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hibiscus trouble

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by Toni on June 11, 2004 08:45 AM
When I bought this house last year, the two hibisus were the same size and beautiful. I did not realize soon enough that the night temp would drop so much in the winter, and both were nearly killed. The yellow one is much smaller now than the pink one. Neither are very bushy, but were putting out new leaves and flowers. The larger one is covered in buds now, but the buds are covered with tiny black bugs of some kind. I tried some kind of insecticide, but it did not work. I can hose the buds clean and they will then bloom, but every day it seems to be getting worse. Now leaves are turning yellow, but the bugs(?) are not even on the leaves. None of the plants nearby are affected. Someone please help.
by Phil and Laura on June 11, 2004 03:58 PM
Hi Toni [wayey]
About all I can tell you is the knowledge I have acquired working with local growers. Healthy, fertilized plants are more tolerant of insect attacks, So they are probably Kickin' your poor frozen plants, while they are down! [Big Grin] The best time to spray for insects is in the morning or evening (temperature under 80) and be sure to cover the undersides of leaves. For heavy or consistent infestations, spray every 5-7 days (4 applications) to break the life cycle. Add water soluble fertilizer and unscented liquid detergent soap to your mixture when spraying.Never use Malathion on Hibiscus.I prefer organics and a Rotenone/pyrethrin spray works great, another ready to use spray I like is Sharp shooter, and for the love of me I can't remember who makes it, it is a citrus based spray.The lil critters probably are aphids, they come in all colors, way to know is,Ants Ants farm aphids for a honey like secretion they produce(honey dew) No aphids, no ants. Yellowing can be a sign of stress or even natural growth. Could be too much water or not enough water - too much fertilizer or not enough - or insect damage, reverse whatever you are doing or not doing , It is good to prepare them for winter with a good fertilizing. [thumb]
by Buglady on June 11, 2004 07:13 PM
First, with temperature drops your hibiscus will turn yellow and drop leaves and buds. That has nothing to do with nutritional issues. Hibiscus can have nutritional deficiencies but its usually iron, causing interveinal chlorosis (yellowing between the leaf veins).
They are funny, the wind blows wrong and they yellow and drop buds. But they will re flush out. Also insecticides can cause them to yellow and drop.

I always used a slow release fertilizer on them. Using liquids (powders) like miracle-grow you can shock them easy, causing leaf drop. With a slow release like Nuricote (sold also as Dynamite, this is my favorite) or Osmocote you get a slow steady release of nutrition. Mush better for sensitive plants.

As far as insect pests, they get aphids easy, white fly, scale and sometimes thrips. What you have might be aphids.. had to tell without seeing. Be sure they are not already dead. Aphids are often parasitized by tiny wasps and you do not need to treat.

Here is a link on aphids. [teacher]

Scale is another possibility but they do not usually attach the buds.. they are more on stems.

Good luck and if you get a photo send it my way......

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The Buglady
Suzanne Wainwright-Evans,
Educating the world... one bug at a time
by LowB hibiscus lover on June 20, 2004 05:14 AM
I just read the info that some ppl posted about yellowing leaves.... i just bought a hibiscus tree about a week ago.. and was putting it outside to get lots of sun to make it pretty.. i bought the miracle grow powder cause i thought that it would be good for it..but i see you say they dont like that.. plus i think it was getting some cold air.. the weather has been nuts here for the past few weeks.. but i was getting lots of yellow leaves on my tree... no bugs obvious.. but i was picking about 15 yellow leaves off at once.. adn a nice but about to flower just fell off for no reason..
so i will take into consideration the temp changes.. and get some slow release fertilizer.. do you guys have any other ideas at all?? greatly appreciated!!!!

thanks again!! [muggs]
by Toni on June 23, 2004 04:02 AM
I really drenched the sad plant in insecticide like you suggested, it seems to be working. I also cut back on watering and the leaves do not seem to be yellowing any more. There are lots of blooms. It still looks leggy, but no longer like it could die tomorrow. Thank You !
by njoynit on June 23, 2004 06:58 AM
I have mine in full gets fertilized about every 2 weeks but would be happy at every week like last yr.its got lots of peat in ground with it& is always much happier when its above 80.tropical hibiscus don't care for cold temps.will handle temps of 35 for short time covered.if fertilized weekly 20-20-20 peters or oscmote every 3 months.don't see much bugs.

* * * *
I will age ungracefully until I become an old woman in a small garden..doing whatever the Hell I want!

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