Hardy Hibiscus has skinny stalks

rompar98June 21, 2007

I have had a hardy hibiscus for about 6-7 years now. In past years it has done beautifully prospering and growing. In previous seasons the stalks have been about 2" wide. I cut them down at the end of the season. In most years when the pieces left above ground dry out sufficiently, I can pop them out to leave room for the next years growth. Last fall I did not get a chance to do this and had an early spurt of spring growth so they stayed there. This was never a problem in the past.

I keep a wire fence about 3' tall around the plant to support any drooping stalks. This year I have had incredible growth and my plant is already 5'+ tall. The problem is that its stalks are only 1/4 to 1/2" and cannot support the growth. My little fence is not doing the trick. I tried bracing them up by looping some twine around the stalks but I am afraid that I am cutting off the air circulation that they need.

What can I do? Should I cut the whole thing down and sacrifice the flowers? Should I take it up and divide the plant? Are the skinny stalks caused b/c it has gotten too big? How much room do the roots need around the base of the plant. The particular flower bed they are in is approx 12x8. The peony next to it did not flower this year because I pulled out some overgrown daylillies. Could this affect the stalk size also? There is planty of space between the plants but I am wondering if the root systems are starting to fight each other. I appreciate any advice you have. Thanks.

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agibson(8-9 Texas)

Has there been a change in how much sun it gets? Something new that shades it? I bought a new one late last summer and because of our very hot weather, I put it in a very large pot, in the shade. I hate to admit it but it's still in the shade and it matches your description exactly. If the peony is shaded too, that could possibly another reason why it isn't bloomingconNot enought light could My other one that has been planted in the same sunny spot for 15+ years is still growing normally.


    Bookmark   June 26, 2007 at 6:29PM
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halaeva(z6 Toronto)

my hibiscuses has also skinny stalks.Over 10 stalks has each one.This is first year i let them grow as many as Mother Nature wants.All years before i cut them down to the ground leaving 3-4 stalks and i give a support to each of them.This way i had a nice over 5' tall plants,with lot of over 10"in diameter blooms and stalks were very thick.Now i am going to cut back some number of stalks. I think it's not to late.
I also would like to know what others would do in such case.
If i was you i wouldn't cut everything down, only would decrease the number of stalks and give some support as they need.

    Bookmark   June 30, 2007 at 9:39AM
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If your hibs are getting adequate sun, how about feeding? If so, what do you feed with? Every so often I fertilize hardy and tropical hibiscus w/hib food..I do not use any other types..Just sprinkle pellets, and water or let rain take its course...Toni

    Bookmark   July 1, 2007 at 9:24PM
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my grandmother has one and does absolutly nothing to it and it's the most beautiful hib I've ever seen. Thick stalks , round and full. I wish I took a pic of it last Sunday! I water mine, fertilize it and it looks nothing like my grandmother's- mine is short and thin:0(

    Bookmark   July 3, 2007 at 8:22PM
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proudgm_03(6 MO)

I use old panty hose to "tie" my hibiscus up. It's stretchy so I don't feel I'm "choking" the plant.

    Bookmark   July 4, 2007 at 9:12AM
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halaeva(z6 Toronto)

I use green tape destined specially to tie plants up.It is almost invisible on plants, but it is not economical.It is not free.
A panty hose - what a splendid idea!

    Bookmark   July 6, 2007 at 12:00PM
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