Help with Trop-Hibiscus

xineohpinakc(7)January 27, 2010

My brother bought me a huge hibiscus last summer. I brought it indoors and it almost immediately defoliated. All the leaves fell off whereas it was looking really good in a pot outdoors.

I thought perhaps it was just a thing and it did put out a lot of new leaves. These leaves started drooping badly and getting super dark black spots on the leaves and they all fell off.

It started to die back from the tips. I cut those off below the problem and re potted and discovered it was three plants in the pot. I took off all the dirt and set them in a bucket with captan water (only anti-fungal I have) overnight.

I separated into three smaller pots (to try different things) and new dirt. The few leaves left perked up but, still it continues to die back in the wood.

I have about 5 others and they don't appear to have this problem and still look really good.

Any help experts?

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brianmkerr(S/CoastQLD Aust)

Hi xineohpinakc, Sounds devastating, but it may be saved if we can diagnose some symptons or you can show us some pictures. Here follows a cut and paste of mine from another hibiscus site I contribute to, describing that your plant may be suffering from Phytophera. You will read that it also refers to plants in ground, though majority of info applies to both in pot and in ground:
Phytophera as I know it is a disease of the outer
layer of bark, ie the thick whitish layer between the
centre hard wood and the brownish outside of the
branch / trunk - it is known as the cambium layer. It
is a soil borne disease, from a common fungal organism
present in most soils, but prone to proliferate in wet
conditions and happy to take advantage of certain
situations where a plant is under stress for some
reason. Specifically I have found that stress to be
in situations where you expose your plant to excesses
of water, most often when combined with coldness or
where you may have overfertilized a plant or where a
plant goes from very dry conditions to very wet
conditions and cannot use the extra water because of a
lack of food to stimulate growth or where you will
have pruned your plant well and you overwater it / it
rains for days on end. In all these cases, some of
the roots are prone to damage and phytophera seems to
get in.

The disease can become evident anywhere on a bush, but
in my experiences, it firstly shows up on branches.

You do not see drooping of the leaves with phytophera.

(Where drooping of the leaves cannot be corrected by
watering, it is probably another type of fungal

Potted plants are more quickly diagnosed than ground
grown as you can see the wetness of the mix. This is a
general guide to follow and is a progressive disease
that takes time to show development of all of the
 You may notice that certain plants have changed
their water needs and are not dryi

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    Bookmark   January 28, 2010 at 12:08AM
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