Question: Why don’t my tropical hibiscus plants bloom? They grow beautifully, but no major numbers of flowers since the day we bought them.

Answer: Hibiscus plants produce their flower buds on new growth, so plants that are lethargic growers will follow suit with their flowers. Specialty hibiscus fertilizers have comparatively high nitrogen contents. It’s also important that the plants receive really bright light, preferably full sunlight, at least into mid-afternoon. If you’re growing them in pots, that’s going to mean that you’ll have to redouble your efforts of keeping them watered properly. With all that watering, you’re also going to have to use the water-soluble hibiscus fertilizer fairly often. One last reason: hibiscus plants seem sluggish to bloom if they have been over-wintered in cool, dark conditions such as a garage or even a cool room in your house. It really seems to stop their growth and subsequent blooming for many weeks in the spring and into the summer.

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