Need help for a tropical hibiscus braid with sunburn

orcascove(6 Columbus Ohio)May 10, 2007

I got a tropical hibiscus braid from my 15 year old son as a surprise for mothers day last year( he mowed yards in the neigborhood to pay for it), and it was beautiful all summer long with peachy, orange colored flowers. I moved it indoors for the winter, and it did great under a grow light even flowered up until January before it stopped budding. Now that it is warm outside I moved it out for the year, unfortunatley in my novice knowledge, I gave it a sunburn by putting in in sunny spot right away.( I'll never do that again!!!) I do not have a way to attach a picture, but I have researched online the best I can to determine the problem. The leaves have gone white and turned crisp, on almost the entire plant. I am terribly sad at the thought of it not making it. What should I do? Nothing I have found says how to treat it, only that it's sunburned. Do I remove the leaves and hope new ones grow back? I have already moved it into a shaded area, in hopes that will help. Please help me!! I want my beautiful plant back, and my son and I both will be heartbroken if I killed it.

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watergal(z6/7 Westminster, MD)

I would remove all the damaged leaves and put it back in the sun. Keep it watered, but it will not need as much water as before since it has no leaves to transpire. You should see new leaves pushing out in a week or two if it is warm outside. Maybe give it a half-strength dose of fertilizer to jump-start it.

Hibiscus are really good at putting out new leaves when the old ones get damaged, so I think you should be OK. You have an awesome son!

    Bookmark   May 10, 2007 at 9:19PM
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I agree with Watergal..Unfortuntly, the damaged leaves will not return to their previous beauty.
Yes, even sun-loving plants burn when placed in direct light right off the bat..(I've had cactus burn)
Plants should be acclimated before setting in full sunlight.
It'll take a while, but soon your tree will send out new leaves. I use Hibiscus fertilizer, but for the time being, if I were you, I'd use a food high in nitrogen..after leaves form I'd go w/usual brand. Toni

    Bookmark   May 13, 2007 at 6:37PM
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orcascove(6 Columbus Ohio)

Thanks for you help, I have removed all the leaves, and put it back in the afternoon sun, I hope you are right and it does ok.. At the moment it looks like a dead stick with a braid in the middle. I just didn't think about the problems it could cause without giving it time to get used to the sun again, so I put the plant outside where it was last summer thinking it was happy there last year... LESSON LEARNED !!! I Appreciate all your help. Thanks again!!!

    Bookmark   May 13, 2007 at 9:47PM
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orcascove(6 Columbus Ohio)

Ok so I did as advised and my plant still has done nothing. Its been 22 days and still no new little leaves, or anything. How do I know when to give up on it, I am really sad at the thought I have killed it, is there anything else I can do to determine if it's still alive or not? Should I try repotting it in fresh soil?

    Bookmark   June 1, 2007 at 5:44PM
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watergal(z6/7 Westminster, MD)

I wouldn't repot. Try scratching a little bark off the stem with your fingernail. If it's green underneath, it's stlll alive.

    Bookmark   June 1, 2007 at 9:57PM
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jenny_in_se_pa(USDA7 Sunset 32)

It's only been a couple weeks. Give it more time plus now that it is nice and warm with more and more hours of sun (at least until the 3rd week of June), it should really start waking up. You'll know if branches are dead as they will look quite shriveled and will snap easily when bent

    Bookmark   June 3, 2007 at 7:06PM
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