Friday, March 06, 2009
Frumpy Hibiscus Effect
As spring keeps rolling into South Padre Island, the mind turns toward assessing the damage from the hurricanes, cold fronts, bugs, and plant diseases. This poor, stunted Hibiscus was a very expensive hybrid with double flowers, obviously never to amount to much. I got to looking around the island and many are in the same condition. Unfortunately, the only thing to do is to throw them away, dirt and all.
Salt might have something to do with it, but I noticed that after a plant gets stressed a little the bugs such as aphids will move in. Then some kind of ant "farms" the aphids. I think one or both help spread harmful bacteria, viruses, and fungus. For lack of a better expression I call it "frumpy hibiscus syndrome."
Interestingly, one common hibiscus I threw in the ground is going great, so how certain plants or varieties get sick is something of a mystery. But I'll be playing in the yard this weekend, trying to make sense of it all.