Identifying Hibiscus Plant Diseases

By Renee Gerber , last updated May 4, 2011

The hibiscus is a wonderful plant to grow either in your garden or indoors, but unfortunately, much like other plants, hibiscus are prone to a myriad of diseases. In order to prevent poor health in your plants, you should learn about the ailments that can adversely affect them. When properly cared for, you can expect lovely blooms ranging in color from white to red to appear on your hibiscus plants.

One of the most common diseases that can affect a hibiscus is root or collar rot. This is a fungal infection that comes as a result of poor drainage of water or administering too much water to the plant. The water festers in the soil and cannot drain and the roots become infected and grow weak. Collar rot affects the stem of the hibiscus. You will notice your plant suddenly wilting if it is infected. In order to treat this disease, you will have to obtain a fungicide and apply it to the ailing areas or directly into the soil bed.

Brown or black leaf spots are another sign of a fungal disease in your hibiscus. This can spread, so the affected leaves should be removed immediately and destroyed by being burnt. Afterward, you should spray the rest of the plant with a good fungicide. Visit your local nursery to ask about the medication and about how to treat the disease.

Unfortunately, hibiscus plants are also prone to physiological disorders, which come about not as a result of a fungus, bacteria or virus. This often happens when the plant has poor growing conditions, including too much or too little watering, too much fertilizing, deficiency of a much needed nutrient, the wrong type of soil or if it is growing in the wrong type of sun or shade. Symptoms include the plant dropping its buds or the leaves turning yellow.

If your hibiscus has a viral disease, you will notice leaves in deformed shapes or curling as though cupped, plus an odd pattern on them. This could be caused by insects, and there is unfortunately no cure or treatment for this disease.

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