Need help with my new Hibiscus

Discussion in 'Hibiscus' started by bhavnag, Apr 5, 2007.

  1. bhavnag

    bhavnag Member

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    Dubai, UAE
    Need help !

    I live in Dubai (desert with hot climate) and recently got home a hibiscus which i have placed in my balcony with east facing sun.

    Initially the plant was doing well and has grown in height over the last few months. I water it every 2-3 days in the evenings.

    Recently i have noticed yellow leaves and the dark green leaves are loosing color and now some seem to be wilting as well. Pains my heart to see the plant this way.. can someone tell me what to do..not sure if i should keep it inside the house?should i change the location.

    Infact the temperature hasn't gone up too high and is at around 30 degrees C. In extreme summers (june - sept) the temperature can go up to 50 degrees C.

    Pls help me

    Regards
    Bhavna
     
  2. JanetW

    JanetW Active Member

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    Maybe you can check the roots and see if they fill up the pot, if so maybe you can put it into a bigger pot. Janet
     
  3. bhavnag

    bhavnag Member

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    figured out that i had the pot placed right under the AC.. the hot draft from the AC could be causing the problem.. have moved the position.. will see if the leaves get yellow again..if they do will try changing the pot..thanks a ton for ur advice
     
  4. Chuck White

    Chuck White Active Member

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    bhavnag: It is quite customary for hibiscus to lose their leaves. Since you are in the northern hemisphere, now is the appropriate time for the "last year" leaves to slowly yellow and fall off. IF you still have healthy new growth on the stem tips, you can probably presume that things are normal. Light level will greatly determine how 'leggy' the stems will become. With good light, the limbs will maintain a satisfactory number of leaves to keep the plant healthy. At your discretion, the stems can be cut back to increase the number of stems with new growth. Each cut stem can sprout up to, probably, 3 or 4 new stem shoots. In this way, you may increase the density of the plant. Since a hibiscus will only give blossoms on the NEW growth, having more stems will give you more blossoms. If your plant seems healthy, it is often more traumatic for the owner (seldom for the plant), to whack branches off. Should this be your case, you may cut 1/3 of the branches at a time. As you are satisfied that there are new stems well established where the cuts were made, another 1/3 can be cut, and so-on.
    Water, fertilizer, and sunlight should make your hibiscus thrive.
     
  5. bhavnag

    bhavnag Member

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    Dear Chuck,

    Thanks a lot for ur reply..you seem to have a lot of knowledge about plants..i am new to the world of plants and got very worried to see my hibiscus 'dieing'..or atleast i thought it was.

    Have just take some pics of the plant and attaching it with this post for you to have a look at..

    Problems i have seen off late:

    1) Yellow leaves - today i had to chop off atleast 10 yellow leaves .. infact after changing the location of the plant (from under the AC went to a sunny area) the leaves look more healthy and less limp but today after i got back from work i noticed a lot of yellow leaves again..some old leaves which had turned yellow and some new ones.

    2) small brown looking blobs on the under side of the leaves - i have been cleaning the leaves once a week with a cloth and water and also got an insecticide to deal with the pest. It contains pyrethrines & piperonylbutoxide. i spray this once a week during the evening time.

    The plant has around 5 stems.. do u recommend i cut the tips of the stems? the stems have grown in lenght since i got them... didnt know i could chop them off and still keep it healthy.

    Reg bloom - well i havent seen any flowers yet coz i got the plant only 5months back in nov 06...

    so not sure what i should do to keep it healthy..do think i should change the pot?? i water it once in 2days coz the heat in dubai is building up now. What fertilizer should i use??

    pls have a look at the photos and let me know what u think
    thanks a ton
    bhavna
     

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  6. Chuck White

    Chuck White Active Member

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    bhavnag: Examining the photos as enlarged as I can make them, I note:
    The over-all health of the plant seems to be just fine.
    There does appear to be random new growth on the stems. This is also good.
    If you have a jewelers' loupe (that thing they stick on their eye to appraise your diamonds), or a regular magnifying glass, take a needle and try to flip one of the under leaf globs upside down. If it is a scale insect you will be able to see it moving after you have 'blown his cover'. If , in fact it is a scale insect, you might wish to change your spray to that of a horticultural oil. They are labeled as such. The oil spray, mixed per directions on the container, will plug his little breathing apparatus (scales breathe through holes in the sides of their bodies, not through nostrils as you or I), and will cause its' demise.
    An underleaf scale will generally cause a chlorotic spot(yellow) on the opposite side(top) of the leaf because the scale is a 'piercer/sucker' insect and it will suck out the chlorophyll which makes the leaf green in that spot. If your careful exam does not find a scale, then I wouldn't worry about it.
    It is likely that, if your pot is the one in which the plant came from the nursery, you might seriously consider potting it up into one perhaps four inches larger in diameter (without my conversion table at hand, I don't do metric, sorry).
    As closely as I can visualize your pot, it seems a little dry. I can't know what your watering VOLUME is, but I would recommend that you really drench (flood) the pot when you water and then allow it to dry until the 'damp' is an inch below the surface. Reason: if the plant is 'pot-bound' there is the likelihood that when you water, most of the water just runs down the outside of the rootball and out the drain holes and internally, the roots are still dry.
    In your photos, you show a particular stem in the corner . Measure that stem from its base to the crown. Divide that length into three parts and cut off the top third of just that one stem. You could cut them all but I think you are feeling your way, so just do one. It will start to grow new branches within a few weeks. The removed piece is now a cutting that you may use to start a new plant. Remove a piece of the base of the cutting about 7-8 inches long. CAREFULLY remove any leaves(cut them close to the stem, don't rip them off). Use a knife to split the bottom end about 3/4 inch and place a small wood chip in the split to hold it open just a tiny bit. Allow it to dry for an hour or so, then dip it in a rooting hormone (Rootone, or equal) and without scraping off the powder, place the cutting in a newly prepared pot and water away. A clear plastic bag over the pot and tucked under the bottom will hold the moisture in and keep you from having to water for lengthy periods of time. The pot should be in bright light (high shade) but not direct sun because you will cook the little guy in his private greenhouse. Subsequent cuttings can be handled similarly, and the trimming can be at your discretion. Just realize that pruning during the growing season will remove the potential flowers on those branches for several weeks.
    Your nursery person can fill any details I may have missed, but while some science/botany enters in, growing plants really isn't brain surgery and, anyway, plants can be pretty forgiving.
    Your nursery can also recommend types, kinds, and benefits of the various fertilizers. Hope this might be of some help.
     
  7. bhavnag

    bhavnag Member

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    thanks chuck..ure a great help..will take a printout of this email.. and examine my plant and get back to u.. the problem with Dubai is that u dont have nurseries where u can get any advise.. besides this region is very sandy n dusty so i have to clean the leaves every 2-3 days as they get covered with desert sand. anyways i will get back to u in detail after following your instructions..
    really appreciate all the time u have taken to help me out.
    thanks again
     
  8. bhavnag

    bhavnag Member

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    hi chuck..my hibiscus seems to be doing well..changed her pot and she seems happy now..chopped off 1/3 from each stem and can see new branches growing.thanks again
    attached is the pic of the plant taken today
     

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  9. Chuck White

    Chuck White Active Member

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    Sometimes you just have to 'bite the bullet' and go for it. By and large, pruning a plant is more often helpful than harmful. New, lush growth is more often achieved by pruning than any other means. After pruning you should see a new growth 'flush'. At this time fertilizer(balanced) in moderation is called for to insure the good growth and health of the plant. I wish you continued good fortune with your little guy. Chuck
     
  10. Dave-Florida

    Dave-Florida Active Member

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    Good advice, Chuck. In Florida, hibiscus thrive best when they are heavily pruned. The plants produce new growth quite quickly. Depending on the variety, they will grow into rounded bushes or have lots of loose, straggly stems.
     

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