The Q&A Archives: Hibiscus

Question: Something is eating my Hibiscus, the flowers fall off prior to opening and it appears they are being chewed off at the stem. (A nice even cut). I don't see any bugs on the bushes. Thanks.

Answer: There are two fairly typical reasons for the buds to drop off of a tropical hibiscus plant. In spring, the most common is probably cold temperatures, meaning below 55 degrees -- at night. The other common reason is over or underwatering. The soil should be kept evenly moist but never sopping wet and never allowed to dry out completely. Another reason for bud drop is a little bud worm. This pest feeds on the insides of the unopened flower bud. Check the unopened buds for a single exit hole. There's no control for these pests other than to inspect all the flower buds on your plants and pick off and destroy those with little holes in them. You'll be killing the larvae as well as the next generation. I hope this helps you troubleshoot.

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