Best Fertilizers For Hibiscus: Ratings, Reviews, & Top Picks

Are you growing hibiscus around your home, or in your garden? Maybe you are training some hibiscus into a tree in your hard? Finding the right fertilizer to feed your hibiscus can be challenging due to the number of options available. In this guide, we review our favorite fertilizers for Hibiscus by comparing ingredients, soil, compatibility, and costs.

Light Pink Hibiscus Flower

Looking for the best fertilizers for your hibiscus plants around your yard? Hibiscus are either tropical plants or hardier perennials and require special care and attention to be their best. These popular shrubs are most often seen in the southern states across America. To get those gorgeous pink, yellow, red, or orange blooms, you need to feed your hibiscus trees the optimal amount of nutrients.

These plants can make an excellent garden center but are very sensitive to nutrient swings, so careful fertilization is necessary. This is especially true for more rare varieties, like the Fiesta Hibiscus. Drooping blooms and yellow leaves can turn your garden from fabulous to sad.

The best fertilizer for hibiscus trees supports all stages of growth, from planting to growing to blooming. Whether growing it out in your garden or a pot, the best fertilizer for hibiscus needs to get chosen carefully and with a deep understanding of what your plant needs.

At A Glance: Top Hibiscus Fertilizers

Top Pick

Hibiscus Plant Food

Our Rating

Carl Poor HIbiscus Plant Food

Organic Pick

Dr Earth Hibiscus Fertilizer

Our Rating

Dr. Earth Exotic Plant Blend

Budget Pick

Scotts Evergreen Flowering Shrub Fertilizer

Our Rating

Scotts Flowering Tree & Shrub

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Buyer’s Guide: Hibiscus Fertilizers

Pink Fertilized Hibiscus Flower
Before purchasing fertilizer for your Hibiscus, there are several factors to consider.

When it comes to making sure you’re picking the best fertilizer for your hibiscus plant, there are several things you need to take into consideration before searching for fertilizer.

Types of Fertilizer

When it comes to fertilizer, there are many different types you can choose from. Each type of plant food: granular, liquid, powder, or tablet, has a different rate at which plants can absorb nutrients and how long it takes before you need to fertilize again.


This type of essential fertilizer is usually spread on the ground, and the earth slowly absorbs the nutrients as you water the area. Granular plant food can be a bit ineffective at making sure your plants have plenty of fertilizer, and so you’ll need to use it more often.


This liquid plant food gets added to your water before you go out into the garden. You can use liquid plant food to fertilize the ground and the plant directly, making it a much more efficient fertilizer use. However, using the incorrect dosage could burn your plants.


Similar to liquid, powdered plant food gets added to water before you go out to water your garden. Unlike a liquid, the mixture can come pre-measured, so it’s less likely to burn your plants.


Tablets can get used when you’re just starting your garden. You place a tablet down where you plant your seeds or bulbs, and the roots will wrap around the tablet and take nutrients directly from the tablet. This type of fertilizer is very efficient and can last up to two years, depending on your plant’s growth.

Organic/Inorganic Plant Food

The main difference between organic and inorganic fertilizer is that inorganic fertilizer gets used directly on the plant. In contrast, organic fertilizer has to go through a transformation phase by soil-dwelling microbes for it to be helpful to plants.

Therefore, there are advantages and disadvantages to each one.

While inorganic fertilizer can help correct immediate plant deficiencies, it can also strip the organic content of the soil over time. Inorganic fertilizer is cheap, easy to use, and dissolves in water for efficient feeding of your plants. Unfortunately, inorganic fertilizer is also more likely to burn plants over time.

Organic fertilizer helps by boosting soil-dwelling microbes and the organic content of the soil, but at the cost of time. So, if you have an immediate plant deficiency, organic plant food won’t solve the problem immediately.

Fertilizer Ratio

Each plant has a unique N-P-K ratio that they thrive under, and hibiscus plants are no exception. These nutrients are the primary nutrients plants use in large quantities to grow.

  • Nitrogen (N): Used by plants for foliage growth.
  • Phosphorous (P): Plants use this nutrient to help root and flower development.
  • Potassium (K): Regulates a variety of metabolic processes such as photosynthesis.

Hibiscus plants use N and K in larger quantities than they do P, and your fertilizer should reflect that. A neutral fertilizer will have each of these nutrients in equal measures, such as a 10-10-10 ratio.

The numbers on fertilizer represent the nutrient, and they never differ. The first number will always be for the amount of N, the second for P, and the third for K. So, for the hibiscus plant that needs more N and K, you want a 12-4-8 or a 17-5-24 blend of fertilizer.

Top Fertilizers for Hibiscus

Yellow Hibiscus Flower
There are multiple fertilizers that can help your hibiscus grow beautiful blooms.

Many factors go into choosing the best fertilizer for hibiscus plants. Choosing the wrong one could have disastrous consequences up as killing your beloved plant. Many fertilizers below have the correct amount of nutrients to have a hibiscus plant thrive. They can also be used with many other flowering plants in the hibiscus family, and some can be used to fertilize roses or other flowering plants.

Dr. Earth Tropical Blend

Dr Earth Hibiscus Fertilizer
  • Organic.
  • Non-GMO Forumula.
  • OMRI organic transparency.
  • Environmentally friendly.
  • Pet and people safe.
  • Made from human grade ingredients.
  • Made in the USA.

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This plant food is handcrafted from human and feed-grade ingredients with no harmful chemicals or chicken manure added, making it safe for people and pets. It’s a 5-4-6 fertilizer and perfect for healthy hibiscus trees. Dr. Earth is one of our favorite fertilizer brands for Hydrangeas, Hibiscus, and other flowering plants. They also have other fertilizer formulas for veggies like cucumbers.

It’s certified by the OMRI (Organic Material Review Institute), OIM (Organic Input Materials), CCOF (California Certified Organic Farmers), and the NOP (National Organic Program) and achieved the highest level of non-GMO purity certification.

Use this plant food every two months. For new plantings, add one cup of fertilizer into the soil used to fill the planting hole. Once planted, add an extra cup on top and mix it into the ground gently, so your plants grow fast, healthy, and vibrant. Water thoroughly.

For already existing plants, use half a cup for every foot of height your plant is. Then mix it into the soil from the base to the edge of the canopy. Water thoroughly.

Earth Pods Premium Fertilizer

EarthPods Premium Hibiscus Food
  • Vegan Formula.
  • Tablet fertilizer for easy application.
  • Made for indoor and outdoor use.
  • Compact and easy to store.
  • 70+ all-natural minerals and nutrients.
  • Environmentally friendly.
  • Made in the USA.

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This plant food has up to four years of amazing-looking plants in just one package. Each package, or tube as the company calls them, contains 100 premium hibiscus plant food, so you’ll be set for a very long time without having to rebuy them.

EarthPods are pet and child-friendly, so you don’t need to worry if your pet or kid gets into them.

All you have to do to fertilize your hibiscus plant is to push one of their slow-release tablets into the earth every 14 to 21 days near the base of your tree and water as usual.

The nutrients will slowly leech into the soil, get picked up by the roots, and turned into beautiful flowers that last for a very long time. The N-P-K ratio is 0.2-0.2-0.4 and also has beneficial fungi and bacteria that your hibiscus plant will love.

Nelson Plant Food For Hibiscus

Nelson Plant Food Hibiscus Fertilizer
  • Granular fertilizer.
  • Specially formulated for hibiscus.
  • Works well with other tropical plants.
  • Formulated for quick results.
  • No harmful chemicals.
  • Added minerals for bigger, lusher blooms.
  • Nelson’s been around for over 30 years.

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This special hibiscus plant feed will help you get your plants up and blooming in no time. This 10-4-12 is perfect for your hibiscus of any tropical flowering plant. Spread over the ground in the recommended amount and water.

The nutrients from this granular fertilizer will soak into the ground, giving your plant a boost, and continue to feed it for up to a month. Get faster and healthier plant growth with Nelson Plant Food.

For an outside garden, use half a cup of this plant feed to every ten square feet of the garden during the growing season. When transplanting your hibiscus, pour one and a quarter cups into one cubic foot of the transplanting mix and combine thoroughly.

You can also use it for potted plants up to 15-gallon container sizes.

Hibisgain Hibiscus Fertilizer

Hibisgain Hibiscus Fertilizer
  • Used by commercial growers.
  • Applied to hibiscus lightly.
  • 12-6-8 Formula.
  • Promotes beautiful blooms.
  • Developed in the USA.
  • No strong odor.
  • Granular fertilizer.

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The great thing about this 12-6-8 fertilizer is it understands that hibiscus prefers to be fertilized lightly and often rather than getting a massive rush of nutrients right away.

Also, you won’t have to mix it into the soil as solid watering, once applied, is all that’s needed to get the nutrients into the ground.

The company developed the plant food for commercial hibiscus growers in Homestead, FL, for the unique growing habits of the hibiscus plant.

You should keep this fertilizer away from the foliage and trunk. Give an even coating around the branches before giving it a thorough watering.

For in-ground hibiscus, it’s roughly one tablespoon for every foot tall your hibiscus plant is. A six-inch pot receives one tablespoon for potted plants, a ten-inch pot gets two tablespoons, and a 14-inch pot gets four tablespoons of plant food.

Hibisgain Hibiscus Fertilizer

Hibiscus Plant Food
  • Scientifically formulated.
  • Used for all hibiscus varieties.
  • 3-4 month slow release.
  • Contains extra sulfur.
  • Granulated fertilizer.
  • Made in the USA.
  • Slow-release formula.

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This 10-4-12 fertilizer is excellent for indoor and outdoor hibiscus plants. You only have to fertilize every three to four months rather than every month or every couple of weeks like other fertilizers. Also, keep this out of reach of pets and children since it is a granular fertilizer.

You use this around the drip line, or the edge of the canopy to make sure the roots get most of the nutrients as it sinks into the soil.

Carl Pool Hibiscus Plant Food is scientifically formulated for perfect hibiscus plants all year round, weather permitting. It also contains calcium and magnesium for healthy roots.

For garden plants, you should use one cup of plant food for every three feet of height of your hibiscus, not exceeding over three cups no matter how tall your plant is.

You can also use this in potted plants up to a ten-gallon container. Always remember to water your garden after applying fertilizer to get those nutrients into the ground.

Scotts Flowering Tree and Shrub

Scotts Evergreen Flowering Shrub Fertilizer
  • Neutral fertilizer.
  • Feeds up to 2 months.
  • Encourages root growth.
  • Great for acid-loving plants.
  • Easy-to-use.
  • Slow feed.
  • Made in the USA.

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Scotts evergreen flowering tree and shurb neutral fertilizer may not have the correct proportions for hibiscus, but it is excellent if you have a large garden and need to fertilize everything quickly. It will still help your hibiscus tree bloom beautifully year after year.

This plant food needs to be applied every two months during the growing season.

The best way to apply is to make sure it’s distributed evenly around your plants before using a rake to mix it in with the top three inches of soil and then give your garden a good watering to release the nutrients.

Miracle-Gro Performance Organics

Miracle-Gro Performance Organic Fertilizer
  • Organic formula.
  • Powder fertilizer.
  • Neutral plant food.
  • Instant feed.
  • OMRI Certified.
  • Promotes vibrant blooms.
  • Easy to apply.

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When you want to fertilize but don’t have the time to be getting your hands dirty, try this 8-8-8 neutral fertilizer. It’s an all-purpose feed for flowering plants. Since this is an instant-feed fertilizer, you’ll need to reapply more often, about once a week.

You can apply this fertilizer through a watering can for the smaller garden or Miracle-Gro’s garden feeder, which hooks up to your hose. Once added, just water like usual and watch your plants bloom with healthy, vibrant flowers.

For outdoor plants with a watering can use two tablespoons for every gallon of water. That should cover ten square feet of garden.

For indoor plants, only use one tablespoon per gallon of water. With the garden feeder, you don’t want to put more than three-quarters of the product into the feeder at one time. This amount of fertilizer can cover 200 square feet of garden.

Frequently Asked Questions

When Should I Fertilize My Hibiscus Trees?

Hibiscus trees like to be fertilized frequently but lightly. Therefore, slow-release fertilizers should be given four times a year, in the early spring, after it blooms for the first time, mid-summer, and early winter.

If you use a water-soluble fertilizer, use a weak solution once every other week in the spring and summer and once a month in the fall and winter.

What Happens When You Overfertilize a Hibiscus Tree?

If you overfertilize your hibiscus tree, your plant will not bloom as frequently or at all. If this happens, put some phosphorous nutrients into the ground to help neutralize the fertilizer.

Which Type of Fertilizer Should I Use for My Hibiscus?

You’ll want to change it up for different seasons and times of growth to make sure your hibiscus is getting the optimal amount of nutrients at all times.

New leaf growth in the spring needs a granular or slow-release fertilizer, so your hibiscus gets a steady supply of nutrients as it grows new foliage and flower buds. You’ll need to do this often throughout the main growing season.

After the flower buds form, switch to a water-soluble fertilizer with high N and K and a low P. A best practice is to use half the recommended feed and fertilize twice as often for consistent results throughout the growing season. Continue this fertilizer until it enters dormancy in the fall and winter months.

Final Thoughts

You should now have a better understanding of what makes the best fertilizer for hibiscus plants. First, let’s get a quick recap of everything that got covered in this article.

  • Hibiscus plants require higher N and K than P
  • You should lightly fertilize hibiscus plants more often for the best results
  • Hibiscus plants require fertilization year-round
  • The type of fertilizer you get determines how often you need to fertilize

There are plenty of great fertilizers out there for your hibiscus plant. With just a little care and attention, you can have gorgeous blooms in your garden in no time.

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