Mallow Hardy Hibiscus insect problem

Qui-GonGrinOctober 9, 2011

Hello all,

At the start of this season I planted a Turn of the Century Mallow Hardy Hibiscus and everything was going well until a few weeks ago. The plant was blooming and then one day nothing. Upon inspection it looked for all intents and purposes like someone had taken a pair of pruning shear and cut the stems behind every bud cluster. That is how clean the "cut" was.

Doing my own research the only pest of hibiscus that I could find is the Sawfly. However my research indicts that the damage done by Sawfly larve is the skeletonization of the leaves. The leaves on my plant are fine and do not exhibit any damage, other then a few which do exhbit some chewing damage, but hardly what I would call skeletonizing. Does neighbor who also had a first year Hardy Hibiscus encountered the same problem? Yet few blocks away all hardy hibiscus plants contunied to bloom. Does anyone know what insect I'm dealing with here so that I could be prepared for next year?

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I forgot to mention I'm in zone 6a.

    Bookmark   October 9, 2011 at 9:06PM
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tomva(7-central virginia)

could it be because it is getting colder and that its time for the hardy hibiscus to start losing their leaves,I know mine are here in zone 7,they are pretty much done.The only ones that look good in my garden are the confederate rose's.If it's an insect you will just have to keep examining it until you finally see the pest,it should still be hanging around.The only pests I've ever had were the sawfly's,you mentioned, these hit in the beginning of may-June and then the japanese beatles,these come in june-july.maybe you could post a picture that might help..

    Bookmark   October 11, 2011 at 6:59AM
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Hi Tomva,
I don't think the bud drop would have been caused by the temperture as this occurred in late August/early September when the temperture was comfortably in the 80's.
I tried to take a photo, but I couldn't get an in focus photo of the stems which held the buds.

    Bookmark   October 16, 2011 at 9:37PM
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I had this problem all summer. I used a sprayer with a product designed to spray orchards because the sawfly larvae did not respond to anything else. Make sure to spray under the leaves (where they feasted). I would wait till next year to do something like this though because the hardy hibiscus here are about played out for the year and have begun dying back.

    Bookmark   October 17, 2011 at 1:52AM
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