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Hibiscus: What is wrong with me???

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maureen1952
Worcester, MA

May 7, 2010
5:58 PM

Post #7773612

I have com to the masters before to find out about starting a cutting and despite all your sage advice, I end up with sticks. I cut the stem of f at an angle, take most of the leaves off, and plant it in moistened potting soil. With in two days, the remaining leaves are crispy and then I don't know what to do.

Can someone PLEASE help me?!! I've never had this much trouble with a cutting of any plant.

I really would appreciate your help.

Thanks,
Maureen
stplong
Huber Heights , OH
(Zone 5b)

May 7, 2010
6:18 PM

Post #7773665

Hi Maureen,

I live in Ohio and the experience I have had is the temps has to be constant above 70 degrees, I place the cuttings in soil or the cubes and I always place a plastic bag over the top, the bag keeps moisture in and creates like a greenhouse effect and they usually root within 6 weeks. Now some varieties are easier to root then others, it depends on the varieties you are trying to root.


Patrick

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tamstenderthumb
Grafton, WI

May 7, 2010
7:06 PM

Post #7773830

Hi Maureen. I would do as you have and take your cutting at an angle,removing all flowers or buds and only leave a few leaves. This will reduce excessive transpiration (water loss) from the leaves. (That may be the cause of your wilted, crispy leaves of your last attempt). Dip the portion of the cutting that will be put in the soil into a root-promoting hormone powder. Be careful not to over do it with this product. Mix the rooting hormone powder with sterile fine sand if you have a "heavy hand" at applying powders! The planting mix should be a loose, moisture-holding soil that the cutting can be removed from without causing damage to the new growth. Perlite, peat moss and coarse sand are a good combo. Moisten the mixture and insert your cutting, firm the soil around the stem and wet soil again if needed. Place cutting in shade for 3-4 days then move into brighter light and then full sun (6 hours a day or so). If the weather is really "dry" place a plastic bag over it to capture some humidity until it becomes stronger. then remove it to ensure good air circulation. I find that warmth aids in root formation. A warm piece of pavement or a warm window for a couple days til it gets warmer outside. Daytime 70-75 deg F. When the roots are @ 1" long transplant your cutting outdoors to the spot you've chosen. I know this sounds like alot to do for a Hibiscus, but if you love them as much as I do you could throw in a couple of bottle feedings, diaper changes and even a driving lesson! Happy Spring. Tammy's Tender Thumb
maureen1952
Worcester, MA

May 8, 2010
6:23 AM

Post #7774736

No, it doesn't seem like a lot to do. The hibiscus is blueberry thrill. I have the mother plant and she seems healthy but most of the leaves are toward the outside so someone told me I should cut it way back. Before I did this (which makes me nervous) I thought I'd take some cuttings. What do you think about the pruning? I know it slows blooming, but the plant looks awful with just leaves toward the tips. I don't know what to do.

I'll try the cuttings again (sigh).

Here's a picture. I don't want to lose it!

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Molamola
Christiansted, VI
(Zone 11)

May 9, 2010
12:46 PM

Post #7777929

I'd put it either an Earth Box, or an EBucket. Then prune, not hard, once it's looking good.

Melissa
tamstenderthumb
Grafton, WI

May 9, 2010
10:25 PM

Post #7779209

Hi Maureen it's Tammy's Tender Thumb. I'd like more info as far as where the mother plant is planted. How much sun does she get, are her feet wet or dry, what time of day is her sun. Ideally she needs a "break" more than anything. I wouldn't do a pruning, especially if the tips of her branches are healthy with green leaves. That is what a pruning achieves, she needs to "bulk" up. Any chance you could send out her picture? By taking a break I mean, resting out of the "elements" for a while. If she's planted in the flower garden then you need to build her a shelter for a few weeks. Keep any sun off of her, no breezes, keep her at a steady cool temperature. You know it's like when we take a Ficus "Weeping Fig" or Schefflera "Umbrella Tree" and put it on a time out for a while. That or I place it in the garage to transplant it and forget about it! Either way it's when they are allowed to rest, when out of nowhere come new growth and budding leaves shooting out of those bare naked "fore" stems. Let me know sometime the location details of your "mother" plant and I will share my educated thoughts again. Hang in there. I am in zone 5a, what's your zn?
maureen1952
Worcester, MA

May 11, 2010
5:32 AM

Post #7782745

Dear Tammy,

I live in zone 5(MA) and the plant's not cold hardy. For the winter I put it in a cool room and it doesn't get great light - it's north facing. I water it when it's not totally dry but drier than I would during it's active growth. No wet feet. It does wilt if I don't give it some water tho. so I think it does rest, at least for the most part. It's big, in a 10in pot which it filled up last summer. That's when I get it acclimated to the sun and it does well when it finally gets to full sun.

I called Logee's and asked them bec. I bought it there and they said to do a hard prune which I started to do, but it just didn't seem like a good idea so it is partially pruned. I'll take a picture.

What is an Earth Box and EBucket?

I hope I haven't wrecked ti by that prune. I did put the stems into root wit h my usual success :-(.

Maureen

GAgirl1066
Blackshear, GA

May 16, 2010
5:50 AM

Post #7796864

Maureen,
You said after a week the leaves are crispy. Are you throwing them away at this point? Just because the leaves die and fall off, doesn't mean that is still will not root. I just wait until I know the stems are rotted before I throw them away. Some root easier than others. I have some all I have to do is stick them in the dirt and others like the blueberry thrill, they are harder to root.
Molamola
Christiansted, VI
(Zone 11)

May 16, 2010
10:17 AM

Post #7797527

Look around here some:

http://davesgarden.com/community/forums/f/boxgardens/all/
trickiwoo
Fort Worth, TX
(Zone 8a)

June 3, 2010
7:26 AM

Post #7854720

Maureen, I have some cuttings I am rooting in water with some bleach added. So far they have the white nubbies like you get on Brugs. As for pruning I was hesitant to do that even to my garden varieties. They had gotten so tall & lanky the wind blew them over constantly & Jon encouraged me to cut them back. You cannot believe how the bushes filled out & they were back to blooming in no time. It worked so well I cut them all back!!! No more blowing over & much prettier plants & blooms. This is just a suggestion but it sure worked out great for me. BTW, I love your Blueberry Thrill.

Hugs,
Judy
maureen1952
Worcester, MA

June 7, 2010
5:26 AM

Post #7866009

Finally, computer fixed and here's a picture of my Blueberry Hill, the poor thing. I pruned two of them and left the third. Can you tell me what you think? There are more leaves on the pruned stems as this was taken when I first wrote, but it still looks pretty bad, healthy but bad. Thanks so much for all the inf you've already given me.

Maureen

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maureen1952
Worcester, MA

July 3, 2010
9:45 AM

Post #7940345

So does anybody have any thoughts about this plant?

Maureen
amorecuore
Ft Lauderdale, FL
(Zone 10a)

July 3, 2010
4:52 PM

Post #7941056

Depends on how its looking now. Is there new growth on all three plants?
maureen1952
Worcester, MA

July 6, 2010
8:26 AM

Post #7947090

Yes, there is new growth and the uncut plant has a bud. Should I not have cut back the others?

Any thoughts, suggestions, critiques would be much appreciated. I have two other plants and am wondering what to do with them over the winter.

Maureen
amorecuore
Ft Lauderdale, FL
(Zone 10a)

July 6, 2010
8:42 AM

Post #7947127

There really isn't a right or wrong answer to that. I don't think I would have cut them back, because they look small to begin with. If there's new growth on the pruned ones, they're bouncing back. At least you pruned them early in the season. That gives them plenty of time to put out new growth before you have to bring them inside for the winter. You have to remember you have a short period of time when you can put them outside during the year. If you decide to prune them in the spring, you have to realize you're most likely sacrificing seeing any blooms that summer. You have two choices on what to do with your other two plants if they look fine. You either bring them inside for the winter, or you toss them.
maureen1952
Worcester, MA

July 7, 2010
10:21 AM

Post #7949937

Oh, I don't want to toss them!! If the leaves fall off in the winter I shouldn't prune or prune much earlier?

maureen
amorecuore
Ft Lauderdale, FL
(Zone 10a)

July 7, 2010
10:55 AM

Post #7950019

You shouldn't be losing the leaves in the winter. They need very little light to remain green inside during the winter. Very unlikely they will bloom inside during the winter, but just 3 or 4 hours of light is sufficient for them to remain healthy looking. Why do you want to keep pruning it? You need to let it grow for a year or two and then decide if it needs pruning again. You'll never see any blooms if you keep pruning it every couple of months.
maureen1952
Worcester, MA

July 8, 2010
9:12 AM

Post #7952359

Well, that's why I'm asking the experts. Mine did get 3-4 hours of light last winter but still lost it's lower leaves. They yellowed and fell off. i don't want to keep pruning it, just didn't know what else to do and I just did it that one time. That said, when is the best time to prune?
amorecuore
Ft Lauderdale, FL
(Zone 10a)

July 11, 2010
7:42 PM

Post #7961366

Probably anytime after you bring them inside in the fall up until a month or so before you're going to put them outside in the spring. You don't want any fresh cuts going outside when the weather might be too cool. My guess is the foliage turned yellow and fell off from too much water, not lack of light while inside. My parents keep tropical hibiscus inside in NY State over the winter. None of them get more than 2-3 hours of daily sunlight during the winter and they stay perfectly green. I think they're watered no more than once a week...maybe even less. If the foliage doesn't wilt and turns yellow and falls off its definitely not lack of water (no wilting prior to foliage falling).
maureen1952
Worcester, MA

August 18, 2010
6:48 AM

Post #8047140

Thanks, that's really good to know. Can I put them in a cool room with my cactus?
blupit007
Clinton, CT
(Zone 6b)

August 21, 2010
10:45 PM

Post #8054713

GAgirl, do you put anything over the cuttings when you root them like this? In a glass of water? I have some cuttings that are in water for now waiting for my cloner in the mail... it's taking way longer then I had anticipated so I dipped them and put them each in their own votive with water. I mist them every day. Most are getting crispy, 2 are turning yellow, 1 looks ok, 1 looks great. Should I cover them or something until the cloner gets here?

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