Florida hibiscus, few and small leaves

I just moved to Florida and am getting used to a whole new set of plants. I planted a hibiscus tree in the front yard and it is growing, but has fewer and smaller leaves now than when I bought it. Some are yellow and fall off easily. Other hibiscus I see have large, green leave and look full and more healthy. It is still flowering. I have worked hibiscus fertilizer into the soil around it, but no noticeable difference. I don't know if it needs pruned, and if so, how?
Submitted by BHGPhotoContest

Your hibiscus is stressed and needs every bit of leafy canopy it has right now, so don't prune it. First, check the planting depth and make sure you didn't go any deeper than the plant was when in the pot. If it is deeper, the plant would benefit from being lifted and replanted. Next, apply a layer of compost to the soil around the plant. If you've mulched it, rake the mulch off, apply 3 inches of a lightweight compost (the kind sold by volume, not weight), and then put a 2-3-inch layer of mulch on top. Extend your mulch ring out to the tree's dripline if you can. These layers over the ground will help keep soil temperatures cooler in the hot summer sun and aid the root system in establishing itself. The fertilizer was a good idea, but you’ve got to be careful to use fertilizer in moderation on newly planted trees. Avoid fertilizing again for a full year and next time you fertilize, find a balanced fertilizer that contains iron.


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