By Ellen Brown
How can I keep the new buds from falling off my hibiscus plants on my deck?
Hi! Your hibiscus may have a nutrient deficiency or overload, too much or too little water, could also be a soil pH issue, or an insect pest. I would bet your problem is nutrient deficiency or soil pH problem. What kind of soil is it potted in (where did you get it? if bought was it 'potting mix', general use, or maybe a specific use medium?) and do you fertilize it at all? If so, with what and how often? Lastly, how much sun does it get per day and how often do you water?
Last year was the first time I tried hardy hibiscus. I got roots from a mail order catalog and planted them in late spring with plenty of sun. We have very sandy soil so I water often, every 2 days, saturating the soil. The leaves on all 3 plants are cupped to such an extreme that the new leaves look like miniature lobster claws. The older leaves look like little boats. They haven't lost any leaves, they are still growing and there is no yellowing. The biggest plant hasn't bloomed at all. The second biggest plant had 2 blooms, the smallest had 3 buds; 2 small buds that dried up and fell off. The 3rd bud did bloom. Both flowers had beautiful color (white with a burgundy center), but they didn't open up the way they should. They weren't as big as the ones I've seen on plants not 4 hours from here. There were spaces between the petals. The petals were sort of long and slender.
I also have Black-Eyed Susan at the end of this same bed with some leaves misshapen and having bronze like spots on tops and under sides of leaves, as well as a fringe of bronze around the edges. These flowers are small, but otherwise look normal. They aren't a year old yet, so maybe small blooms are normal?
Has my bed got some sort of disease? Or are they starving for nutrients? I've fed them liquid iron 2X in the last month, added organic granules to the soil when they first came up in spring and drenched them with a 20-20-20 soluble food 1 or 2 times in the last 2 weeks, thinking it might help. I don't want to give them too much food for fear of causing more problems. These are the only plants effected in that bed, the sedum and Red-Hot Pokers are fine. Anyone?
By Lorinda S. from Walsh, CO
I didn't get to read your article before you sheared your babies down, but both will return. The powdery mildew I keep at bay by making sure my hibiscus is in a lot of sun and in the rainy season, I use dawn dish soap and bleach (doesn't take a lot) in a quart sprayer about a tsp. of each). Do it in the evening after it gets cooler and let them grow. You still probably need to fertilize the hibiscus & black eyed Susans. Remember it is a wet land type plant. Just water well in dry times and fertilize. Keep growing.
We had the hardest winter in history, and now my hibiscus tree at my front door which is as tall as the roof, looks dead. Is it ? Should I trim the dead branches now ? Please advise. Thanks.
Hardiness Zone: 9a
By Mary from Houston, TX
We leave things as they are until we see new growth. After a reasonable time, if there's no new growth, we cut it down. If there is new growth, we trim off the dead stuff.
by Willie q