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RE: hib care


Should I do that now while it's still relatively cold here? It's in the
greenhouse, has buds on it, and I think I'm probably overwatering it. 

Andrea H
EarthLink Revolves Around You.

> [Original Message]
> From: David Franzman <dfranzma@pacbell.net>
> To: <gardenchat@hort.net>
> Date: 2/15/2005 1:00:30 AM
> Subject: [CHAT] hib care
> Hi folks
> Ok, exfoliating Hibs!  *First revert to fake French accent*  Hibeescus are
> like women.  Intensely beautiful but at zee zame time tempermental and
> difficult to understand.
> Ok, forget that.  Loosing leaves is a common problem that everybody
> experiences.  The funny thing about Hibs is that they can be so damn
> tempermental but at the same time they will suprise you with their
tenacity to
> live.  Usually, they lose leaves because of some type of stress.  That
> sense but there is a surprising number of things that make them stressful.
> The most common are overwatering, underwatering or changing their
> They don't like change.  That could be taking them in for the winter or
> putting them out for the spring.  It could also mean just the changing
> seasons.  One nice thing about them though is that the leaves will grow
> right from the bottom of the plant.  I will quite often use that time to
> them.  Then you force the energy to the bottom of the plant and let them
> out.  Another thing that will cause exfoliation especially for indoor
> is spider mites.  Mites like warm dry air and while you may have mites on
> several indoor plants they don't show it like hibs.  Look for a mottled
> leaf.  In severe cases you can see webbing.  They are relatively easy to
> care of.  Blast them with water.  They live on the undersides of leaves. 
> can do it in the shower or outside with a hose.
> All of this stuff is part of the learning curve of Hibiscus.  It takes a
> or two before you know what you are looking for.  I try and tell my
> to ask questions before it's too late.  Most of the issues are ones that
> be corrected immediately.
> Here's a word about watering:  Here in the west in summer it's almost
> impossible to overwater them.  They will take just as much as you want to
> them.  During the winter when I've brought them in I almost wait until
> wilt before they get any.  I figure I'm just following the tropical
pattern of
> wet, hot summers and dry cooler winters.  In the east where you have a lot
> more humidity than we do (as well as a lot more critters) water them
often but
> try and avoid getting the leaves wet in the evenings when they will stay
> all night.  That invites fungus problems.  Same pattern for the winter
> Allow them to stay fairly on the dry side.  One of the ways I know if my
> or any potted plants need water is to know how much your pot weighs wet or
> dry.  A tip of the finger or for larger pots tip it with your toe to feel
> much the pot weighs.  When the pot is light...water.  If they are heavy
> water then let it dry.  Hibiscus like water running over their roots but
> don't like wet feet.  Use a well draining soil.  Avoid the dark super soil
> type stuff.  It retains too much water.
> One other thing:  They like to eat.  Use a balanced fertilizer like
> with minors.  If you like to endulge your plants use a tablespoon of Epsom
> salts to a gallon of water every month.  They like the magnesium and it
> green up your plants.
> Here's something I know.  When you know what you are looking for and how
> deal with it you will find this to be much easier.  And if given enough
> throughout the winter they will bloom all year.  I know this too. 
> all of you on this list...at least the ones who mentioned they were having
> problems know 10 times more about plants than I do.  And if I can do
> They only difference is that I have studied them and belong to a couple of
> lists devoted strickly to them.  If you have them and need help ask.  Your
> curve will straighten out real quick.  For two years I struggled but now I
> don't worry about them.  They lose leaves I know they grow back.
> Andrea if you are still with me at this point a languishing plant tells
me you
> have a root problem.  Either your soil is not draining or you just have a
> bummer root system that has problems.  Take the plant out and give it a
> in a 10% bleach solution and give it half doses of fert once a week.  See
> the roots are nice and white.  If that doesn't work toss it and I'll send
> out another.
> DF
> http://www.atouchofthetropics.net
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