Red Hibiscus Plants Care With Fertilization And Pest Control

Red Hibiscus Plants

Red Hibiscus Plants are one of the most common garden plants. In India, we see it in almost every garden growing on the soil or in pots.

Hibiscus is an easy to grow plant but the plant needs a few things which you cannot miss. Also, Red Hibiscus Plants are frequently attacked by pests like mealy bugs which if untreated can kill your plant.

Here I will tell you these things –

  • What is the best fertilizer for hibiscus?
  • How to stop pests from damaging your plant?
  • Other problems like bud drop etc.

Understanding Plant Fertilizer And Its Types

Best Fertilizer for Variety of Hibiscus Plants

There are hundreds of Variety of Hibiscus Plants and many new varieties are bred every day. All hibiscuses need three basic things – a warm climate with lots of sunlight, generous watering and lots of food.

Care for Hibiscus Plants

Sunlight Put these in direct sunlight. The plants love heat and sunlight. The leaves and flowers will grow bigger.

Watering These need a lot of water to bloom well. Check if the soil is wet or dry. if you Care for Hibiscus Plants, check the soil twice every day. You may have to water every morning and evening. Avoid watering in the noon. The right way to water a plant in a pot it is to water it once and let the water drain out from below, and then put the water one more time.

These plants are hardy, which means that these will also survive in less sunlight, water and food. But for a hibiscus to give lots and lots of flowers, just give them the right food

Red Hibiscus Plants

Fertilizers Used By Gardeners In India


There are several fertilizers and their combinations that you can give to your hibiscus.

  • You can use a foliar spray. Use a balanced NPK like 19 – 19 – 19 or 20 -20 – 20 and spray on the leaves once every two weeks. The best time to do it is early morning. Otherwise, do it in the evening. There are also some readymade foliar sprays sold for flowering plants.
  • Add compost to your plant after every 5 to 6 months. Sometimes the soil gets drained of nutrients due to the plant’s heavy growth, rains washing off soil etc. Add a handful of compost around the base of the plant and gently scrape the top soil. Do not go too deep as hibiscus roots easily go into distress.
  • Red Hibiscus Plants need a lot of nutrients and a foliar spray is not enough for it. Use mixed fertilizer from your nursery which contains mustard cake, potash, DAP etc. Depending on the size of the plant, you have to use it every two weeks.  You can also fertilize it on a monthly basis but then the quantity will also have to be increased.  Since you will be getting from the nursery where sometimes they make their own combinations, ask them how much to put in a potted hibiscus. If your Hibiscus Plants Care are on the soil, the measurement may vary.
  • One of the best fertilizers that I have used for hibiscus is the mustard cake liquid fertilizer. Take 50 gms of mustard cake powder (about four fistfuls) in a small bucket. Put one litre of water. Cover it and stir it every day with a stick or use an old ladle for it. Keep it in shade for four days during warm climate and seven days for cold wintery days. After that take the fermented liquid and mix it with 10 litres of water. Use this diluted solution to water your plants. I do this twice a month and this works wonders for all my flowering and fruiting plants.

Here is a very good video from Dr. Surja Prakash Agarwala that shows you the full process. I followed his instructions and it gave me very good results.

  • Add bonemeal or groundnut cake to the mustard cake liquid fertilizer. Add 2 tsp steamed bone meal to it. I did not get the steamed one in the nursery but it did the work well. You can also add groundnut cake powder with this liquid fertilizer. Ferment it with the mustard. Both of these are excellent food and nutrient providers to hibiscus. If you use this complete liquid meal then no other fertilizer is needed for your hibiscus plants. You will fresh and green leaves, bigger blooms and more flowers.
  • Make mixed fertilizer at home. There are a few different ways to do this. I will write a separate post on this. This fertilizer can be used on several other plants also.

    Diseases and pests

    Red Hibiscus Plants Hibiscus is, overall a lasting plant. However, mealy bugs are the biggest threat to it. Mealy bugs are small whitish insects that gather in groups along the branch and around the buds. Firstly it destroys the buds and then slowly starts damaging your plant. Like the parasites, it sucks off the plant’s fluids making it weak. Although your plant will have many buds, very few will ever flower.

    Other pests like aphids, ants and mites also damage your hibiscus.

    You can treat these pests with insecticidal oils, detergents or chemicals. However to protect the bees and butterflies, it is always better to try natural or mild things.

    • An effective insecticidal spray is a mixture of neem oil and liquid soap. Use one spoon of neem oil and one spoon of liquid detergent or dishwasher or shampoo. Mix in one litre of water. Spray it on the plants at least once every two weeks. For more severe infestations, add one spoon of baking soda (not powder). Although this is not 100% organic but it is better than using chemicals. For severe ant problem, you can dissolve 2 spoons of detergent powder and spray. Always spray in the evening otherwise the leaves can get stressed in direct sunlight.
    • If you are really having trouble and the spray does not work, then you have to go for chemical pesticides. I do not want to use it personally but sometimes it is the only way to save the plant and should be used only as a last option. 

      An important thing every gardener must have is a good sprayer. Whether you spray pesticides or NPK , get a good quality sprayer. Usually two kinds of sprayers are available in the market –

    • Normally we get sprayers that fit into a standard bottle mouth. You can buy the sprayer separately at Rs. 20 -40 and use your cold drink bottle.
    • Pressure sprayer – I would tell you to go for it. I use this one; it cost me Rs. 250 and am very satisfied with it. I will make a full post on this.  

      Red Hibiscus Plants

      Does organic pest control really work? The Honest Answer

      Bud drop Hibiscus Plants Information and other problems 

      Here are some Hibiscus Plants Information. These Hibiscus plants can have some more issues. Broadly speaking –

      Fungal infection – If you water too much or directly on the leaves and it does not dry up properly, the plants will be affected by fungus. The leaves will turn brown or black and if left untreated it will kill the plant. Spray with Saaf whenever you see this.

      Root rot/wiltingOverwatering, poor drainage and poor soil quality are the common reasons for root rot. Insects and fungus also attack a weak plant and make it weaker.

      Bud drop Bud drop can happen due to multiple reasons. The most common is the infestation of bugs and peats. Check the plant well, check the underside of the leaves. Run your fingers through the underside and if you feel a powdery substance, be sure it is a pest. Spray with insecticidal mixture after every 3 to 4 days until gone.

      Why is my plant not blooming? – Rose, Hibiscus and Kalanchoe

      Another common reason of bud drop is food deficiency. Hibiscus needs a lot of food and micronutrients. If you are not giving it enough, it will not have the strength to bloom its buds and hence drop it. Feed it with compost and fertilizers written above. Also you should not over fertilize. Proper fertilization once every two weeks should be good enough.