Hibiscus Plant Care
|Wilted leaves on one branch  ||DIEBACK DISEASE|
|All leaves on plant wilted  ||WILT DISEASE|
|Black spots on leaves  ||LEAF FUNGUS|
Fortunately for the hibiscus grower, there are very few diseases that attack healthy, growing hibiscus. As with disease of all living things, it's far better to prevent disease before it strikes than to have to deal with it after it strikes.
Growth is one of the best protections against disease that you can give your hibiscus. When a plant is growing vigorously, the immune system is also working vigorously, and the hibiscus is much more capable of protecting itself from any kind of bacterial, fungal, or viral attack. If your plant is languishing and not growing, the immune system is also languishing, and the plant will be most at risk for a disease. So the first line of defense against disease is to keep your hibiscus growing and thriving. If your hibiscus is not thriving and growing vigorously...
Wilting Leaves on a Well-Watered Hibiscus ~
Symptom of Disease
Look at the plant's color. Is the green starting to turn a little yellow, showing signs of chlorosis? If so, your hibiscus may need extra magnesium or iron, or there may be something else wrong with it that needs to be corrected.
Are you using a good hibiscus fertilizer? Probably the most common cause of poor growth and blooming in a hibiscus is using a fertilizer that doesn't meet the specific needs of hibiscus - or worse! Some fertilizers actually harm hibiscus! Read our Feeding page carefully and make sure you are fertilizing your hibiscus correctly.
Are you watering your hibiscus correctly? Too much or too little water will stress a hibiscus and impede growth.
Check for any possible pests, and treat them if you find a beginning infestation.
Most bacterial and fungal infections begin with some kind of poor hygiene. Rotting flowers sticking to stems, soggy soil and roots with stagnating water, dirty pruning shears, untreated broken branches - all of these can allow disease microbes into the cells of our hibiscus. To keep your hibiscus clean:
- Pick up spent flowers and throw them away.
- Clean pruning shears with waterless hand cleaner or alcohol every few cuts, and between plants.
- Prune away broken branches, and treat cut ends with waterless hand cleaner or alcohol.
- Use good watering practices that keep soil moist, but never soggy.
- Wash your hibiscus by hosing or spraying them down well with water once or twice a month during dry months.
- Keep your hibiscus pest-free. Hibiscus pests are known to be major vectors, or carriers, of disease.
The main symptom of hibiscus disease is wilting. Underwatering can also cause wilting, so first, make sure your plant's soil is not dried out. But if the soil is moist and your plant is still wilted, this is a clear sign of disease. There are two main diseases that cause wilt in hibiscus. Click on the disease name to read about each disease and its treatment.
Dieback Disease: Wilting on one branch or in one part of the hibiscus only. The rest of the hibiscus is healthy. This disease is easy to treat and rarely fatal.
Wilt Disease: Wilted leaves over the entire plant. This disease is frequently fatal and needs to be dealt with immediately.
As with human diseases, the sooner you spot and treat the disease, the better the prognosis. So be prepared by learning about possible hibiscus diseases, their prevention, and their symptoms!