En EspaŅol

Q. Who is Mr. Smarty Plants?

A: There are those who suspect Wildflower Center volunteers are the culpable and capable culprits. Yet, others think staff members play some, albeit small, role. You can torture us with your plant questions, but we will never reveal the Green Guru's secret identity.

Help us grow by giving to the Plant Database Fund or by becoming a member

Did you know you can access the Native Plant Information Network with your web-enabled smartphone?

Share

Ask Mr. Smarty Plants

Ask Mr. Smarty Plants is a free service provided by the staff and volunteers at the Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center.

Search Smarty Plants
    
 
See a list of all Smarty Plants questions
Can't find the answer in our existing FAQs, submit a question to Mr. Smarty Plants.
Need help with plant identification, visit the plant identification page.
 
rate this answer
Not Yet Rated

Friday - October 09, 2009

From: Woodland Hills, CA
Region: California
Topic: Shrubs
Title: Leaves falling off a hibiscus twice a year in Woodland Hills CA
Answered by: Barbara Medford

QUESTION:

I have 8 hibiscus bushes and only 1 of them loses its leaves twice a year. Why?

ANSWER:

There are 12 species of Hibiscus native to North America, of which 3 are known to grow in California. It doesn't really matter though, because you almost undoubtedly have one of the many hybrids, and/or imports from other countries. Both the hybridization and being non-native would put them out of our area of expertise, but we can ask you some questions which, when you answer them, could give you a clue to what's going on.

1. How many times has this hibiscus repeated this behavior of dropping leaves twice a year? If it was once, it may have been the result of some change in its environment. If it has happened multiple times, you need to look at where it is growing and how it is growing.

2. What sun does it get? Hibiscus can grow in a little shade, but they do best in full sun; that is, 6 to 8 hours of sun a day. 

3. Is the plant in question growing in the same area as the other 7? If not, what is different about where it is, as opposed to the others? Again, soil moisture, sun, even accidental exposure to a pesticide could have caused the leaf drop.

We found a website called "About Hibiscus", Hibiscus Care, that seems to have the most information on this plant. Read it and compare the conditions considered optimum for hibiscus with the conditions of the plant you are concerned about.

 

More Shrubs Questions

Further question on sprouts from holly tree in Surprise AZ
November 16, 2010 - Thank you Barbara Medford for your response to my question about the sprouting holly tree in Surprise AZ. I took for granted that the tree I was talking about was a holly tree. I looked at pictures of...
view the full question and answer

Alternative for Pittosporum limelight
March 22, 2012 - Is it ok to plant a Pittosporum limelight by pool? Don't want bees! Needs to be 6 feet. Thanks.
view the full question and answer

Scarifying seeds of evergreen sumacs from Lockhart TX
May 19, 2013 - Dear Smarty Plants, We would like to grow our own evergreen sumacs. Consulting Nokes book, How to Grow Native Plants on page 310, it says to scarify fresh uncleaned seeds for 30-45 minutes. On page...
view the full question and answer

Native Plant for a Sunny South-facing House Wall in Tucson
March 01, 2014 - I have a problematic block wall on the south side of the house and I what a plant to soften the look of the wall. I tried butterfly bush which I'm told died from of bounce-back heat from the wall. I ...
view the full question and answer

Plants for shelter for butterflies
July 04, 2010 - I understand that butterflies need certain plants for food, but are there specific plants that butterflies prefer to use as shelter in central Texas?
view the full question and answer

Smarty Plants's Facebook profile Support the Wildflower Center by Donating Online or Becoming a Member today.

Mr. Smarty Plants wants you to be his Facebook friend. Click the Facebook icon to add yourself to Mr. Smarty Plants list of friends.
E-NEWSLETTER | BECOME A MEMBER | DONATE NOW | MEDIA | SITEMAP
© 2014 Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center