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Hibiscus being eaten by ...

Posted by robin11034 7b Charlotte (My Page) on
Thu, Jul 18, 13 at 9:18


Each year I pot hibiscus "trees" in large pots on my deck and place them where I can enjoy them from inside the house and outside the house. They get intense afternoon sun from about 1 to 4 pm.

Even though I make sure they are watered properly each year the bottom half of the trees lose their leaves. The top half of each tree looks gorgeous and there is usually at least one bloom on them.

This year I had decided that I need to research another blooming plant to place on the deck next year because I was tired of seeing the bottom half of each tree with nothing but twig branches.

Yesterday as I looked out the window I saw a squirrel climb into the pot, sit there and look around. Cute. I've seen them do that before. Then he literally looked to the left, then to the right and climbed the hibiscus. "Awww! How adorable he looks sitting there. Let me get my camera." Then he reached out and grabbed one of the leaves at the bottom of the top half of the tree! Then another! Then he pulled on the branches until he figured out which one had a bloom on it, pulled it down, and plucked the bloom off! Not cute!

All these years I thought my hibiscus were being distressed by the intense afternoon sun even though they are a full sun plant. Not so! The leaves were being plucked and eaten! I thought it kind of weird that only the bottom half lost the leaves. The top half couldn't support the weight of the squirrels which is why that part still looked great.

Anyone have any ideas on how to stop these leaf and bloom eating marauders?

Robin in NC

Follow-Up Postings:

RE: Hibiscus being eaten by ...

You might try bloom meal but squirrels are one of the smartest animals around.

RE: Hibiscus being eaten by ...

Try putting a cage of hardware cloth or something smaller than chicken wire around the trunks. We are forced to do this with our in-ground fruit trees because of rabbits and voles. Everything here gets planted in a gopher basket. Fight back!

You could also put rags soaked in human urine around. Most animals hate that. OR, you can hang moth balls. They don't like that either.

Good luck!

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