Rent Shop Volunteer Join

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

Please forgive us, but Mr. Smarty Plants has been overwhelmed by a flood of mail and must take a break for awhile to catch up. We hope to be accepting new questions again soon. Thank you!

Need help with plant identification, visit the plant identification page.

 
rate this answer
2 ratings

Thursday - November 10, 2005

From: Belton, TX
Region: Southwest
Topic: Diseases and Disorders
Title: Hibiscus wilt in Texas Star hibiscus
Answered by: Joe Marcus

QUESTION:

I have a Texas star hibiscus on my deck. It flourished all summer, but not quite a month ago, the leaves turned yellow and fell off. Will it come back? What happened???

ANSWER:

Assuming your hibiscus was receiving enough water, the problem sounds suspiciously like a wilt disease caused by a soil-borne fungal pathogen. The symptoms that you describe are typical of hibiscus wilt disease. However, to be sure you should pull a dead plant out of the ground, shake off as much soil as possible away from your landscape, and take the plant -- roots and all -- to your county agriculture extension office for positive identification of the causal agent.

 

If the problem is hibiscus wilt, the plants are probably lost. Further, you would not want to replace them with more hibiscus in the same location because the fungal pathogens can persist for quite a long time in the soil and would likely infect and kill your replacement plants.

 

Here is a link to a very good article on Hibiscus Wilt.

 

Although Texas Star hibiscus, Hibiscus coccineus is thought by many to be a Texas native, it is not. It is native only from Florida to Louisiana. It is also known by the common names Scarlet Hibiscus, Swamp Hibiscus and Scarlet Rose Mallow.

 

More Diseases and Disorders Questions

Need help with powdery mildew and mites in Bastrop, TX
July 26, 2011 - I tend to flower beds for the city. I have noticed a powdery mildew in 2 beds. It is on the Pavonia and Turks caps. I now notice mites. What should I do?
view the full question and answer

Why are large numbers of leaves falling from my Live Oak trees in Driftwood, TX?
June 24, 2015 - Today is June 6, 2015 and I have noticed that for the last week and a half, only a few live oaks out of many, have been losing large numbers of green leaves and turning brown on the ground. I cannot ...
view the full question and answer

Problems with non-native artichoke from El Paso, TX
May 25, 2014 - I have a five year old artichoke plant in the ground that gets sun and some shade, has plenty of fertilizer and compost. Gets enough water. It has been beautiful in years past and last year had 10 a...
view the full question and answer

Bark of unidentified tree splitting in Merritt Island FL
August 10, 2010 - The bark on this 5 yr. old tree is splitting along its branches, like a sausage link splitting along its sides. Almost as if it is/was over-stuffed. Other than that, there are plenty of leaflets, some...
view the full question and answer

Need to identify leaf extensions on the leaves of an elm sapling in Houston, Tx.
May 22, 2013 - I have an elm sapling which grows strange leave extensions on its leaves. Can I send you a picture? Tree looks healthy
view the full question and answer

Support the Wildflower Center by Donating Online or Becoming a Member today.