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Extra Nutrition for your Hibiscus


Our HVH Special Blend Fertilizer contains the minerals most hibiscus need in order to stay lush, green, and healthy. But under conditions of stress, poor soil, flooding or overwatering, or drought, your hibiscus' soil or potting mix may lose some of its vital nutrients, or your hibiscus may require extra high doses of them. If your hibiscus' leaves start turning yellow, and chlorotic, losing their glossy, dark green look, then you may have a mineral deficiency in your soil. The two most common minerals that hibiscus become deficient in are magnesium and iron. Both minerals are required in order for plants to build chlorophyll, the dark green pigment that makes leaves green. When either of these minerals is deficient, the plant produces less and less chlorophyll, and will eventually become quite sick if the situation is not remedied. For more detailed information about the use of iron and magnesium to prevent or correct chlorosis, see below on this page.


Iron Chelate made with FeEDDHA
Our Iron Chelate is the FeEDDHA form, and is most absorbable form of iron for all soil types. Fastest results are obtained by using the Iron Chelate as a foliar spray. Longest lasting results are obtained by mixing Iron Chelate into the soil.

To use as a foliar spray:

  • Use 1 teaspoon of iron per gallon of water.
  • Do not spray in direct sun. Spray in the evening, on a cloudy day, or move potted plants to a shady area. Iron Chelate can burn plant leaves if sprayed in direct sun.

To use in the soil:

  • Make a small hole in the soil with your finger, put the iron into the hole, cover with soil, and water lightly to wet the soil.
    • Use 1/4 teaspoon of iron for a plant in a 4" pot.
    • Use 1/2 teaspoon of iron for a plant in a 6" pot.
    • Use 3/4 teaspoon of iron for a plant in an 8" pot.
    • Use 1 teaspoon of iron for a plant in a 2-gallon pot.
    • Use 1 Tablespoon of iron for large plants in the ground.
Order Iron Chelate:

4-oz Bottle - $9.99

1-lb Bottle - $19.99


Magnesium Sulfate - Epsom Salts
Our Magnesium Sulfate Epsom Salts are horticultural grade and do not contain any contaminants that could harm your hibiscus. They are very water-soluble and can be sprayed onto plant leaves or drenched into pots to supply the extra magnesium that your hibiscus need from time to time. Fastest results are obtained by using Magnesium as a foliar spray. Longest lasting results are obtained by mixing it into the soil.

To use as a foliar spray:
Spray in the evening or in the shade, and follow the directions on the bottle.

To use in the soil:

  • First water with plain water to moisten soil.
  • Sprinkle magnesium on top of the soil under the plant
  • Water lightly to wet magnesium
    • Use 1 teaspoon of magnesium for a plant in a 4" pot.
    • Use 2 teaspoons of magnesium for a plant in a 6" pot.
    • Use 1 Tablespoons of magnesium for a plant in an 8" pot.
    • Use 2 Tablespoons of magnesium for a plant in a 2-gallon pot.
    • Use 1/4 cup of magnesium for large plants in the ground.

Order Magnesium Sulfate ~ Epsom Salts:


Healthy, Deep Green Leaves - Rich in Chlorophyll
Chlorophyll is much more than just a pretty green pigment in the plant world. Chlorophyll is one of the most basic substances of life for all green plants. Plants use light to transform carbon dioxide and water into sugars to fuel growth - a process called "photosynthesis." Chlorophyll is the photoreceptor in plants that catches the light to run this process. When a plant's production of chlorophyll declines, its growth, health, and energy also decline due to lack of fuel production. So when we see young, healthy plant leaves turning yellow, it's not just an issue of the beauty of the plant, it's a health issue that we need to deal with as quickly as possible.

How do Iron & Magnesium Help Plants?

When plants have a mineral deficiency, the leaves veins usually stay green while the rest of the leaves slowly turn yellow. This particular type of yellowing leaf is called "chlorosis," and is easy to identify. Chlorotic leaves can have other causes besides mineral deficiency, but iron and magnesium deficiency are the two most common causes, and two of the easiest remedies to try for leaf chlorosis.

Chlorotic Leaves - A Sign of Mineral Deficiency
Iron and magnesium are among the most important building blocks of chlorophyll in plants. If either of these minerals is lacking in the soil, the plant cannot make chlorophyll. So it is crucial that we supply plenty of both these minerals to our plants. All good fertilizers contain both minerals, and the best fertilizers contain them in high quantities. But sometimes even these high quantities are not enough for hibiscus. Flooding or overwatering can wash minerals out of soil. Contaminants in water can also dissolve and leach minerals out of soil, or bind with them and make them unusable to plants. Using the same soil for too long with too many plants or plants that are too large can deplete minerals to the extent that fertilizers alone can't replenish them rapidly enough to keep plants green and healthy. Some garden soil is just very mineral-poor, and no amount of good fertilizer is enough to provide all the minerals needed to produce chlorophyll. In these types of cases, plants can begin to show signs of mineral deficiencies.

Chlorosis at the tips of branches in the youngest leaves
is usually caused by a deficiency of iron
When a plant is deficient in iron, you will usually see the chlorosis at the tips of the branches, with the newest leaves turning yellow first and older leaves below staying green longer. Magnesium deficiency produces the opposite effect - the new leaves at the tips stay green, and the older leaves at the base of each branch turns the chlorotic yellow first. This rule is not hard and fast, but it does help us figure out which mineral to start with in pinpointing the problem. There are many iron products on the market, but there is only one form of iron that works for all soil types - chelated iron made with FeEDDHA - so to make sure your plant can absorb the iron you add to its soil, be sure to look for this kind. Magnesium is easier to absorb, so many forms of magnesium work for plants, and the easiest form of all is simple epsom salts.

Both Iron Chelate and Magnesium Sufate can be used as preventatives when there are no signs of chlorosis. To help maintain optimum health of your plant, use these products once each year in the spring, or twice each year in spring and fall.