a light, warm and air-loving plant. And the lack of flowering in it is often associated with the wrong selection of the place where the bushes do not get enough access to all three key “resources”.
Hibiscus does not bloom in shade. If there is not enough light for the bushes, even a few buds are likely to fall off. The place in which the hibiscus stands should not be very different from the conditions of the western or eastern windowsill. For any signs of a lack of light, the bush must be urgently rearranged – as close to the windows as possible. Or add additional lighting.
Lighting plays a critical role in winter. Despite the dormant period and lack of growth, the lighting should be maximum – ideally close to the usual summer regime. If you do not move the bushes to the window sills or to the southern windows in time, do not organize additional lighting, even if other measures are followed, the hibiscus may not bloom (especially if the temperature has not been lowered enough).
They affect flowering, but usually already “in the process”, and burns from direct sun. Hibiscus prefer diffused, soft light and suffer greatly from midday rays, and their flowering period is shortened.
Nor should the hibiscus’ love for fresh air be underestimated. By itself (alone) this factor will not lead to a lack of flowering, but when combined with any other, it exacerbates the problem. The air around the crown and bushes should circulate freely, the plant should breathe, ventilation – neat, without hypothermia – is required. If there is an opportunity to expose hibiscus to fresh air in the summer, it should be used.
At the budding stage, you should not rearrange or even move the hibiscus. They do not tolerate sudden changes at any time of the year; they require soft adaptation with an increase in air humidity and slow turning. And in everything related to flowering, this is a touch-me-not plant that does not like turns, sharp temperature changes, or drafts.
Wrong rest period and winter care
Hibiscus reacts to a drop in temperature below 15 degrees by dropping foliage. But wintering for him should ideally be 4-5 degrees cooler than the period of active development. Temperatures from 15 to 18 degrees in winter are a guarantee of abundant flowering.
If the conditions in the house are very different from ideal, this does not mean that the hibiscus will not bloom at all. But the plant cannot simply be left in a warm room: during a hot winter, the brightest light is needed, ideally, additional lighting up to 12-14 hours of daylight hours and high air humidity. If the hibiscus still does not bloom, then the plant has not received sufficient compensation for the incorrect temperatures in winter.
In order for hibiscus to bloom, in principle, in winter you need to not ignore the plant signals and carefully monitor the implementation of the basic rules of care at the dormant stage:
- if hibiscus continues to bloom in winter, during this period, feeding should be reduced by 3 or 4 times in the amount of fertilizer, if flowering stops, stop completely (feeding is resumed only after the start of growth, and if transplantation is carried out – 4-5 weeks after it);
- lower the substrate moisture 2-3 times to light, with drying up to a third or half of the soil between waterings, still not allowing it to dry out completely, but also without waterlogging;
- maintain air humidity indicators at a level of 60-70%;
- protect plants from the proximity of heating and air conditioning devices;
- monitor the purity of the leaves, not allowing dust to accumulate and not forgetting about the love of hibiscus for warm shower or washing the leaves;
- regularly check the condition of shoots, leaves and substrate; infestation with spider mites or aphids with a strong spread of insects will inevitably affect flowering; it is possible to cope with pests with both biological agents and insecticides; but the greatest damage to the health of hibiscus is caused by rot, which threatens with waterlogging of the soil and excessive watering.
Any violation of these rules can prevent your hibiscus from blooming. Overflows, complete drying of the soil, intensive fertilizing and the proximity of batteries are especially dangerous.
In winter, in the heat, spraying is permissible, which can increase the humidity. They can be continued until the beginning of the buds. But, as with any other stage of development, it is best to install a humidifier. For hibiscus, it is not necessary to buy professional devices, containers with water are also suitable, and hanging batteries with a damp cloth, and a simple but effective tool – an additional pallet with wet sphagnum, expanded clay or pebbles.
Read also about hibiscus in our article 5 ideal plants for a child.
Hibiscus plants need regular pruning. Dry, damaged, unproductive shoots from them are cut out in the same way as in all indoor plants – as soon as problems appear or in early spring, with the first signs of growth.
But the annual formative pruning is “responsible” for flowering: after winter, hibiscus must be sheared, shortening the shoots to stimulate the growth of new strong branches, on which the plant will bloom. You can only pinch the tops, slightly shorten all the shoots or maintain a certain contour. The main thing is to leave at least 2 – 3 kidneys.