Braided hibiscus is struggling, please help!!!

prettyxdemented(6)July 2, 2012

Hi, I recently purchased a braided hibiscus tree and I have no idea whatsoever what I'm doing with it.

When I first got it, it was EXTREMELY rootbound in a small pot. My mom brought me over a slightly larger pot and we cut around half of the rootbound mess off and repotted it with some fertilizer. (Not sure exactly what it was, but I know it was little green balls and the brand is Miracle Grow.)

I have it on a balcony in a very sunny area, and the ground is like a black tar texture so it gets double heat from the radiating heat off the ground. (I'm on the second floor.) When we first repotted it my mom had me move it into the shade for a few days as not to shock it and I watered it constantly as in its rootbound state the pot was barely absorbing any water so I wanted to finally hydrate it.

HOWEVER. The leaves started turning all yellow. I kept picking them off and thru research learned I was overwatering it. I stopped, then it rained (ugh!) and more yellow leaves. I keep picking them off but there are barely any leaves left! It has a few buds and I haven't been watering it, but right now the temp outside is in the high 90s so I don't want it to dry out either... but if any more leaves go yellow the thing will be bare.

Is there anything I should do? I know it needs a bigger pot but I figured I could wait until the fall... any advice? I'm so lost here!!

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cindyrn(8)

I had the same problem with mine until I started watering them with vinegar water. Both of mine are in full sun with temps in the 100's. I mist the tops of them twice a day, lightly water them every other day, and fully water them with vinegar water (1/2 cup per gallon watering can) once a week.

Once I did that, the leaf yellowing and dropping stopped, they filled out nicely and have beautiful blooms all the time. I'm sure there are much more experienced gardeners on here they may have some other ideas.

Good luck!

    Bookmark   July 7, 2012 at 5:55PM
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blazeaglory(10 SZ22/24 OC Ca)

Sometimes high phosphorous mixed with over watering can cause yellow leaves. Hibiscus like medium N, little P, and high K. The green granules you fed it were 10-10-10 I think. Not sure if that will make it turn yellow or not.

    Bookmark   July 9, 2012 at 12:05AM
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mickeyperreaud(z9AZ)

What is the reason for using vinegar water?
Mickey

    Bookmark   July 17, 2012 at 6:04PM
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cindyrn(8)

The vinegar makes the soil slightly acidic (Hibiscus prefers) and may increase the availability of nutrients to the roots. Whatever the reason, it works like a charm for my braided hibiscus

http://www.azcentral.com/style/hfe/outdoors/articles/2006/05/27/20060527swgarden0527.html

http://www.dannylipford.com/problem-with-tropical-hibiscus-leaves-turning-yellow/

http://www.bachmans.com/Care-Handling/Plants/divHomePage.html?cnb=Plants&categoryCode=01&pageIndex=_pageIndexToken_tropicalHibiscus

I agree about the Miracle Grow. I used Bloom Booster Miracle Grow on my Hibiscus when I first got it and almost killed it.

    Bookmark   July 17, 2012 at 7:46PM
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