Hibiscus Plant Problem - Wilt Disease

by Kelly E
(Burbaby, B.C.)

Please help me revive my wilting Hibiscus!


Hi Wendy,

I just moved from Edmonton to Burnaby one month ago and started buying plants for my big house. Just one week ago, I finally found a Hibiscus plant in Port Alberni of all places while visiting a friend. My favourite all time beautiful plant. I looked everywhere for one...all around Burnaby and Vancouver greenhouses and stores with no luck.

I finally found one at an Extra Foods grocery store if you can believe that! It's called a 2 ball Hibiscus. I took pictures of the top and bottom parts.

The Top part is affected more than the bottom. There were 2 trees. I took the healthier one (so I thought.) The plant was sitting inside a larger pot that was sitting in about 2 inches of water but still looked nice and healthy.

I thought I’d get it home and just let it dry out a bit, it'll be fine. I brought it to my friends place that day and sprayed the leaves with the water and soap treatment, thinking it maybe had some mites or aphids on it too. Wouldn't hurt.

As you can see in the pictures, I have removed many of the wilted leaves as well.

I did not know there was such a thing as this disease of 'sooty mould' I believe, which causes the rather healthy looking leaves fold up and wilt.

I read up on some of the diseases that Hibiscus can get and one of the sites said to put 1 pint of bleach with 2 quarts of water and pour it through the whole plant and allow it to soak all the way through, killing the mould and sterilizing the soil. I was shocked when I read this! Is it true? I cannot believe my plant would survive this treatment. Please help?

Thank you so much!



Hi Kelly,

Unfortunately, I am not able to open the pictures you uploaded; however, the problem with your hibiscus plant sounds like Wilt Disease. For the best chance of recovery, it is important to act quickly.

And yes, although it sounds ridiculous, the recommended emergency solution is to mix one pint of bleach with two quarts of warm water. Pour the solution into the pot with the wilted plant. Make sure the potting soil is saturated.

The solution will kill off the fungi growing in the soil; however, it will not affect the fungi already in the plant. Hopefully, with proper care the plant will recover on its own.

For addition solutions refer to this page:


If this is not showing up as a live link, just copy and paste it into your browser.

Good luck with your hibiscus plant Kelly! Please feel free to return and post a comment, give an update, or ask another question.

Warmest Regards,


Click here to post comments

Join in and write your own page! It's easy to do. How? Simply click here to return to Tropical Plant Questions.


Subscribe to The Tropical Breeze.




Don't worry -- your e-mail address is totally secure.
I promise to use it only to send you The Tropical Breeze.

Shop RealPalmTrees.com Today!

Top Gardening Exotic Flowers Plants Seeds