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Should I be concerned?

Posted by RetiredFlorida 9 (floridabeachportraits@gmail.com) on
Wed, Nov 7, 12 at 21:20

Looking at my confederate rose today I noticed that this leaf seemed to be darker and very different from the rest of the leaves which were light green and did not have pronounced veins in the leaves. Just another "new" thing I noticed in the garden today.

Darren


Follow-Up Postings:

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RE: Should I be concerned?

I would if you see more of them. If so, its a mineral issue.

Ed


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RE: Should I be concerned?

Thanks Ed, had no clue. I'm learning to start thinking about the smaller clues to my plant's health.

Darren


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RE: Should I be concerned?

How long have you had this plant? They can grow well over 20+ feet tall. I find I have to cut mine back each year and even then they can grow over 8 feet tall in one year. Any pruning can be placed in just plain water and will put on good root in a few months that will look like a rag mop. The leaves on my plants are starting to fall off due the the cooler weather here. Of course they tend to lose leaves during the dry season also. I did not know they could have any growing problems as I just stick them in the soil and they take off.
Paul


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RE: Should I be concerned?

Good to know Paul. I just acquired this plant a month ago from a USF plant sale. It not quite 6' tall but has been severly hacked up. During the sale it was windy and the branches kept breaking so they cut them off. I will take some cuttings since you say they grow easily. 20' tall hibiscus would be cool! It is close to my property corner, near a dead end street and wooded growth, so no problem there.

Thanks for sharing how easy they propagate.

Darren


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RE: Should I be concerned?

Sounds like more need to post in the seed section and ask for seeds from gardenweb patrons. That way they will be able to sprout their own. I know the seeds are not that viable but with enough seeds you can get a very healthy plant. I do nothing to my Confederate Rose Hibiscus and they take off and my soil does not seem to like many of my plants. The reason I know this is right now I have one volunteer that sprouted this spring and it is about 6 foot tall and it has been neglected from the start as I did not want it to grow there anyway. If I a able to harvest the seeds then there should be many more who have too many seeds.


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RE: Should I be concerned?

Paul,

Agreed, I wander between the florida, hibiscus, passion flower, propagation forums. I do have seeds but not much in the way of hibiscus that I can identify. Most of my hibiscus are tropical hybrids which won't produce true offspring.

But I have collected some seeds from various other plants recently.

Darren


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RE: Should I be concerned?

  • Posted by tapla z5b-6a mid-MI (My Page) on
    Tue, Nov 20, 12 at 16:23

Darren - you definitely have a nutritional issue going on, and it's very unlikely it will resolve itself. The veins are the normal color, and the rest of the leaf exhibits (interveinal) chlorosis. The problem in trying to resolve it lies in the fact that MG, Fe, Z, Cu, Mn, and Mo can all cause interveinal chlorosis. If it was in a container, it would probably be a quick fix, but being that it's in the ground, a soil test is almost mandatory; this, because trying to 'fix it' without some reasoned direction is as likely to lead to additional problems as it is to resolution. It could be an actual deficiency of a nutrient, meaning that the nutrient is actually present in the soil solution in insufficient amounts. It could also be pH related. A too high pH causes many of the minor elements to combine with other elements, making them insoluble and unavailable. Or, still another possibility is, it could be that you simply have so much of one element that it interferes with the uptake of another (antagonistic deficiency). For instance, too much Ca can make adequate Mg unavailable and cause the interveinal chlorosis. Too much P, Cu, or Z can cause an antagonistic deficiency of Fe, which can also quickly cause the interveinal chlorosis. Finally, some cultural conditions, especially wet or poorly aerated soils can make uptake of a few nutrients in particular difficult.

On another thread, you mentioned your plants are looking "leggy". If these plants are containerized, and the "legginess" you're referring to might better be described as the plants having most of their growth concentrated near the apices (ends of branches), it's almost certainly the result of root congestion. Hibs in pots need to be repotted, which includes root pruning, yearly. Root congestion not only causes that tufted or poodle look, it also causes a lot of aborted buds, so if you carry your plants over from year to year, trying to stay on top of root maintenance will make a SIGNIFICANT difference in vitality and bloom profusion.

Al


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RE: Should I be concerned?

Al,

Most of my plants are fairly new acquisitions this summer. The plant in this thread was bought at a plant sale at the beginning of October. It was planted with a healthy dose of garden soil beneath and all around the planting. I'm guessing since I've done this, the smaller leaves that are showing up with the veins are because it is getting healthier. All the leaves were very light green but since I had never grown a plant like this, I did not know it was "anemic" so to speak. I recently fed all my plants with time release fertilizer, so I suspect it will be rebounding in good order, right?

Had never been exposed to "chlorosis" before but I agree on the diagnosis. Thank you.

Will keep an eye on it. Really do like the bloom this plant produces.

Darren


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RE: Should I be concerned?

  • Posted by tapla z5b-6a mid-MI (My Page) on
    Tue, Nov 20, 12 at 21:13

It was planted with a healthy dose of garden soil beneath and all around the planting. I think this could be an important clue to why the plant is in decline. Garden soil/topsoil/significant fractions of mineral soils should be avoided in containers. If you've noticed smaller leaves and the interveinal chlorosis, it's highly likely that it's due to poor root function/metabolism that can be blamed on the soil. I'm guessing since I've done this, the smaller leaves that are showing up with the veins are because it is getting healthier. Plants need a full compliment of all the essential nutrients they normally take from the soil to grow normally. If any of those nutrients are unavailable for any reason, the plant will scavenge them from existing foliage so it can grow new foliage, which is what you're seeing. In order for the deficiency to be corrected, it isn't always enough to simply supply the nutrient, you may also need to correct the cultural cause of the deficiency if it is indeed a cultural vs a straight nutritional issue. I think the important thing is to gain a basic understanding of how to provide a healthy root environment for your plants. Everything starts with the roots, which you might want to consider as being as important to plants as the heart is to a human.

Al


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RE: Should I be concerned?

If it was in a container, it would probably be a quick fix, but being that it's in the ground!


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RE: Should I be concerned?

  • Posted by tapla z5b-6a mid-MI (My Page) on
    Wed, Nov 21, 12 at 7:39

Forgive me please. I wasn't clear on that after your Tues evening post. Still, there is something definitely nutritional going on. If it was like that when you got it, I wouldn't be as concerned, but if the symptoms developed after you put it in the ground, you have something serious (nutritionally) going on. The pic shows what would be considered severe interveinal chlorosis. Adding 'fertilizer' MIGHT supply the nutrient that're missing, but it's going to add a whole lot of other nutrients that are totally unnecessary, too. Anything in the soil (solution) in excess, has the same potential to limit as a deficiency, which is why I recommended a soil test. It's not that expensive, and the fix may be easy.

Best luck - sorry about the misunderstanding.

Al


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RE: Should I be concerned?

A1,

You're speaking to very much a novice here and honestly you made my head spin yesterday. My apologies, I mistook your post as trolling because of the confusion it created. I looked up some of your posts and see that your advice is often sought out and your intent was to be helpful.

Thank you for taking the time.

Please clarify your last sentence if you will. Any nutrient in excess can cause the same effect as a deficiency?

Will try to get the soil tested, might help me understand my plants needs better.

Darren


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RE: Should I be concerned?

Put some epsom salts on it and water it in, that should take care of it.


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RE: Should I be concerned?

  • Posted by tapla z5b-6a mid-MI (My Page) on
    Wed, Nov 21, 12 at 22:48

E - Epsom salts (MgSO4) CAN only be helpful if there is a Mg or S deficiency, so applying it w/o evidence there is a Mg deficiency is much more likely to be counter-productive than a fix (S deficiencies are rare).

RF - Plants do best nutritionally, when all the nutrients necessary for normal growth that plants normally take from the soil, are in the soil solution and available for uptake, in the same ratio at which the plant uses the nutrients, at a concentration high enough to ensure no deficiencies, and low enough that it doesn't interfere with the uptake of water and the nutrients dissolved in water (too much fertilizer or salts in the soil makes it hard for the plant to take up water & nutrients).

If you have an iron deficiency, it's best to supply a fix that resolves that deficiency. The same is true of any deficiency. If, for example, you have a K (potassium) deficiency and reach for the 12-12-12, which is 12% potassium, you ARE supplying potassium, that's true; but you're also supplying N and P along with the K. If your plants don't NEED the N and P, you're unnecessarily raising the level of solubles in the soil (the TDS and EC), and making it more difficult to take up water and ALL the nutrients dissolved in the water. BETTER, when you have a K deficiency is - get a soil test first, which will reveal the deficiency and offer a recommendation of exactly how much of what fertilizer to apply.

Also, if you happen to have a deficiency of 1 nutrient (let's say it's iron [Fe]), it could be caused by too much of something else in the soil (antagonistic deficiency). By adding an all purpose fertilizer that contains both the element that is deficient (Fe) AND the antagonist (P is one possibility), you could make the deficiency worse, even though you're supplying it in the fertilizer.

Sorry if I confused you. I had talked to a retired grower of hibs from FL over the summer, and I thought it was you.

Have a good Thanksgiving!

Oh - Mg is mobile in the plant, so if you have reason to suspect a Mg deficiency, mark a few chlorotic leaves and spray them with 1/2 tsp Epsom salts in a gallon of water. If they green up after several days, you have a Mg deficiency. If they don't, you don't.

Al


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RE: Should I be concerned?

I will try the epsom salts at the earliest as from I can remember, I had a problem with my queen sago palm years ago and ended up buying, as my pop told me, magnesium.

Thanks All!

Darren


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RE: Should I be concerned?

that's a good idea regarding the Mg deficiency. I just added espom to the soil and waited a week - that didn't clear it up completely so i got some iron chelate plus - added a dose to the soil and that did the trick for my little graftlings. something about the switch from east coast to west coast, they didn't like the shipping or change in water...


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RE: Should I be concerned?

Al hit the nail on the head and spent a great time offering very specific and fantastic info. My plants are in pots and it is very easy for me to spot details such as infestation, ph, or mineral deficiencies. The real key I guess is recognizing an issue early, and appropriately dealing with it. And in my experience, not all hibiscus react the same. Some need more light, fertilizer, a different ph, etc... I have two plants acquired at the same time, in the same potting medium, feeding and so on. One looks great with blooms, the second suffered from an iron deficiency. Thanks Al for giving a concise scientific view of taking care of our babies.
Ed


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RE: Should I be concerned?

  • Posted by tapla z5b-6a mid-MI (My Page) on
    Mon, Nov 26, 12 at 7:55

.... kind words, Ed. Thank you.

Al


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