Watering Hibiscus

Hibiscus is a flowering shrub that blooms from mid to late summer. This perennial prefers lots of sunlight and water, and as long as these needs are met, the plant will thrive. When it’s time to water, thoroughly saturate the soil, so the entire root system is wet and able to soak up water.


How to tell if the plant needs watered:

The easiest way to determine if a Hibiscus needs water is to feel the soil. Water your Hibiscus when the top few inches of soil are dry or slightly damp. Hibiscus has high water needs, so it isn’t necessary to let the soil completely dry out. Hold off on watering if the soil is wet. The leaves may droop or curl if the plant is too dry, but if you water deeply as soon as you notice it is in distress, it may recover.

Hibiscus are generally thirsty, but it is possible to overwater the plant. Overwatered Hibiscus will develop yellow leaves and possibly experience leaf drop. If you are concerned that the Hibiscus has been overwatered, give the plant time to dry out and continue to check the soil's dampness before watering again.

How Often To Water Hibiscus

It is usual for recently transplanted Hibiscus to need a bit more water at the start to help them settle in. Hibiscus will need water every day the first week after being planted. Water until the ground is completely drenched. Scale back to watering every other day the second week.

The weather will determine how often you need to water an established Hibiscus. Rainfall, humidity, and soil quality will determine how often to water Hibiscus, but generally, 3 to 4 times per week will sustain the plant. 


Can you overwater Hibiscus? Hibiscus can be overwatered. Since this plant prefers sunny spots, the soil will generally dry out quickly, but always check the soil and only water if the soil is slightly moist or dry.

Container plants dry out more quickly, so if you have Hibiscus in a pot or container, expect to water it every 2 days. Hot temperatures or a dry spell can cause the soil to dry out more quickly, so the Hibiscus will need more frequent watering.

Best Time To Water Hibiscus

Like most plants, early morning watering is best for Hibiscus during the summer. Drenching the plant early in the day allows the soil and the roots to absorb most of the moisture, which will help prevent the plant from drying out during the peak sunlight and high temperatures of midday.

Subtropical Hibiscus in zones 9, 10, and 11 may require infrequent watering during the winter. If the plant is dormant or not actively growing, you can cut back on the water.


How to Water Hibiscus?

Step 1 - Check the top few inches of the soil.

If the soil feels dry to very slightly damp, then it is time to water. Wait if the soil is wet.

Step 2 - Water the ground, not the plant.

Position the hose or watering can so you apply water to the soil and now the foliage. Wet leaves are prone to mildew and fungus, and keeping the leaves dry reduces the threat.

Step 3 - Observe the plant.

Continue to keep an eye on the plant, look for signs of water stress and monitor the soil to only water when necessary.

Hibiscus Watering Tips

  • Wait until the soil is mostly dry before watering.
  • Thoroughly saturate the soil, so the roots are drenched.
  • Keep the foliage dry when watering to reduce fungus and mold.

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 Author Alison Cotsonas - Published 13-12-2021