Spring is the time for the deciduous hibiscus to sprout again and form its lush green leaves. But it can happen that the shoot simply does not want to take place. This can have various causes, and a distinction must also be made between plants grown in the field and plants grown in pots. Because not every variety is winter hardy. The following article explains the causes and the measures to be taken to rectify them.

Possible causes

  • The budding time has not yet been reached
  • Outdoor cultivation
  • Bucket cultivation
  • incorrect fertilization
  • wrong location
  • wrong pouring
  • frozen shoots
Note: When buying the hibiscus, one must always pay attention to the type. Some varieties are hardy and others need to be moved inside and protected from frost in winter.

Time of budding

The hibiscus does not sprout and the hobby gardener now wonders why. However, the first thing to do here is to check the right time for budding. Because this is different from variety to variety, wintering also plays a major role here. The times for budding are usually as follows:

  • not until late in the year
  • mostly between April or May
  • earlier in warmer climates

It is therefore quite natural for the plant to sprout a little later and there is no need to worry. Only when there are no leaves to be seen by the end of May and beginning of June is it time to think about it. However, if the first small shoots appear, then it goes very quickly until the whole shrub is green.

Outdoor culture

If the hibiscus bushes are grown outdoors in a bed and do not sprout, then the possible causes in this article must first be checked. If this is not the case, then it could simply be due to the climate and bad weather. Because the sun hardly shines in a spring, if it is cool and it rains often, then this can also have an effect on the sprouting of the hibiscus plants. In such a case, a normal late expulsion can only occur in June.

Potted plants later

As a rule, the potted plants sprout later. This is mainly due to the fact that these are later brought back outside from the dark and cooler winter quarters. The plants cultivated in the tub are only exposed to the brightness and warmth of the sun again after the last frosty nights and the ice saints in May and therefore only sprout later. Of course, it can also be due to the other causes mentioned. So an overwintered plant should sprout normally as follows:

  • Buckets on a sunny balcony or terrace
  • Place sheltered from the cold wind
  • first fertilization directly
  • Keep the plant moist
  • The first leaves appear after just one to two weeks
Note: The hibiscus varieties are roughly differentiated between the non-hardy rose marshmallow and the garden hibiscus. The rose marshmallow is not hardy and should always be cultivated in a bucket, the garden hibiscus can, as the name suggests, move into the garden bed, but should be protected from frost even at a young age.

Wrong fertilization

A lack of nutrients can also be to blame for the fact that the plant does not sprout after winter. Nitrogen is needed for the growth and formation of new leaves. If you are fertilizing for the first time in the spring after the hibernation, you should especially pay attention to the addition of nitrogen.

  • Fold in the compost and horn manure
  • Liquid fertilizer with added nitrogen
  • is particularly suitable for container plants
  • Mix mulch with horn meal in winter
  • releases nitrogen

Wrong location

If the hibiscus does not sprout, it may be in the wrong location. Because the plant prefers sun and a windbreak. The brighter it is in a location, the better. The soil should be permeable and rich in nutrients. So that the earth never dries out, it is advisable to mulch the soil around the hibiscus all year round and not just in winter as frost protection. So nutrients get into the substrate again and again and it stays nice and moist and does not dry out so quickly. The location for the hibiscus could therefore look like this from spring, so that the plant also sprouts:

  • in front of a light house wall
  • ideal on the south side of a house
  • West side as well
  • not on the east or north side
  • too dark and windy

Wrong pouring

The hibiscus must not stand too dry or too wet. It is therefore important to ensure that the soil always remains slightly damp, but that no waterlogging occurs. Because these can be reasons why the hibiscus does not sprout. Especially in the case of an outdoor shrub immediately after winter, the soil must be checked to see whether the water may accumulate here. But drought in winter can also affect the plant outdoors. Therefore, the following measures must be taken immediately:

  • If it is dry, water it well immediately
  • on a frost-free day
  • if it is too wet
  • Loosen the soil around the bush
  • Do not damage roots
  • possibly add dry earth
  • Dig up the small shrub completely
  • Let the root ball dry
  • Fill in fresh, dry soil
  • Put the plant back in place
Tip: If no drainage has yet been created in the planting hole of a hibiscus plant, this should now be done immediately when the small shrub is dug up. Otherwise, with every new planting, whether in a bucket or in a bed, drainage made of gravel, stones or pottery shards should always be created.

Shoots frozen to death

If it is a free range hibiscus and it was a very hard winter, then it is quite possible that the shoots have frozen to death. However, a frozen shoot does not sprout. Therefore, if a very harsh winter is to be expected, an actually hardy hibiscus bush must also be protected. This does not freeze to death on the roots or on the trunk, but only where the leaves later form again. Therefore, especially a young shrub should be protected with the following measures:

  • many young shoots on the bush
  • protect with plant fleece
  • cut before autumn
  • then in the spring it sprouts again on the eyes
  • Remove frozen shoots immediately
  • eventually the plant will still sprout
Tip: Since the hibiscus plants are very fast-growing shrubs, they can be cut back before winter so that the new shoots do not freeze to death. The plants are very easy on pruning and immediately sprout on the eyes in spring when it gets warmer and lighter.

Good and appropriate care and the right location are important for the hibiscus to sprout. If this is not the case, there are various reasons for this. Either the time has not yet come for this, the plant is too dark, does not get enough nutrients, has dried out over the winter, has received too much moisture over the winter or the young shoots on the bush have frozen to death. Once the cause has been found, appropriate countermeasures can be initiated immediately.

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