Why Is My Althea Dying? Tips for Rescuing Your Dying Hibiscus syriacus Plant

The hibiscus plant is amazing! It’s pretty. It grows to be a large, fluffy, glorious bush, and it is even edible! Yes. That’s right. You can eat every part of the althea plant or mix it into tea, jam, or a sauce.  

So, of course you’re devastated if you think your Hibiscus syriacus plant is dying. Fortunately, this bushy, vibrant plant is relatively easy to care for and to nurse back to health.  

It is so wonderful to have around that it is worth reviving it. You just need to take a few steps in the right direction.  

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An Althea Plant Is a Great Choice for Your Home or Office  

If you’ve got the space, this plant is a winner for creating a pretty, floral garden in your home. You can surround it with other smaller pots or, if you have a large open space by a window, create a large plant jungle right in your home or office.  

An Althea Plant Is a Great Choice for Your Home or Office 

What better way to bring nature indoors and have a medicinal plant right at your fingertips?  

Signs of a Dying Althea Plant  

Though the althea is a hardy plant, it is not impermeable or immortal. You might notice the following signs of potential impending death:  

  • Crisping or burning leaves 
  • Yellowing or softening leaves 
  • Lifeless or lack of color on leaves 
  • Soggy soil 
  • Visible pests 
  • Mushy stems  

 Common Causes of a Dying Althea Plant  

The most common causes of a dying althea plant are the following:  

  • Overwatering   
  • Not enough water 
  • Not enough light 
  • Too much sun 

Watering Needs of an Althea Plant  

The watering needs of an althea plant change over time. At first, you will need to water the plant twice a week to help the roots establish themselves in the soil but be sure not to overwater or underwater the plant. Take a look at this article on watering mistakes that might be killing your plant.  

In the beginning, keep a close eye on the soil to be sure it doesn’t get too dry and also that there is no standing water. After about a year, you can trust that your plant is established and scale back to weekly watering.  

Check the soil with your finger to see if the soil is fully dried out. Once it has, you can water thoroughly. If the soil is still moist, you can leave it to dry out.  

Am I Underwatering My Althea Plant?  

The most common sign of an althea plant being underwatered is wilting leaves or flowers.  

Restoring Water to Your Underwatered Althea Plant  

To restore water to your hibiscus, simply water it for at least 30 minutes until the water runs through. Then, get back to a regular watering schedule.  

Am I Overwatering My Althea Plant?  

Signs of overwatering your althea plant include crisping leaves and mushy stems.  

Restoring Balance to Your Overwatered Althea Plant  

To restore water to your overwatered althea plant, place it into more direct sunlight and allow the soil to dry out. Check on it every couple of days. If you notice pests or extremely mushy roots, you may need to repot the althea plant.  

In that case, remove the root ball from the soil, cut away any mushy stems, and allow the root ball to dry out on a screen in the sun. When it has dried out, plant the root ball in fresh, light soil and restart your watering schedule.  

Soil Needs of an Althea Plant  

Hibiscus requires light soil or soil with a bit of clay that will drain through regularly and not hold water. 

Soil Drainage Needs for an Althea Plant  

The worst thing for an althea plant would be for it to sit in water and have its roots rot. So, make sure the plant is in a pot with loose soil that provides plenty of drainage.  

Resolving Soil Drainage Issues for an Althea Plant  

If you notice the roots of the plant are mushy, you can repot in a fresh pot with fresh soil. Place pebbles or rocks at the bottom of the pot so water runs through to the bottom.  

Lighting Needs of an Althea Plant  

The althea plant calls for plenty of direct sunlight, so it gets plenty of color with a little bit of shade, so it doesn’t burn.  

Resolving Lighting Issues for an Althea Plant  

If you notice the leaves or petals of your plant are crisping or burning, you may need to move the plant into less direct light. If the plant is wilting or losing vibrancy on its petals, move it into more direct light.  

Pests or Diseases that Can Cause Issues with an Althea Plant  

While root rot may attract pests like whiteflies or mealy bugs, if you don’t have root rot, you may still get aphids, which want to eat your plant. In that event, you can spray your plant with neem oil. Another option is to add ladybugs to the hibiscus plant as they would love to eat the aphids.  

Fake Althea Plants May Be an Additional Consideration  

If, in the end, you find the althea plant too much trouble to care for, or you simply don’t have time to revitalize the pretty flower, you can always choose to invest in a fake hibiscus. Artificial althea plants look totally real, and you can find a high-quality one to fill the space in your home or office.  

Fake Althea Plants May Be an Additional Consideration 

If you’re worried about being off trend by filling your house with fake plants, you should check out my article on whether artificial plants and flowers are tacky here.  

What do you think? Do you have any best tips or tricks for rescuing an althea plant in your home or office? Let me know in the comments.   

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