Q:

What could be eating my hibiscus?

A:

Quick Answer

Many animals love to eat the large leaves, flowers and stems of a hibiscus. Squirrels, deer, groundhogs and turtles are some of the more common animals that may be responsible for eating the plant.

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Full Answer

Usually, homeowners apply several different preservation techniques before finding one that keeps animals away. Squirrels find the hibiscus to be a tasty meal and make frequent returns to it until it is destroyed. Several household solutions can deter the squirrel. The smell of hot pepper and mothballs is enough to keep many squirrels away. If applied regularly, coffee grounds, blood meal and predator urine have the same effect, saving the plant from these hungry pests.

The best way to repel deer is by screening the plant with fencing, chicken wire or mesh. If fencing is not a practical or an attractive solution, deer can be kept away from the hibiscus plant by frequently applying chemical deer repellents. Groundhogs can dig underneath fencing, so installing a net around the plant or spraying it with a chemical repellent are the easiest ways to keep these animals away. Turtles are effectively repelled by building a low wall around the plant to force the little reptiles to turn away from the meal.

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Related Questions

  • Q:

    What is a hibiscus flower?

    A:

    A hibiscus flower is a large flower that grows on the hibiscus, which is a small tree or large shrub. The flowers can grow up to 6 inches wide and are shaped like trumpets. They attract both hummingbirds and butterflies to the landscape with peach, yellow and red hues.

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  • Q:

    Where did the hibiscus originate?

    A:

    The hibiscus is thought to have originated in South China. It has been cultivated in China, Japan and the Pacific Islands. There are two species thought to be native to Hawaii, including the Hibiscus arnottianus and Hibiscus waimeae, and there are approximately 300 related species of hibiscus in the world.

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  • Q:

    What is a dwarf hibiscus?

    A:

    A dwarf hibiscus is a variety of hibiscus plant that has been cultivated to be used as an indoor flowering plant, it grows between 2 to 3 feet instead of 6 to 8 feet (or more) as with traditional hibiscus. Dwarf hibiscus are not genetically distinct but are dwarfed using a growth regulator or retardant, such as Cycocel. This dwarfing is not a permanent change though, and the plants will eventually reach normal hibiscus heights within a few years.

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  • Q:

    How do you prune a hibiscus?

    A:

    Prune a hibiscus by removing old growth, pinching off the buds, deadheading the flowers, removing dead and dying foliage and pruning the plant to delay flowering. Pruning takes only a few minutes. You need pruning shears and pruning scissors.

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