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

Mountain Laurels are dying in Georgetown, TX.
April 02, 2012 - Ten year old Mountain Laurels both last year and this spring have had entire branches turn brown just after blooming this Feb. Round Rock Arborist suggested I contact you. Last year one of my laurels...
view the full question and answer

Watering Houseplants with Soapy Water
August 22, 2011 - I accidentally watered my house plants with a container that had a some dishsoap in it. Will they be okay? One of the plants is a 20yr old cactus, with small roots.
view the full question and answer

Problem with non-native Houttuynia cordata (chameleon)
January 30, 2012 - I have a Houttuynia cordata chameleon plant in a clay pot. My zone is 9b and my yard is partial sun. Up until January, it was thriving. Now, it is dead. I think the cold killed it. I kept it moist at ...
view the full question and answer

Problems with non-native weeping willow
April 17, 2009 - The trunk of my Weeping Willow tree has raised donut growths.The left base has decay. There is a large space between the base and the soil (no roots) and the wood is brittle. Large ants with a black ...
view the full question and answer

Leaf drop from maple tree in Minnesota
August 15, 2008 - I have about a 30 ft maple tree in my yard, last fall I trimmed it pretty good because the branches were getting low where you could not walk under it or get grass to grow. This is the 2nd time in abo...
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