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Re: [pfaf] Hibiscus leaf-drop

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  • sunshine720@comcast.net
    Hi Steve, Thanks for the info. We did get a one night freeze. My bushes have been through this before & nothing had happened, that is why I was concerned.
    Message 1 of 2 , Jan 16, 2008
      Hi Steve,

      Thanks for the info. We did get a one night freeze. My bushes have been through this before & nothing had happened, that is why I was concerned.
      I'll let you know what happens.


      -------------- Original message --------------
      From: "Steve Sainsbury" <permalove@...>
      Hi Sunny,

      Are your bushes exposed, and did you just have a good hard gale blow
      through? Sometimes this can cause shock via windburn. However, this is
      normally obvious, as the leaves curl up and go brown.

      You may have an insect issue below the soil surface. Double check the
      leaves and branches for the presence of any infestations, but it sounds like
      shock to me.. potentially something is affecting the roots (approximately
      the equivalent of our internal organs).

      You'll need to inquire elsewhere for specific names of various pests
      (nematodes, for example) in your area, but I can tell you this:
      In some situations where you see leaf-drop, the roots are attacked and the
      plant responds by drastically slowing transpiration (dropping its leaves),
      which guards against dehydration, among other things.
      This also naturally induces a dormant stage.
      If the condition affecting your bushes has not killed them, you should begin
      to see regeneration soon. Hibiscus is a quite hardy genus, though they are
      prone to attack by several types of insect (above-ground, you are likely
      familiar with Aphids and Scale, which are "farmed" by ants.

      What you do about the situation depends on what you find and what you are
      prepared to do as an antidote. My best advice is to seek help from a
      qualified/experienced horticulturalist to determine if insect damage or
      another vector (a virus, for example) is the problem. Sometimes one invites
      the other.

      As an example, recently we had what looked like spider mites on some fruit
      trees (Prunus spp. mostly) and their damage was immediately followed by a
      fungal presence, which would not have been likely to attack a healthy tree.

      I live in Bermuda (sub-tropical island in the mid-Atlantic), and we get
      several species of larval stages affecting our trees, shrubs and grass.

      Solutions vary with location, species and timing, along with your
      willingness (if any) to use pesticides. In some cases, a fine spray of
      mineral oil is all you need.

      You may wish to take several cuttings of your bushes, especially if the
      flower is unlike any other on your property. I know a cutting doesn't
      replace a 20 year old mother, but at least you'll preserve the lineage if
      things go poorly.
      However, in my opinion, the bushes should pull through. If it's an insect
      attack, they will soon develop into the next stage and begin dispersing.

      Good luck with your situation.

      I'd be interested to hear what you find.



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