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, overwatering, drought, hard water, or alkalinity, 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.
Our Iron Chelate is the FeEDDHA form, and is the 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.
How does Iron 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.
Iron is one of the most important building blocks of chlorophyll in plants. If iron is lacking in the soil, the plant cannot make chlorophyll. So it is crucial that we supply plenty of iron to our plants. All good fertilizers contain iron, and the best fertilizers contain it 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 iron needed to produce chlorophyll. In these types of cases, plants can begin to show signs of deficiency.
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. 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.
Iron Chelate can also be used as preventative when there are no signs of chlorosis. To help maintain optimum health of your plant, we recommend using Iron Chelate several times per year – as often as once a month.