The Q&A Archives: Blue Hibiscus

Question: I planted 10 blue hybiscus plants (trees) 3 years ago. I lost one last year - then one by one they are all dying this year. The leaves turn yellow and drop off. The branches become brittle and white on the inside? I'm not doing anything different than I've done in previous years. Some are 10 feet tall - some are 2 feet tall? Help!!

Answer: I'm not exactly sure what's going on with your plants. If the branches become brittle and are white inside, it's because they're dead. This might be caused by a root problem (poor drainage, overwatering, underwatering), or it could be a natural thing for your Alyogyne. These plants need to be pruned back annually to keep them neat and compact. The oldest branches and stems do die back and you can remove them at ground level, but the roots should send up brand new growth in the spring. I'd prune the plants back and watch carefully for new growth. If you see new shoots and leaves developing within a few weeks of pruning, your blue hibiscus are healthy. If not, you'll want to investigate the root systems for damage and the planting area for good drainage. Hope this is helpful!

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