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Re: hib care

Hi Andrea

Yeah, cut way back on the water. Is it a cold greenhouse? Back off baby! They don't need that much during the winter if it's a cold house. If it's warm you still don't need as much because we don't have that much sun. Try that first. Then if it still languishes then give it the bleach. Also, if you haven't been feeding it give it half strength and a tablespoon of Epsom salts. Also, if you have it a little Super Thrive wouldn't hurt. By the way, in the winter...and I think your climate is fairly close to mine though a little colder...they pretty much languish in the winter anyway.

----- Original Message ----- From: "A A HODGES" <hodgesaa@earthlink.net>
To: <gardenchat@hort.net>
Sent: Tuesday, February 15, 2005 3:34 AM
Subject: RE: [CHAT] 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.



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