Hibiscus Plants - Knowledgebase Question

Rotonda West, Fl
Avatar for bbbanker183
Question by bbbanker183
December 19, 2009
Live in SW Florida. Have Hibiscus plants around house (3 yrs old.) about 6 to 8 ft high. Developed a white spotted bug like disease on flowers and leafs. Leafs are shriveling up and falling off plants. Flowers are half blooming. Plants look unhealthy. What sprays can I use to get rid of disease? Is it OK to cut plants down to 3 feet height at this time of year? What plant food can I give them?

Answer from NGA
December 19, 2009
I can't tell from your description what the problem might be. A white coating on the leaves is a fungal disease called powdery mildew. White fluffy spots could very well be mealybugs. Both problems are difficult to control so your best approach might be to prune away all the affected plant parts, even if that means pruning the plants down by a third. December is fine for pruning in your gardening region. I'd feed with a 10-10-10 slow release granular fertilizer, scratching it into the soil and then watering well. Apply in amounts as recommended on the package. Best wishes with your hibiscus!

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