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Hibiscus Care

Posted by Gutzmek 6 (My Page) on
Tue, Nov 19, 13 at 1:39

All,
I would love to create a thread for best practices regarding basic Hibiscus care and really focus on 'wintering' our friends. I can share my experiences and hopefully others do. I encourage others to use this thread for questions and add their knowledge.

I am currently at my time ability to keep up with the over 50 tropical plants, and want to pass along some should haves.

Last winter I had fewer plants and struggled to keep up with several pests. These were fungus gnats, white flies, and spider mites. In preparation for this winter I focused on the insects that annoyed. These were the gnats and flies. Before I brought the plants in, I researched techniques to assist. I invested in a systemic pesticide for the flies and invested in some worm castings and neem oil. I started the systemic about a month ahead and added the worm castings. My fertilizer also contains a low levels of simple detergent. A week or so before, I thoroughly sprayed the plants with neem oil.
A week after this, I am annoying pest free. Problem is, I did not attack the worst pest. I battled the spider mite last year, and this year, I have a real challenge with twice the plants.
Learning forward, I should have addressed the mites. Horticulture Oil and water are the best methods I have learned.
When using hort oil, spray only in the afternoon shade. Allow for a few hours to dry. Do this 3-4 times over two weeks prior to moving the plant inside. Make sure you get the oil on everything, including the pot, under leaves, and on the stems. Repeat a few times over several weeks to ensure you terminate the full mite life cycle. Next year, I will purchase a hose sprayer and mix myself.

Lesson learned.
Ed


Follow-Up Postings:

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RE: Hibiscus Care

Kontos works great for spider mites. It is a systemic that you water into the soil. No messy spraying. It is expensive but well worth it. You can get it on ebay.


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RE: Hibiscus Care

I am not a fan of Kontos.
Ed


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RE: Hibiscus Care

Hi Ed I was wondering your plants are in pots mine are almost all in the ground should I treat the same? I have covers that I use for plant protection. This is the first year that they are in ground. Thanks in advance-Araceli


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RE: Hibiscus Care

Hi Ed I was wondering your plants are in pots mine are almost all in the ground should I treat the same? I have covers that I use for plant protection. This is the first year that they are in ground. Thanks in advance-Araceli


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RE: Hibiscus Care

Ed, I have mine in pots too. They get morning and afternoon sun then are in shade by the late afternoon. Should I use some type of protection for them during the winter??

Thanks
realityfaery


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RE: Hibiscus Care

Hibiscusmaniac,
Adding to your point, the wife's house cat occasionally finds the plant's leaves to be a tasty treat. I have heard a few grumblings about the affects on animals. I would love to hear your opinions. Also, I am impressed with your varieties.

Araceli and Realityfaery,
All of my tropical hibiscus are in pots with my location. I would treat yours the same, but slow down on the watering/feeding.
Be mindful of the plant. I have no problem leaving a 3+ year old plant out in 50 degree or lower, but younger plants need more protection. All tropical varieties will not survive feezing temps.

Ed

This post was edited by Gutzmek on Sat, Nov 23, 13 at 20:38


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RE: Hibiscus Care

What type of protection should I be looking to use for my plants? They are maybe right around 2 years (I'm assuming), since they are fairly good sized bushes.


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RE: Hibiscus Care

Realityfaery,
What type of night time temps are you looking at?
Ed


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RE: Hibiscus Care

Hi Ed,
Tonight, we are getting ready for 24F, at our coldest, this is around the night temps we see during the winter. Last night, I moved all of my hibiscus into the playhouse in the backyard. Tonight I'm going to do the same. My mom has two inground that I will be covering again with a sheet.


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RE: Hibiscus Care

Realityfaery,
I hope your plants are surviving this. Low 20's is too much for me. I guess I need more information.
Ed


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RE: Hibiscus Care

Hi Ed,
I actually converted a large playhouse in the backyard into a make shift greenhouse for the time being by putting 6 mil thick drop plastic in the windows to keep out the frost. Its actually done great for my potted hibiscus, two look like they may be blooming in a couple of days. Which was a big surprise to me, but sadly, my initial attempt to keep the frost off of my mother's in-ground hibiscus was unsuccessful. They are not dead, but severely damaged, so now, each night I cover them each with a cardboard box. Then cover the boxes with a sheet to trap in as much heat as I can. So far, its kept further damage to them and they are still green at the bottom of the bush. I think that did help, but I will make sure to keep an eye on the weather and baby them throughout the winter.


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RE: Hibiscus Care

Realityfaery,
The most important environmental aspect for tropical hibs during the winter is the temps. As I said, these plants will likely show signs of stress from below 50f temps. For myself, I have the temperature under control, but I constantly monitor plants for disease, pests, and nutrient items.
Ed


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