Hibiscus problem. Might have a disease?

Raimeiken - z9b - Peoria, AZMarch 14, 2012

I bought this hibiscus last year on clearance. It didn't have many leaves and also they were smaller than the usual. I've tried nursing it back but it still doesn't put out that many leaves ever since I got it. But it does put out lots of flowers.

Here's a picture of it. It occasionally get this yellowing on its leaves. I don't see any bugs at all on the plant. I've tried fertilizing it, watering it less, or watering it more, etc. Nothing seem to work.

I have a similar hibiscus planted near it and it's doing quite well. And its leaves are much bigger.

what could the problem be?

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tapla (mid-MI z5b-6a)

I'm assuming it's in a container ...... ?

Probably very root bound - major symptom is shedding of interior foliage, thus the yellowing as the plant prepares to shed foliage. Check for mites - it looks distinctly possible, from the picture.

If it's in a pot, saw the bottom 1/2 - 2/3 of the root mass off, bare root the remainder of the root mass, prune out the largest 1/3 of the remaining roots & repot. Make sure the roots remain moist for the entire time you work on them. The root pruning will have a CONSIDERABLE rejuvenating effect on the plant, the physiological reason for which I'll explain if you're curious.

Use a fertilizer with a 2:1:2 ratio, or a 3:1:2 ratio (like MG 24-8-16 or 12-4-8) and add a little potash to the fertilizer solution each time you fertilize. DON'T use a fertilizer that supplies more P (middle number) than N or K. If you don't understand the difference between your fertilizer's NPK %s and its ratio, ask, and I'll explain.


    Bookmark   April 2, 2012 at 4:30PM
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I sprayed my hibiscus with a mixture of dishwashing soap 2 tbls with water in a spray bottle to get rid of possible bugs. Did I kill it? The leaves are turning yellow and some are falling off. What can I do to fix this?

    Bookmark   April 30, 2012 at 4:23PM
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tapla (mid-MI z5b-6a)

See my post above your most recent. The plant has problems other than/in addition to mites. If you want to maintain Hibiscus in truly good health, you need to be proactive about maintaining the plant below the ground, as well as above. I suspect the plant was very root bound when you got it, and potting up or not addressing the issue won't 'fix' that condition. Restoring roots to good health means a healthier plant all around, and a plant much better able to fend off insect predation and disease.


Here is a link that might be useful: This thread might be helpful

    Bookmark   May 2, 2012 at 7:28AM
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tdoran(Zone 6 TN)

I have a problem with mine as well. The leaves are yellowing and have spots as well. Any ideas?

Here is a link that might be useful: yellow leaf

    Bookmark   June 11, 2012 at 4:06PM
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