Why is My Hawaiian Snow Bush Losing Leaves? | Cold Weather or Snow

The Hawaiian Snow Bush is a tropical plant so if you live in a cool climate it can wilt or lose its leaves in the winter. If it is in a pot, you can move it to a protected spot in your garden, but don’t worry, the leaves will grow back in the warmer months.

When spring arrives, move the plant back out into a bright spot in your garden. Give it a quick trim and it will grow back well. Water and fertilize the plant and it will spring back good as new.

The Hawaiian Snow Bush has beautiful leaves that are white, green and pink and it come from the tropics.  They are generally easy to grow and can live indoors or outside.

The botanical name is Breynia nivosa rosea, but I love the name Snow Bush.  They grow to a medium size, about 1m wide and 1.2m high. Remember to keep your snow bush moist, especially for the first few months after planting out.

Hawaiian Snow Bush Facts

Height1.2m or 4 feet
Width1m or 3.5 feet
AspectFull sun to part shade
WateringLikes to be kept moist
LocationOutdoors is best, but can be an indoor plant if cared for well

How to stop your Hawaiian snow bush losing leaves

1. Find Shelter

When growing in a pot it is best to move it to a sheltered place in your garden when the weather cools down.  If you can protect it from frost, you can help to prevent it from losing too many leaves. 

2. Choose the right size pot

It is important to make sure you plant your snow bush in the right size pot.  If you find that you must water it every day to keep it moist, it is time to move it to a bigger pot size. Remember, only move it up 1 pot size at a time.

Choose a pot that is only 1-2 inches wider than the one that it is currently in. You will probably need to do this every year or 2 because they grow so well.

3. Grow it in a warm area

Despite its name it can’t be grown in snowy conditions.  It only grows in tropical or subtropical areas so it might be too cold where you are to keep it outdoors.

It can be kept as an indoor plant so if you live in a cold climate, this is the best idea.  This will stop it from losing leaves when it gets too cold.

For more on how to grow a Hawaiian snow bush, check out this video below.

How do you take care of a Hawaiian snow bush?

The snow bush likes a spot that gets part sun and part shade.  If you imagine a tropical rainforest, plants are often shielded from the direct sun by larger plants. If you keep your snow bush indoors, place it near a bright window, this will help the new growth be bright and beautiful.

How do you trim a snow bush?

When you have your plant all settled into its pot or its space in the garden it will grow quickly.  To keep it looking nice as a small bush, give it a light trim regularly. Use some sharp secateurs and trim the tips (2.5 inches or about 5cm is perfect).  This will keep your plant looking great.

Can you grow a Hawaiian snow bush indoors?

Hawaiian snow bushes can be kept in a pot indoors.  It looks amazing with its bright pink and green leaves but here are some key things to remember to keep your snow bush looking great indoors.

Keep the pot moist but not wet and keep the humidity up.  If you live in a dryer area, you may find that a humidifier helps your plant to keep looking its best. 

Use your finger to test if the soil needs more water but placing it 1 inch into the soil.  If it feels damp then it should be fine. If it is dry, make sure you water it well and allow the water to drain out of the bottom of the pot. Don’t leave your pot sitting in water as this can encourage root rot.

How to grow a Hawaiian Snow bush organically

Here is my step-by-step guide to planting your Hawaiian Snow Bush right from the start to avoid losing leaves.

Step 1: Choose a spot in your garden that gets part sun and part shade.  Make sure you have around space for it to grow (3x3feet or 1x1m).

Step 2: Enrich the soil.  Most gardens can benefit from adding extra goodness before planting your snow plant.  Add aged cow manure, compost or a garden soil mix.

Enrich the soil with compost, soil mix or cow manure

Step 3: Mix the new soil or compost into the spot that you will be planting your snow bush.

Step 4: Dig a hole that matches the size of the pot. Gently remove the plant from the pot and place in the hole.  Fill in around the plant and make sure you fill in all of the air pockets around the plant.

Dig a hole the same size as the pot

Step 5: Mulch around the plant, this will help to keep the plant moist and happy.

Step 6: Water your plant in with a mix of water and Seasol.  Adding the Seasol is optional but it will help the roots to recover from the move.  Make sure you water it in well.

Step 7: Keep the water up to the plant and trim it regularly.  You could add an organic fertilizer around 1 month after planting, in the spring growing season to keep it looking great.

I hope you enjoyed these tips and tricks to stop your Hawaiian Snow Bush from losing leaves.  If you live in a warm, tropical area, and can keep the plant moist, you will have a great outdoor plant.  If you live in a cooler area, grow it in a pot indoors.  It will grow well in a bright area and look amazing with the green, white and pink leaves.