Hi, I live on Long Island NY (zone7) and I had a braided hisbiscus tree for probably two years or more. It's been doing great in the summer outside blooming almost daily and even when I brought it inside in my sunroom it's continued blooming, obvioulsy not as mucha. This fall I brought ght it inside as always, in the same corner, but suddenly it started loosing leaves, and it looks as if I had cut the branches, which Imhaven't. Now they keep growing but very tiny bloomings and still green but mushy, and when they get bigger the tips dry. It is not looking healthy as it used to be. Could you give me any recommendations? I read they shouldn't be pruned in the winter. I am sending pictures Thank you! Gabriela
Certified GKH Gardening Expert
Getting the watering right in winter can be difficult, so perhaps that is the problem. Make sure the soil isn't staying too wet, which could damage the roots, but also isn't staying dry for days. Sometimes poorly draining soil can stay wet at the bottom even if the surface is dry.
Mushiness is a bad sign, because it can indicate rot of the aboveground parts or potentially root rot (usualy caused by soil that stays too wet). You should prune off any mushy twigs to prevent further damage (even though it's not the best time of year to prune, preventing further rot is important.) If it's just the leaves or blossoms that are mushy, that's not as much of a problem. You can just remove the individual leaves/blossoms.
Or, the leaves might be dropping simply because of low light levels. This isn't so much of a concern, because the leaves will grow back in spring. If you want more leaves now, try adding a grow light. But the plant should be fine either way.