Help Diagnosing Tropical Hibiscus Trouble

organic_flutterby(5 MO)November 10, 2013

Hello all. I'm new to this forum, so glad I found it!

I've recently been entrusted with the care of my mother's tropical hibiscus. When it comes to my knowledge of hibiscus, let's just say that I have heard of hibiscus and that's about it.

She acquired this plant over the summer. It has been outside and flourishing there until about 7 weeks ago when we brought it inside for the winter.

I sprayed it off really well and cut it back and brought it inside. It is under T5 HO lights for 16 hours/day. I water when necessary, as best as I can tell. It seemed to do just fine in those conditions, even flowering.

Nothing else has changed in its care. Now it has yellowing leaves and half brown half green leaves with yellow spots.

I guess I should mention that I do not fertilize it. It got 1 dose of slow release osmocote in the late summer.

I hope someone can shed some light on this problem for me.


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Not sure about the browning of the leaves but yellow leaves happen. Especially indoors under lots of artificial light. Feel free to keep these groomed. (just yank them off)

I've had this occur to the point of the hibiscus only carrying a couple of leaves and came back full strength. You stated you do not fertilize but this happens to me when the plant is getting more than it needs.

If you are worried about the plant, pick up some of this:

It's pricey but organic. takes care of pretty much any issue except for over saturated soil.

Good luck!

    Bookmark   November 14, 2013 at 4:34PM
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organic_flutterby(5 MO)

Thank you GnuLoCo.

One more thing to add that I noticed when I removed the yellow leaves, there is sticky sap stuff coming out on the bottom of some of the leaves right where it attaches to the stem.

I'm not sure if it always does that or if it is new.

I think it needs to be repotted too, which I will wait until spring to do.

    Bookmark   November 14, 2013 at 5:39PM
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jean001a(Portland OR 7b)

Sticky stuff may be due to scale insects which can be a bit difficult to see unless you know what they look like.

    Bookmark   November 15, 2013 at 11:13PM
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