Hardy hibiscus plants are herbaceous perennials belonging to the Malvaceae family. These plants bloom in a rainbow of colors and typically stand between 2 and 8 feet tall. Hardy hibiscus usually thrive in USDA hardiness zones 4 to 9. Despite their name, hardy hibiscus are susceptible to various diseases.
Common fungal diseases include root rots, collar rots and Botrytis blight, also called gray mold. Hardy hibiscus are also susceptible to several fungal species that cause leaf spots.
Fungal diseases often cause dark circular leaf spots and general wilt. Botrytis blight causes gray mold to form on the hibiscus plant's stems, leaves, flowers or crown.
Hardy hibiscus are vulnerable to attacks by caterpillars, grasshoppers, aphids and whiteflies. Japanese beetles can also do severe foliage damage if left untreated.
Hardy hibiscus plants commonly suffer from bud drop, which is caused by a lack of food or water. Leaf scorch is another common problem in areas with very dry soil.
Fungal diseases are generally controlled by removing and burning infected hardy hibiscus plants. Insecticides are commonly used to control any pests.
Hardy hibiscus typically thrive in moist, organic soils that receive full sun. Good air circulation helps these plants resist potential diseases.
- Mobot.org: Hardy Hibiscus
- Cornell University's Plant Disease Diagnostic Clinic: Botrytis Blight
- Connecticut Agricultural Experiment Station: Hibiscus
- Hibiscus World: Pests and Diseases of Hibiscus
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About this Author
Cat Carson has been a writer, editor and researcher for the past decade. She has professional experience in a variety of media, including the Internet, newspapers, newsletters and magazines. Her work has appeared on websites like eHow.com and GardenGuides.com, among others. Carson holds a master’s degrees in writing and cultural anthropology, and is currently working on her doctoral degree in psychology.