Tuesday, May 5, 2009
Pretty But Problematic
This is an unnamed hibiscus plant that I inherited with our house in SJC. It is blooming for the first time this season, and it begins with beautiful blooms that evolve into one of the biggest problem plants on the property. I threaten to take it out every year, but it remains. The problem is that it is in a corner planter that has walls on two sides and no automatic watering system. Hibiscus in our area are prone to whitefly infestation and this one is no exception. Because it is planted in a restricted area it doesn't get any air circulation and few visits from birds and beneficial insects. The only ones that seem to find it are those insects that feed on it and seek it out like the whiteflies (that lay their eggs on the undersides of the big leaves) and aphids. It is somewhat drought tolerant, but stresses out easily when it goes dry which attracts more insects. A strong stream of water will take care of the pests, but it has to be done consistently and that doesn't seem to happen. I guess the best solution would be to move it and replace it with a plant that is not so attractive to insects. Maybe I'll get around to that this year!