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

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

Time for trimming oaks from Boerne TX
July 03, 2012 - I want to trim a native red oak but am scared to touch it because I dont want to lose it. It is the primary source of shade in our back yard. Also I want to trim the live oaks and am surrounded with O...
view the full question and answer

Freeze damage to non-native Philodendron selloeum in Deltona FL
June 22, 2010 - My philodendrons selloeum died this past winter in the freeze,came back slowly this spring and now are suffering with very small deformed leaves. Some do grow but are getting large brown dry areas on ...
view the full question and answer

Native Grass is Falling Over
November 09, 2011 - Hi Mr. Smarty Plants, I've tried to find this answer but am stumped as to the cause. We live in Fredericksburg, TX and have several different tall grasses, Yellow Indian grass, Little Bluestem, wire...
view the full question and answer

Leaves on yaupon holly turning brown/black
July 20, 2011 - Arlington TX Yaupon Holly has leaves on stems closer to the bottom of the plant and moving up that are turning brown/black. Is this a disease, over/under watering? There is black gummy soil, but it ha...
view the full question and answer

Red-backed bugs on mountain laurel (Sophoro secundiflora)
May 12, 2010 - I found red-backed bugs (in fact two end-to-end like the east Texas love bugs) on my mountain laurel which has been losing leaves. Are these bugs the culprit?
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