My rosemallow is dying, help

grassnut100September 2, 2009

Has anyone ever experienced rosemallow (dinner plate hibiscus) slowing dying after growing very healthy stems, leaves and buds?

I have 3 well established (3 years plus) rosemallow plants in various locations in the garden. This particular one started coming back in late June, healthy strong stems that grew to 4 feet, and HUNDREDS of buds. I was so excited until 3 weeks ago when the flowers started to bloom, part of the plant started to wilt. The buds did not open, leaves turned yellow and then brown. I saw some tiny green caterpillars on some leaves, sprayed but that did not work. (my other 2 plants also have some caterpillars but they are thriving)

I think the root system is also fine because I still see some tiny stems trying to shoot up from the ground.

It also does not look like it is lacking in water. Afterall it has been wet in Toronto this summer. My other plants around it are fine.

It is a mystery.

Can anyone provide some suggestions? I don't think I can save this one but hope to try and prevent it from happening again.


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I know you mentioned the roots being fine but I still suspect it's in the roots. We have had so much rain in Ontario that blight and other fungi have proliferated. I have noted the same affliction on my shasta daisy, echinacea and blue thistle - where the entire stem suddenly wilts and dies off and yet new growth does prop up from the roots. I had dug up one plant and noted that rot has invaded a part of the roots which explained the wilt. I think you should begin treating it for root rot and I would suggest that you go to your nearest established garden centre to seek advise on what best to do.

Caterpillars were probably a secondary symptom. The primary one is the one that caused the plant distress and once that happens other diseases will prop up.

    Bookmark   September 3, 2009 at 9:28AM
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Thanks for the insight. I'll dig into the soil and check it out.
I also planted some new echinacea and blue globe thistle a few weeks ago, hopefully they will survive.

    Bookmark   September 3, 2009 at 8:27PM
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halaeva(z6 Toronto)

I grow Hardy Hibiscus for years and have many of them as they are my favorites.I lost two of them from root rot.Your description indicates root rot,so I agree with ianna,I advice to examine stems,as they cam be bent or even broken from strong wind.As a first aid spreading sulpher powder on the soil at the base of steams can help.
We can also blame rodens like moles woles,They damage roots as they travel underground.And as ianna says turning to garden centre with the prblem can be very helpful.
Hope,your Hibiscus will recover soon.

    Bookmark   September 3, 2009 at 11:01PM
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Thanks for the info. Hala. We do have critters as well, and I won't be surprised if they also damaged the roots.

    Bookmark   September 11, 2009 at 8:22PM
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