Confederate Rose - Knowledgebase Question

Bolivia, No
Avatar for jthorn5656
Question by jthorn5656
October 7, 2010
It has a bunch of holes in the large leaves. Also, it has blooms which are not blooming and are just wilting and drying up. They were doing fine the last couple of years and are around 6 feet tall.

Jim Horn

Answer from NGA
October 7, 2010
Your Confederate rose sounds as though it has been attacked by caterpillars or other leaf eating insects. Since it's the end of the growing season and your plant will lose its leaves in a few weeks, the best approach is to simply rake up the fallen leaves and remove them from the garden. Next spring monitor the plant for signs of damage. If you find holes in the leaves, try to find the insects responsible for the damage. You can then handpick the culprits or use an insect-specific spray to control the population while it is still small. Unopened flower buds can indicate a water or heat stress problem or might be a sign of bud worms. These little pests enter the unopened bud and feed on the flowers which keeps them from opening. It's difficult to control these pests because they are protected inside the flower buds. You may have some success in spraying the plant with Bt (sold as Dipel or Thuricide), a botanical that targets only caterpillars. I just pull off the dead or dying flower buds and toss them in the trash. Eventually the insect population will move on and your hibiscus will flower right on schedule. Good luck with your garden.

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