Do Hibiscus Like Acidic Soil? [Explained]

do hibiscus like acidic soil

For those of you who are wondering if hibiscus does well in acidic soil, wonder no more!

In this article, we will explore the answer to that question.

So, do hibiscus like acidic soil? Hibiscus develops very well in soil that’s slightly acidic; for ideal growing conditions, a soil pH in the range of 6.5 to 6.8 is perfect.

Soil pH is such a vital factor to consider before planting any type of plant, and hibiscus is no exception. If your soil is too acidic or alkaline, it can stunt the growth of your plants or even kill them.

Read on for more information about hibiscus and soil pH.

Preparing Soil For Your Hibiscus

As we’ve already touched upon, the ideal soil for hibiscus is on the acidic side. You’re looking to achieve a soil pH of 6.5 – 6.8.

To increase the ph of your soil, you should:

  • Use garden lime
  • Add some organic matter to your soil

To lower the pH of your soil, you should:

  • Add sulfur to your soil

A soil test kit is ideal to achieve the perfect pH level for your hibiscus. These are readily available online or at your local gardening store.

Once you’ve got your soil test results, you can start preparing the ground for planting.

If you do need to increase the pH of your soil, do so several weeks before planting. This will give the lime time to work its magic and change the acidity levels of your soil.

If you’re not confident enough to alter the pH of your soil, you can always look into growing hibiscus in a pot or container and buy a hibiscus potting soil mix to use. This is an ideal solution for those who don’t have the time or patience to change the pH of their soil themselves.

When To Plant Your Hibiscus

The best time to plant your hibiscus is in late spring, once all danger of frost has passed.

Hibiscus will struggle in cold weather and will not survive if temperatures dip below freezing point. If you live in an area with a temperate climate, you can get away with planting slightly earlier than late spring.

If you decide to grow your hibiscus in a pot or container, you can plant them at any time of year, provided you bring them indoors or move them to a sheltered spot when the temperatures start to drop.

How To Plant Your Hibiscus

When it comes to planting your hibiscus, theres a few important pieces of information to be aware of.

Hibiscus like lots of space, so make sure you plant them at least 2 feet apart. If you’re growing them in a pot or container, choose one that’s at least 18 inches wide.

Before planting, soak the roots of your hibiscus in water for an hour or so. This will help them to hydrate and settle into their new home more efficiently.

When you’re ready to plant, dig a hole double the width of the root ball and just as deep. Gently loosen the roots and place your hibiscus in the hole.

Backfill the hole with soil, being careful not to compact it too much. Water well and give your hibiscus a good feed.

Hibiscus Care & Maintenance

Now that you’ve planted your hibiscus, it’s time to sit back and watch them grow! Here are a few tips on how to care for your plants:

  • Hibiscus like full sun, so make sure they’re in a location that gets them at least 5-7 hours of sunlight per day. If they don’t get enough light, they’ll become leggy and produce fewer flowers.
  • Hibiscus are thirsty plants and will need watering regularly, especially during hot weather. Keep an eye on the soil and water when it starts to dry out.
  • Feed your hibiscus every two weeks with a high-potash fertilizer to encourage lots of flower production.
  • Deadhead spent flowers regularly to keep your plants looking tidy and to encourage more blooms.
  • Prune your hibiscus in late winter or early spring to promote new growth.

With a bit of love and care, your hibiscus will thrive and produce an abundance of beautiful flowers all summer long!

Will Hibiscus Grow in Alkaline Soil

Hibiscus will struggle to grow in predominantly alkaline soil. For a hibiscus plant to be able to absorb nutrients that are key to its growth; the soil must be acidic.

You’re likely to get some growth, but your hibiscus won’t be able to reach its full potential, and you open up the possibility for your hibiscus to suffer from root rot and drooping flowers.

DON’T MISS: Using coffee grounds for your hibiscus! Read on here.

Frequently Asked Questions:

Can hibiscus grow in clay soil?

Yes, hibiscus can grow in clay soil. However, it’s important to amend the clay soil before planting your hibiscus, as the soil will be very dense and will not drain well. You can add organic matter such as compost or peat moss to the clay soil.

What is the best fertilizer for hibiscus?

The best fertilizer for hibiscus will vary depending on the specific needs of your plants. However, a good general rule of thumb is to use a balanced fertilizer that includes both nitrogen and phosphorus.

Amending your soil with compost or other organic matter can also help ensure that your hibiscus gets the nutrients they need. And be sure to water your plants regularly, especially during periods of drought, as this can also limit their ability to absorb nutrients from the soil.

Do hibiscus grow better in the ground or pots?

Hibiscus can do well in either the ground or pots and containers. I’d recommend growing hibiscus in whichever way is easiest for you to look after it.


Hibiscus plants need acidic soil in order to absorb all the nutrients they need to grow, so if your soil is largely alkaline, your hibiscus will struggle. You’ll get some growth out of them, but they won’t reach their full potential.

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