By: Nikki Tilley, Author of The Bulb-o-licious Garden
While hibiscus flowers often grace us with beautiful blooms, these highly sensitive and temperamental plants sometimes fail to flourish. Either there are hibiscus blossoms falling off the plant or the hibiscus buds won’t bloom. However, becoming familiar with the most common causes of hibiscus flower problems can make it easier to correct the issue.
One of the most common causes of hibiscus blossoms falling off plants is insect pests, particularly thrips. These tiny insects feed on hibiscus flower buds, causing them to fall off prior to blooming. Using an organic insecticide once a week as directed should help take care of the problem.
Gall midge is another common pest affecting hibiscus flowers. This insect lays its eggs inside the buds, turning them yellow and eventually causing them to drop. These, too, must be controlled with an appropriate insecticide targeted at these pests. To find out if gall midge is to blame when hibiscus buds won’t bloom, examine the fallen buds for signs of midge larvae by cutting or pulling them apart. It will also help to pick off any yellow buds and dispose of them promptly.
Other insect pests that may cause the dropping of blooms on hibiscus trees include:
In addition to insecticidal sprays, placing yellow sticky traps, which they find attractive, near the plant may help catch and eliminate them.
Hibiscus flower and bud drop can also be the result of a number of other factors such as nutritional deficiencies and environmental conditions. Bud drop on hibiscus flowers is oftentimes associated with an underlying issue that can be easily corrected. For instance, insufficient watering, excessive changes in temperature, and over-fertilizing can all trigger the dropping of blooms on hibiscus trees. Hibiscus flowers require lots of light, high humidity, and moist soil. They also need regular feeding with fertilizer as directed.
The best way to keep hibiscus flowers healthy is to accommodate their needs and check the plants often for signs of problems.
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Two types of hibiscus that commonly brighten gardens and yards in the United States are the hardy hibiscus (Hibiscus moscheutos), USDA plant hardiness zones 4 through 9, and the tropical hibiscus (Hibiscus rosa-sinensis), USDA zones 9 through 10. Considered showstoppers for their oversized, vibrantly colored blooms, these plants are also known for being relatively easy to grow. Although both types are susceptible to damage by insects, many of these pests can be effectively controlled or eliminated by using a homemade insecticidal soap.
Bring potted hibiscus inside before the first frost.
Stop watering the plant until the plant becomes dormant, indicated by all the leaves falling off.
Keep your hibiscus in a spot with 40 to 45 degree temperatures F throughout the winter.
Check the soil biweekly for moisture level by pushing your finger 2 inches deep into the soil. Add water to the plant if the soil feels dry 2 inches below the surface. Pour in enough water so the soil feels damp 2 inches below the surface.
How To Multiply Hibiscus – Multiplying hibiscus, whether exotic hibiscus or sturdy hibiscus, can be performed in the house yard as well as both selections of hibiscus are proliferated similarly. Durable hibiscus is less complicated to multiply than the tropical hibiscus, however never fear with a little bit of expertise concerning the best ways to proliferate hibiscus, you can be successful at expanding either kind.
Both durable, as well as tropical hibiscus, are multiplied from cuttings. Hibiscus cuttings are typically the recommended way of multiplying hibiscus since a cutting will expand to be an exact copy of the parent plant.
When making use of hibiscus cuttings to propagate hibiscus, start by taking the cutting. The cutting should be drawn from brand-new growth or softwood. Softwood is branching on the hibiscus that has actually not yet developed. Softwood will certainly be pliable as well as typically has a green actor. You will mostly discover softwood on a hibiscus in springtime or very early summer season.
The hibiscus cutting must be 4 to 6 inches long. Remove every little thing yet the top set of fallen leaves. Cut the bottom of the hibiscus cutting to be reduced simply listed below the lower leaf node (bump where the leaf was expanding). Dip the bottom of the hibiscus reducing in rooting hormone.
The next step for circulating hibiscus from cuttings is to position the hibiscus reducing in the well-draining dirt. A 50-50 mix of potting soil and perlite functions well. Ensure the rooting dirt is extensively wet, then stick a finger right into the rooting soil. Place the hibiscus reducing into the hole as well as backfill it around the hibiscus cutting.
Location a plastic bag over the cutting, seeing to it that the plastic does not touch the fallen leaves. Location the hibiscus reducing in partial shade. Make certain the rooting dirt stays wet (not damp) till the hibiscus cuttings are rooted. The cuttings must be rooted in concerning eight weeks. Once they are rooted, you can repot them in a bigger pot.
Be cautioned that exotic hibiscus will certainly have a reduced price of success compared to hardy hibiscus, however, if you begin several cuttings of the tropical hibiscus, there is a likelihood a minimum of one will certainly root efficiently.
While both exotic hibiscus and sturdy hibiscus could be multiplied from hibiscus seeds, typically only durable hibiscus is multiplied in this manner. This is because the seeds will certainly not grow real to the parent plant as well as will certainly look various from the moms and dad.
To grow hibiscus seeds, begin by nicking or finding sand the seeds. This aids to obtain moisture into the seeds and enhances germination. The hibiscus seeds can be nicked with an energy blade or fine sand with a bit of fine grain ordinary sandpaper.
After you have actually done this, soak the seeds in water overnight.
The following step in propagating hibiscus from seeds is to position the seeds in the soil. The seeds must be grown twice a deep as they are big. Since hibiscus seeds tend to be tiny, you can make use of the idea of a pen or a toothpick to earn the hole.
Carefully spray or look more dirt over where you planted the hibiscus seeds. This is better than backfilling the openings since you will certainly not unintentionally press the seeds deeper.
Water the soil once the seeds are planted. You must see seedlings appear in one to two weeks, yet it could use up to four weeks.
Using a paintbrush to help with pollination of my big eggplant tree.
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You may be wondering about my post image of the eggplant with a paintbrush. I’m hoping that little brush will help with eggplant production. When your eggplant flowers keep falling off, you may need a little paintbrush too.
For many months now I have had an eggplant “tree” growing in my garden. I’m not familiar with growing eggplants. In my New England yard I think I tried a few times and picked maybe one eggplant from my own garden! The plants never grew very large – maybe a couple feet high. Here in Florida, my eggplant has become a small tree. And this photo was taken AFTER I pruned big branches off the thing!
Because of the warm climate, vegetable plants just go on living for many, many months. I am not used to that. The New Hampshire growing season was very short. When frost and freezes don’t happen, I suppose the plants could go on living forever. I don’t know. Does that happen? I thought vegetable plants were only good for one season.
Light purple eggplant flower
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The plant produced many little purple flowers, and I kept hoping to see the dark purple vegetable pop out, but it never happened …. until just recently.
I figured there might be something wrong, since the plant itself is healthy and big. It gets plenty of water and sun. The weather has been hot, so I attributed the lack of fruit to that. However, the days have become cooler and now that one eggplant had set, I hoped to see more. That is not happening. All the other flowers are still falling off.
Small eggplant growing on the stem of a large eggplant plant.
" data-medium-file="https://hydrangeasblue.files.wordpress.com/2017/11/screen-shot-2017-11-15-at-9-50-24-am.png?w=226" data-large-file="https://hydrangeasblue.files.wordpress.com/2017/11/screen-shot-2017-11-15-at-9-50-24-am.png?w=470" src="https://hydrangeasblue.files.wordpress.com/2017/11/screen-shot-2017-11-15-at-9-50-24-am.png?w=840" srcset="https://hydrangeasblue.files.wordpress.com/2017/11/screen-shot-2017-11-15-at-9-50-24-am.png 470w, https://hydrangeasblue.files.wordpress.com/2017/11/screen-shot-2017-11-15-at-9-50-24-am.png?w=113 113w, https://hydrangeasblue.files.wordpress.com/2017/11/screen-shot-2017-11-15-at-9-50-24-am.png?w=226 226w" sizes="(max-width: 470px) 85vw, 470px" /> November 15th – Finally, a Little Eggplant is Growing!
I searched online and found a helpful article at Gardening Know How, which told me that lack of pollination may be the problem.
So this morning I went out with my little paint brush and swished it around inside some of the flowers. This is what that article said to do. Now I’ll wait and see if I get more eggplants forming. (Update: this did not help. I never got any more eggplants – that season – Read what happened the second year.)
I don’t love to eat eggplant, but I would definitely use them in a stir fry or vegetable lasagna dish. I just need this big plant to give me something to cook with!
In the meantime, I am using green peppers daily. I never thought I could grow them, but it appears I just had to wait.