Hibiscus HEEEELLLP !

Maple, ON

Hi I rescued some hibiscus from Wal-Mart that had not watered them in some time despite the fact that I told them every morning they needed water .Anyway I brought them home gave them a good watering replanted them (their roots were all over the bottom of their pots they had no room to grow ) Now is there anything else I can do ? Will they come back ? Or are they lost ?

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(Robin) Blissfield, MI(Zone 6a)

Canada, how did the roots look? If the roots looked healthy and not dried up they just may come back. Were they tropical or hardy?

Maple, ON

The roots in my opinion looked good just a lot of them the pots were light due to lack of water .the front of the tag on them says Garden Tropics and the back says hybrid

(Robin) Blissfield, MI(Zone 6a)

The plant sounds like it was pot bound. So many roots displace the growing medium and prohibits the medium to retain moisture and the plant ends up not being able to take up water. When a plant is root bound the water runs right though the pot and it's gone. It's also beneficial/advantageous to tease the roots when you pot something up to the next size. The roots have only been allowed to circle and if you don't break that cycle for them, they'll still circle instead of spreading out.

The dying foliage is a survival mechanism of the plant to conserve water. Give it a couple of weeks or maybe three to start pushing out new foliage growth. You did what you could.

Las Vegas, NV(Zone 9a)

Give it a good soaking in Superthrive. And keep it inside for the winter. Next year it will reward you for your effort.

Kure Beach, NC(Zone 9a)

Yep, they are tropical hibiscus (Hibiscus rosa-sinensis).
Along with what WormsLovSharon said,(Superthrive is great stuff), cut it back, from the tip down, until you see green inside the stems and take off the dead leaves. Now if you cut back and don't see any green, it is gone.
Also, since there aren't any green leaves, it's not going to use a lot of water, so be careful to not water again until the soil is dry, which may take a while.
You'd be amazed how many time I thought I lost one of these over the Winter and they came back.
Good luck!

Baltimore, MD(Zone 7a)

While we are on this topic of Hibiscus----I have a mystery.

Summer of 2014, I bought a beautiful Hibiscus with dark green, thick leaves at my
Home Depot.. I work there. I KNOW gardening! Not doing anything stupid with it...

In a few weeks--it started blooming. A wonderful, double/triple pink blooms.
After I conquered my battles with Whiteflies on it, it bloomed the rest of the summer.
Just gorgeous! Strong! Thick, slightly wavy dark green leaves.

Come fall, I took it down to my cool, semi-dark basement for the winter as is.
It did OK. Even kept some of the leaves on it. Lived through it OK.

In spring of 2015--I brought it out and cut the stems back to about 12"--minding the nodes. As it started growing new leaves--they were totally different that the
Hibiscus leaves it had. They looked more like not-so-toothed maple leaves.
I let them be and grow--and they did--but the leaves never changed.
I had this healthy, green plant with alien leaves on it. Took lots of pictures
and posted them all over--even sent them to FL where they come from.

I never got a reasonable reply. Some people thought I had a "stock plant"--
but I never cut that low to get near the roots.
Now they are, once again in my basement--putting out the same odd leaves.

By now I am curious. The leaves are already growing all over the plant.
I am going to let it grow and see if anything changes this coming summer.
If not--I will toss it--and be out $20.

Anyone have a brilliant idea of what is going on??? Thanks, Gita

1--Hibiscus blooming the summer I bought it. Just beautiful!

2--Close-up of the blooms

3--Hibiscus cut back after being in my basement dormancy--May 2015.

4--This is the kind of leaves it grew out the following year (2015).

5--Here is a close-up of the mystery leaves.

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(Robin) Blissfield, MI(Zone 6a)

Gitagal, the first thing I thought of was a graft and you cut below the graft line...but you didn't. I'm guessing your plant has reverted. I have a beautiful Japanese Maple and sometimes I get reversion on branches. If I were you, I'd wait until after it blooms to see if you get the same beautiful blooms.

It surely is a mystery.

Baltimore, MD(Zone 7a)

Mipii--Thanks for your guess...

It never bloomed last summer. What would it have reverted to?
Do you know what Hibiscus are grown out from? We sell hundreds of them in the summer. And--there were many of the same kind of leaves....the strong, rippled,
dark green foliage which I fell for. And--those gorgeous blooms!

I AM going to wait and see what it does this year. It is already covered in the same
leaves sitting down in my cool, semi-dark basement.

Do you know of a site, or grower that would know more about this plant?
It is killing me--bc I don't know!!!

Liberty Hill, TX(Zone 8a)

Stupid question but how can it revert?

(Robin) Blissfield, MI(Zone 6a)

It's a cultivar reversion, where a plant reverts back to one of the parent plants traits. If the tropical Hibiscus parentage was examined, I'm betting the leaf shape it has now was the same shape as one of it's parents. It could possibly be that the cultivar wasn't stable to begin with.

I've also heard from Cancer Survivors that their hair has grown back differently after chemotherapy, eg. hair was straight before losing it and grew back curly.

Liberty Hill, TX(Zone 8a)

Ok thank you for the explanation, that's interesting. I've also seen cancer survivors who's hair grew back different after chemo. but it was a change in color.

Staten Island, NY(Zone 6a)

One thing I know about hibiscus is that they likes sun. I have grown them outdoors in containers for years and in fall I hose them down before I bring them in the house .I cut them back but keeps it in a sunny spot in the house and I get blooms all the time .I root cuttings in water and share with my friends . Remember they are the tropical ones .

Staten Island, NY(Zone 6a)

here is a picture of a cutting blooming in the water.

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Staten Island, NY(Zone 6a)

The plant also grows nice indoors .

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Baltimore, MD(Zone 7a)


Glad your Hibiscus is doing so well indoors...

NOW--as per the topic of this Thread---would you have any suggestions
why my Hibiscus has put out these strange leaves just one year after it bloomed
like a totally gorgeous, Hibiscus???
I amm trying to solve this mystery. Gita

Staten Island, NY(Zone 6a)

I really have never noticed if the leaves are were strange ,all I cared about was the blooms. I think someone at one of the good garden centers in your area might be able to give you some answers.Lots of luck,

Göppingen, Germany(Zone 7b)

I can find nothing wrong about the "new" leaves - they are what I expect of Hibiscus rosa-sinensis. Personally, I think that was just an effect of some crippling chemicals to run out. Hibiscus rosa-sinensis IS a rather large shrub, not fitting for tiny pots, so they often add stuff to keep them compact, and maybe those special leaves were a side-effect of that. It could explain the lack of flowers, too, since the plant may have realized (in a hormonal/chemical way) that it is much to small to flower. Let it grow in size and give it a larger pot and the flowers should return, though maybe not the leaves.

I don't believe in synchronous reversion of a wooden plant on every single twig, because reversion happens through errors in cell division in the bud . you can often see that in single pure white twigs on variegated shrubs, it never happens to all twigs at once.

Maricopa, AZ(Zone 9a)

Gitagal, what happened to your mystery plant during the last growing season? Did it bloom?

Maricopa, AZ(Zone 9a)

Canada60, did your Walmart plants survive and come back?

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