how can I help my potted hibiscus - Knowledgebase Question

san diego, CA
Question by JOYFOLCRONE
August 3, 2007
I HAVE A HIBISCUS IN A POT ON MY PATIO. IT HAS USUALLY DONE OK BUT HAS STARTED LOSING LEAVES, HAS NO BLOOMS (DROPPED SOME EARLIER THIS WEEK). THE LEAVES ARE VERY SMALL ALL AT ONCE. I HAVE BEEN WORKING WITH IT - AEREATED THE SOIL, MOVED IT TO MORE SHELTER, FED IT, CHECKED FOR BUGS. THE LEAVES THAT ARE LEFT LOOK A LITTLE PERKIER BUT
IT IS VERY SPARSE WITH NO BLOOMS. I TALK TO IT EACH DAY JUST IN CASE. IF I CAN SAVE IT I WOULD LIKE TO ENCOURAGE IT TO BLOOM MORE FULLY. ANY SUGGESTIONS? THANK YOU JOYE LUNDGREN PS OUR WEATHER IS VERY WARM RIGHT NOW BUT I AM KEEPING IT MOIST.


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Answer from NGA
August 3, 2007

0

Talking to your plant should boost its morale. It is stressed, but I'm not sure why, given the excellent care it has been receiving. Smallish leaves can indicate nutrient deficiencies, or nematode damage to the roots. since your plant is in a container, it probably is not being attacked by nematodes; since you fertilize as recommended, it probably isn't lacking any nutrients. So, I'm stumped! If it were my plant, I think I would unpot it, brush the old potting soil off the roots and repot it in a slightly larger container with fresh potting soil. This will give you an opportunity to inspect the roots to make sure they are healthy. Diseased roots will be rusty colored on the inside; healthy roots will be creamy white on the inside. A little root pruning (if necessary to remove diseased or damaged roots) won't hurt your plant and may help it recover its vigor.

Best wishes with your hibiscus!

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